SYDNEY, AAP – Prime Minister Scott Morrison has categorically ruled out any further changes to the carve-up of the GST.
NSW and Western Australia are ramping up their war of words over the distribution of GST payments handed out by the federal government.
But asked about the stoush on Thursday, Mr Morrison was clear.
“The GST is not changing,” he told reporters in Canberra.
Mr Morrison said the existing deal was “rock solid”, having authored it as federal treasurer.
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New NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said his state had been “paying for Western Australia for some time”.
“The reality is Western Australia got an incredibly generous deal from the federal government when it came to GST,” he told Nine Network.
“It’s not Mark’s fault. It was actually a (state) Liberal government in the middle of the mining boom that wasted all those mining royalties.
“Now it’s NSW, and Victoria particularly, that are going to be picking up the tab for the other states.”
Mr Perrottet said he planned to call WA Premier Mark McGowan to discuss the issue.
He added Mr McGowan was yet to call to congratulate him on becoming NSW premier this week.
Mr McGowan used his Facebook page to attack “whingeing” Sydney Liberals and accused NSW of budget mismanagement.
“If it wasn’t for the GST deal we fought so hard to secure, WA would get back barely 40 cents on the dollar this year, and even less in years to come,” he posted late on Wednesday.
The argument over the carve-up of the GST between the two states took on new vigour after the federal government did a distribution deal with WA in 2018.
It gave the state a higher return of 70 cents to the dollar, a rate NSW says is too high.
“I’m sick of the Sydney Liberals whingeing about it. West Aussies shouldn’t have to pay for their budget mismanagement,” Mr McGowan said.
Last month, Mr Perrottet, who was then the treasurer, labelled Mr McGowan “the Gollum of Australian politics” after WA banked a whopping $5.6 billion budget surplus.
“You can just picture him over there in his cave with his little precious – the GST,” he said.