GST drop reinforces need for spending restraint

24 March, 2017

The drop in Western Australia’s GST share reinforces the need for tighter control on state finances, says the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia (CCI).

CCI Chief Economist Rick Newnham said today’s announcement that WA’s GST share will be 34 cents in the dollar next financial year instead of the 38 cents forecast by WA Treasury creates greater urgency for the new Labor Government to rein in spending and find savings as an immediate priority.

“Given WA’s volatile GST share, it is critical that the new State Government enact strenuous savings measures and find efficiencies wherever possible,” Mr Newnham said.

“Nothing should be off the table – given the state’s financial position, every single area of expenditure must be reviewed to ensure taxpayer dollars are being efficiently spent. It is reining in spending and finding efficiencies that must be the bedrock of all budget repair efforts – the business community welcomed Premier Mark McGowan’s election commitment to no new taxes or increased taxes for West Australians, as raising taxes will reduce the capacity of business to grow and create jobs, which is not the answer to fixing the state’s finances.

“Business has previously welcomed WA Labor’s election commitment to link senior public sector salaries to KPIs, eliminate waste and duplication across government departments and reduce the number of senior executive service positions – in difficult economic times business has to make tough decisions, so it is encouraging WA Labor has said they are willing to do the same and bring some private sector efficiencies to the public sector.

“WA Labor’s election costings showed some significant, sensible savings measures that will be instrumental in budget repair, so the business community encourages the State Government to deliver on their election promise of fiscal discipline.”

Media contact: Kate Hodges – 0448 928 227