Member for Lingiari, Warren Snowdon, said NT Treasurer Dave Tollner was trying to smoke-screen GST funding in a bid to turn attention away from Tony Abbott’s plan to claw back money from Territorians.
Tony Abbott is on the record saying he would siphon-off much needed GST revenue to his Liberal mates.
“I think that what ought to be very seriously considered by the government right now is the proposal all the Liberal states have put up, that the GST revenue should be distributed on what is closer to a per capita arrangement.”*
Mr Snowdon said changing the current situation of fiscal equalisation to Mr Abbott’s per capita funding plan would see the Territory lose $2.2 billion out of its annual budget – nearly half its total.
“Under Tony Abbott’s plan – he would gut investment from our hospitals, schools, nurses, roads and other critical programs we need to keep the Territory growing strong,” Mr Snowdon said.
“Dave Tollner’s attempts to accuse the Federal Government of decreasing GST funding are simply an attempt to divert attention from his Liberal mates plan to short-change Territorians,” Mr Snowdon said.
Funding of around $2.7 billion a year flows to the Northern Territory through the GST distribution.
“The Territory is a significant beneficiary of the GST distribution, far higher than other states or territories with $5.31 per capita relativity.”
“This is on top of Federal Government’s commitment of $3.4 billion over 10 years though Stronger Futures,” Mr Snowdon said.
*Tony Abbott speaking to media in Perth on May 1, 2012.