Territory Labor Federal Members condemned today’s decision by the Commonwealth to slash GST distribution to the Territory by an estimated $2 billion over the next 4 years, based on Northern Territory Treasury estimates.
These cuts have the potential to severely impact the Territory’s capacity to provide essential services to Territorians, at a time when the economic decline is already presenting an increasingly difficult situation for Territorians.
While the NT Government has said that it will meet its commitments to Territorians on jobs, services and infrastructure, these cuts are going to hit their budget hard.
“Treasurer Morrison needs to take a stand here in the face of this threat to the Territory,” Mr Snowdon said.
No other jurisdiction has been hit anywhere near as hard in terms of its share of GST revenue and this at a time when the Commonwealth has dropped the ball as far as funding for Territory infrastructure is concerned.
In the next year alone, the Territory will lose $385 million in GST revenue according to Northern Territory Treasury Estimates, with this figure to grow in the following financial years. This makes a big hole in the Northern Territory budget.
“Not since the 2001/02 financial year has the Territory received such a low share of GST revenue,” said Senator McCarthy.
“This is very disappointing for Territorians. It comes at a time when we are already seeing a lack of funding from the Commonwealth for things such as major infrastructure in the Territory,” Mr Gosling said.
“This decision will make it very hard for the Territory Government in trying to find the money services to Territorians, and these cuts will ultimately impact on all of us,” Mr Snowdon said.
The Territory deserves better.