Historic national interest GST fix should now be passed

The time for excuses, political games and rhetoric is over – now is the time, in the national interest, to end the GST rollercoaster ride and fix the broken GST system that has caused significant instability for almost a decade.

Every state and territory will now see, clear as day, that fixing the GST will bring stability to the system and that no state is worse off.

The Federal Government has confirmed it will introduce legislation into the Federal Parliament to fix the broken GST system once and for all. The Coalition Party Room’s backing of the legislation will guarantee its passage through the House of Representatives and now all eyes will be on Labor to guarantee the legislation has the numbers to pass the Senate.

Make no mistake, every state will get more GST if the Federal Government’s GST reform legislation passes – the additional funding in to the GST pool assures it and it has been confirmed by the independent Productivity Commission.

To put the cherry on top, the Federal Government has also now confirmed that outcomes for each state and territory’s share of the GST pie under the new and old GST system will be published during the transition period and reviewed again by the Productivity Commission.

Federal Labor must now take the high ground and do what’s right for the nation as a whole. Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten must end the bickering between the states and support the Government in its national interest solution.

Ninety per cent of WA’s iron ore royalties are redistributed to other states through the GST. Blocking the Government’s legislation will keep it this way, locking in a system that delivered WA 30 cents in the dollar and diminished incentives for WA to further develop its resources.

CCI has led the charge to advocate for GST reform on behalf of industry, recognising that to fix the unfair GST distribution the ‘poor WA’ argument was never going to convince a nation – we had to make the national case for change.

According to exclusive national polling of 2,350 Australians commissioned by CCI, 70 per cent of Australians believe that WA’s GST share fell to an unacceptable level – below 35 cents – and most Australians (52%) believe that if it is in the national interest to change the GST distribution it should be changed.

The poll also revealed that fixing the GST is the most important issue to West Australians, second only to cost of living and 68 per cent of West Australians believe the GST distribution should focus on the national interest instead of a political fight between the states and territories.

CCI urges Federal Labor to back the Federal Government’s proposed legislation in the national interest as every state stands to benefit.

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