The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of David Bradbury

David Bradbury

Assistant Treasurer, Minister Assisting for Financial Services & Superannuation and Minister for Competition Policy & Consumer Affairs

5 March 2012 - 18 September 2013

Media Release of 28/04/2013

NO.059

Tony Abbott's GST lie exposed

Tony Abbott's GST lies have been exposed as another contradiction emerged today.

Mr Abbott today said:

We fully support the existing GST system and we have no plans to change it.

[TODAY – 28 APRIL 2013]

This contradicts his assertion last week:

ABBOTT:  Colin Barnett as I understand it thinks that it might be possible talking to the Premiers of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria and himself, to come up with something that doesn't disadvantage the smaller states but which is fairer to the bigger states.

KELLY: In other words that New South Wales and Victoria would be worse off?

ABBOTT: Well, I'm going to leave it in the hands of the state premiers. If they can come to me with something that is a fairer system I am all ears.

[AUSTRALIAN AGENDA – 21 APRIL 2013]

Last year he told West Australians he thought they should get a bigger share of the GST:

"I think that it does seem quite unfair that the people of Western Australia get so little back for the GST revenue that they provide to the rest of the country.

"I think that what ought to be very seriously considered by the government right now is the proposal that all the Liberal states have put up, that the GST revenue should be distributed on what is closer to a per capita arrangement.

"This is the unified position of the Coalition premiers. I think it makes a lot of sense."

[THE AUSTRALIAN - 1 MAY 2012]

Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey last year gave the States the green light to push the case for an increase in the GST:

"If you are going to have a discussion about changing the GST the states have to lead the argument because they are the ones that need the revenue."

[DOORSTOP - 20 JULY 2012]

And yesterday Liberal Party elder statesman Nick Minchin said:

The GST, in terms of its rate and its scope, will have to be revisited in the medium term.

[AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW – 27 APRIL 2013]

A redistribution of the GST could see more than $600 million ripped away from Tasmania, taking money from vital services.

An increase in the rate or broadening of the base of the GST would hit families and pensioners hardest.

The Government opposes any change to the rate or base of the GST and the Government commissioned an independent review of GST distribution which found the current system of Horizontal Fiscal Equalisation works well.

Tony Abbott has been exposed. One thing is for certain: his position on the GST would simply mean, for States like Tasmania, he would cut to the bone to pay for it.

28 April 2013