House debates

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Questions without Notice

Goods and Services Tax

2:24 pm

Photo of Chris BowenChris Bowen (McMahon, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Treasurer. Can the Treasurer confirm that, when Labor said Western Australia wasn't getting their fair share of the GST, the government denied it and then accepted it; when we said the GST floor needed to be legislated, the government ignored it and then agreed to it; and then, when we called for that legislation to ensure that no state or territory is left worse off, the government rejected it but today accept it?

Photo of Josh FrydenbergJosh Frydenberg (Kooyong, Liberal Party, Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

I'm glad to report to the House that it is a Liberal and National government that is delivering a fairer and more sustainable GST. And those opposite did nothing for six years when they were in office.

The member for McMahon has had four positions. The member for McMahon's first position was, 'We want to top up Western Australia but we don't want any broader changes.' That was his first position: 'Don't change the formula'. His second position was that he supports the government's proposal. He wanted to support us to legislate it. That was welcome. Then his third position was: 'I'm not so sure about this. I might take a step back.' His fourth position was, 'I want more information.'

The best, though—and I have to say David Speers is always pretty good for an interview—was David Speers's interview with the member for McMahon on 8 July. David Speers asked him about the GST, and he couldn't give an answer 10 times. Ten times he was asked for a straight answer on the GST. So David Speers said, about Labor's position on the GST: 'How quickly are you going to work through this?' Member for McMahon: 'Well, constructive criticism, David, is our position.' I will repeat that, 'Constructive criticism, David, is our position.'

The Labor Party took no action when they were in government. We, on the other hand, led by the then Treasurer, now Prime Minister, came up with a policy reform that is now being supported by states and territories, which will avoid a repeat of the situation where Western Australians only got 30c in the dollar and will ensure a much fairer and more sustainable system, which will leave every state and territory better off. We're putting more than $9 billion to the states and territories. We're legislating a floor at 75c in the dollar. We're equalising to the stronger of Victoria and New South Wales and we're ensuring that all Australians, regardless of their postcode, are better off under the Liberal and National parties' reform to the GST.

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

Member for Mackellar.

Mr Dreyfus interjecting

Yes, we alternate, Member for Isaacs.