Price de­fends State’s Fed­eral MPs’ record on GST-share fight

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr and Shane Wright

Du­rack MHR Melissa Price has de­fended her, and her WA Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment col­leagues’, record on fight­ing for a fairer share of goods and ser­vices tax for the State.

Over the long-run­ning GST de­bate, the 11 Lib­eral MPs have been ac­cused of sit­ting idle, but that is not the case ac­cord­ing to Ms Price.

“I have been quite sur­prised by peo­ple’s re­ac­tions to me speak­ing be­cause I have spo­ken a num­ber of times in Par­lia­ment, as have all my WA col­leagues,” she said.

“We have had a num­ber of meet­ings with the trea­surer, and a num­ber of meet­ings with the Prime Min­is­ter.

“We here in West­ern Aus­tralia know the sys­tem is bro­ken, we feel like we are get­ting ripped off every day and, guess what, New South Wales is start­ing to feel that way as well.”

Ms Price’s comments come af­ter re­forms pro­posed by the WA Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try were re­vealed which would leave WA at least $1.5 bil­lion a year bet­ter off.

In its sub­mis­sion to the Pro­duc­tiv­ity Com­mis­sion’s review of the GST sys­tem, the cham­ber said changes to the treat­ment of min­ing roy­al­ties would de­liver ben­e­fits to WA and the State’s tax­pay­ers and force other parts of the coun­try to de­velop their min­eral re­sources.

Un­der CCIWA’s pro­pos­als, 25 per cent of min­ing roy­al­ties would be ex­cluded from the Com­mon­wealth Grants Com­mis­sion process, or 20 per cent of all rev­enue would be set aside.

The cham­ber is also push­ing for the im­me­di­ate in­tro­duc­tion of what it de­scribes as a “ratch­et­ing” GST floor that would reach 70c in the dol­lar.

Cham­ber chief econ­o­mist Rick Newn­ham said all pro­pos­als would help WA, en­cour­age other States to de­velop their re­sources and end the way the GST sys­tem was hurt­ing the na­tional econ­omy. “As it stands now, States are en­cour­aged to take the path of least re­sis­tance when it comes to lin­ing their cof­fers,” he said.

“It’s far eas­ier to sit back and let the GST re­dis­tri­bu­tion do the work than it is to get out there and de­velop new, un­der-utilised sec­tors.

“This eco­nomic ap­a­thy robs the na­tion of higher eco­nomic growth and un­der­mines job cre­ation.”

The sub­mis­sion has been agreed to by WA busi­ness or­gan­i­sa­tions in­clud­ing the Master Builders WA, the Real Es­tate In­sti­tute and the WA Tourism Coun­cil.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

Du­rack MHR Melissa Price “is not idle”.

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