Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman won’t support changes to the GST after Joe Hockey’s federal budget.
Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman is adamant he will continue to oppose any change to the GST.
Mr Hodgman has long opposed reforms to the way the tax is distributed to the states.
He has now also ruled out support for raising or broadening the GST after federal treasurer Joe Hockey left the ball in the states’ court on changes to the tax.
“In my view increasing the GST, a further burden on Tasmanian consumers and taxpayers, is not the way to fix a budget,” Mr Hodgman told reporters in Hobart.
The premier said he had serious concerns about Mr Hockey’s cuts, but stopped short of joining interstate colleagues in slamming the budget.
But Mr Hodgman said he had been in contact by text with disgruntled Queensland premier Campbell Newman and was ready to take part in any COAG forum.
“Those discussions are in their very early stages,” Mr Hodgman said.
“I’m happy to participate in any forum that’s going to get a benefit for Tasmania.
“Of course, I’ll participate in such a thing if it in fact eventuates.”
The premier said he held concerns over health and education funding beyond the forward estimates, but was heartened federal figures improved Tasmania’s bottom line by $464 million over the next four years.
The Hodgman government will release its first state budget in August and had been confronting $1.1 billion in cumulative deficits over the forward estimates.
“I am concerned about the shifting of funding obligations to the state that are not matched by commensurate support,” Mr Hodgman said.
“In my view if there are increased demands placed on a state then there needs to be commensurate support provided.
“There’s no doubt Tasmania is going to have to respond to what are very tough budgetary circumstances.”