Bill short on detail about GST plans
Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten has criticised Malcolm Turnbull for failing to deliver any increased GST for WA despite “pumping up hopes”, but declined to outline his own plan for improving the State’s tax woes.
Mr Shorten, in Jandakot to back local Labor leader Mark McGowan’s election pitch to remove Perth from a Federal skilled migration list, portrayed the PM as no friend of WA for presiding over the State’s disastrous GST take of 30c in the dollar.
In August Mr Turnbull promised to impose a floor below which no State’s share could fall once WA’s share had rebounded, a pledge which has since been undermined by new projections that the State’s share will languish below 70c for at least the next four financial years. Mr Shorten said Mr Turnbull had a track record of raising expectations and “on the GST he has been a massive disappointment”.
But when pressed on what he as PM would offer WA, Mr Shorten gave no guarantees.
“We recognise, and I recognise, I think the current deal isn’t fair,” he said.
“In terms of the best way to progress it we will listen carefully to Mark. I personally get the argument about a floor.”
Mr Shorten pledged to increase overall Commonwealth funding for WA.
“When I look at investment in Western Australia I don’t just look at the GST,” he said.
“I look at our Medicare system and our roads and rail projects that Mark McGowan is such a champion of,” he said.
Mr McGowan said he had argued consistently for a GST floor of 80 cents in the dollar.
Mr McGowan said he did not want to see Colin Barnett “sneak back into office on the back of a sneaky preference deal” with One Nation but refused to rule out Labor entering into preference swaps with the minor party.
Federal Opposition leader Bill Shorten in Jandakot on the election trail with Mark McGowan.