By Robyn Molloy
Treasurer Scott Morrison will be the star attraction at CCI’s business breakfast next week, with the proposed reforms to GST set to be the hot topic.
Morrison will outline how the Federal Government is delivering on its budget and answer questions about the GST proposal, announced last week as a fix to the broken system.
CCI led the charge for reform by proposing a change to the GST system that would be fair for all states.
“Early last year CCI changed the debate from being a ‘poor WA’ argument to being what is in the national interest. We know that ‘poor WA’ as an argument does not convince a nation, which is why we set out to make the national interest case,” CCI Chief Economist Rick Newnham told media last week.
“We convinced the Productivity Commission that the GST distribution is holding the national economy back and they have backed CCI’s proposal to fix it. Intellectually, we have led the charge backed by the productivity commission.”
He said WA had lost $36 billion since the GST was introduced in 2000, with WA’s share falling as low as 30c in the dollar.
“Since the introduction of the GST, WA’s share has been reduced by $36b compared with our equal per capita share,” Newnham said.
“That $36b is the equivalent of extending the Mitchell Freeway all the way south to Albany and all the way north to Geraldton, so the numbers are absolutely staggering. “These reforms go a long way to addressing that change and it means that more GST will flow to WA in the future.”
The proposal will deliver a significant boost for WA - $4.7 billion over eight years.
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said last week CCI played an influential role in pushing for reform.
“They have done a very good job in helping to put substance behind the policy arguments that helped to inform the work of the Productivity Commission and helped to inform the work that we did as Western Australian Liberal Federal representatives in Canberra,” he said.
Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott also welcomed the proposed reforms.
“The government’s proposed approach to the GST distribution achieves many of the outcomes the Business Council, Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA and others have called for in submissions to the Productivity Commission,” she said.
► Join Treasurer Scott Morrison for breakfast on July 17 at the CCI Function Centre.