Remember six months ago when Turnbull allegedly promised to make the GST distribution system fairer to Western Australia?
And when the sheep at the Liberal party function he was speaking at gave him a standing ovation?
On reviewing Turnbull’s words used at the time, it was easy for TMR to call this out at yet another one of Turnbull’s hopeless thought-bubbles:
August 2016 – Turnbull announces that he wants to change the GST distribution system. Many misinterpret this to mean that Turnbull’s proposed change will improve Western Australia’s GST share. A review of what Turnbull actually said shows otherwise:
“We believe that we should take that opportunity, as the West Australian share of the GST increases under the current system, to change the arrangements so that we set a percentage floor below which no states receipts can fall,” he said.
“Setting a floor below which a state’s share of the GST cannot fall, immediately after it has been exceeded in this cycle, means that no other state will be disadvantaged based on their projected GST shares.”
In other words, once the current system has finished screwing over Western Australia, Turnbull will introduce a floor so that no other state suffers the same problem. In the meantime, Western Australia is free to continue suffering under the current flawed system.
Six months on, you’ll have to forgive TMR’s complete lack of surprise following Turnbull’s utterly unproductive visit to Western Australia this week – which lasted less than 24 hours:
If Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s first visit to Perth in six months was supposed to give a much-needed boost to Premier Colin Barnett’s election campaign, then it was a failure.
Mr Barnett sparked speculation over the past few days that the PM would outline firm steps towards setting a floor for GST funding, saying it would be the first thing discussed.
The collapse in WA’s GST revenue to 30 cents in the dollar, or 30 per cent of its per capita share – compared to about 100 cents for the other states – is the cause of the state’s record debt and deficit woes, says Mr Barnett.
That equates to a $4.7 billion shortfall this year compared to the state’s population share.
Instead of helping him on Monday, Mr Turnbull threw the premier under a bus and all but walked away from a promise made the last time he was in WA to set a floor.
“We need to wait a few years until the Western Australian share under the current formula climbs back up to a more normal level, 70 cents in 2019/20 … ,” he told reporters, adding that it would also require the agreement of other states.
I don’t know who’s more stupid: Turnbull for making a promise about nothing, or the idiots that actually thought something was being promised.
Looks like we can add it to Turnbull’s numerous other thought bubbles such as super tax (versions 1 and 2), CGT, negative gearing, state income tax sharing, high speed rail, super tax (version 3) and Rudd’s UN candidacy.
For TMR’s full list of Turnbull’s useless ideas that never went anywhere, go here. If you have any others that should be added to the list, just let me know.