WA’s GST distribution does not add up says Tangney MHR Morton

Tangney MHR Ben Morton has welcomed a review into the distribution of the GST.
Tangney MHR Ben Morton has welcomed a review into the distribution of the GST.

TANGNEY MHR Ben Morton has strongly criticised the amount of GST received by WA, describing the state’s share as “disgraceful”.

“Anyone who would say WA gets a fair slice has absolutely got rocks in their head,” Mr Morton said.

Last month, the Commonwealth Grants Commission released its annual distribution figures, with the state’s share of the GST to be just 34 cents for every dollar raised.

Mr Morton welcomed the announcement by Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison on April 30 calling on the Productivity Commission to review how the GST distribution among the states and territories affects national productivity and growth.

He said the inquiry into the GST was a new approach.

“It is a movement away from WA complaining about what we should have, to saying to the rest of the country we can all benefit and grow our economy by improving the way the formula is applied,” he said.

“If we are going to make change in this area and if we want the change to stick, then we actually need to make the case why the formula needs to change in the best interests of the entire nation.

“That is the reality of politics.

“I think we can demonstrate through the productivity inquiry process where the formula is broken, where it has disincentivised investment; that is how will achieve real change in this area.”

In his announcement to the media, Mr Morrison said he recognised the strong advocacy from WA Coalition MPs and Senators in calling for the review.

“They have been effective voices for their state in government,” he said.

“It is important for Australia’s future prosperity that our system underpinning Commonwealth-State financial relations supports productivity, efficiency and economic growth across the country.

“Ultimately, all Australians benefit when the states actively pursue reforms seeking to improve productivity, efficiency and economic growth within their own jurisdictions.”

Public consultation will occur as part of the inquiry, with the commission due to report to the Federal Government by January 31, 2018.

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