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PARLIAMENT OF AUSTRALIA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Question QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE Goods and Services Tax Monday, 24 March 2014 Clive Palmer – Member for Fairfax Responder Hockey, Joe, MP Mr PALMER (Fairfax) (14:17): My question is to the Treasurer. The GST reimburses states for losses of revenue through the abolition of state taxes. Why do the Australian and Western Australian governments allow GST raised in Western Australia to be spent in eastern states? Regardless, why doesn’t Western Australia receive all the GST raised in Western Australia? Has the loss of GST caused Western Australia to lose its AAA rating? Do the Liberal Party and the Labor Party care more about the seats in eastern states? Mr HOCKEY (North Sydney—The Treasurer) (14:17): I am not going to quote the exact date that we started the Commonwealth Grants Commission, but quite obviously there has been a formula in place for more than half a century in relation to the distribution of funds. It primarily came out of events around the early part of the 20th century when the Commonwealth increased its taxation powers and then distributed money back to the states. For most of the period since the original grants commission formula started, Western Australia was a recipient state. In fact, it was a recipient state at various times in the last two decades. Western Australia has done so well—of which we should all be proud. It is a great story about enterprise. It is a great story about innovation. It is a great story about being able to harness the resources available to the people of the state and of the nation for the benefit of the people of the state and the nation. That is what Western Australians have done, and they have done it incredibly successfully. In the latest redistribution—which I will release after we meet with the treasurers in the next couple of weeks—Western Australia actually does better than it was expecting. It is a significant improvement on the state budget, and Western Australians should be celebrating that. Ultimately, when it comes down to the distribution of money, if, in your own determination, you are going to give one state more money, you have to take it off another state. I would invite the honourable member to identify which states he would like to take the money off. Would it be Queensland? Would he like to reduce the GST allocation to Queensland to improve the GST allocation to Western Australia? Or would it be Victoria or another state? There is a pool and there is an independent commission that determines how it is allocated. Western Australia is actually the beneficiary this year of that distribution. But, ultimately, these are issues that are left in the hands of the independent commission. Michael Palmer and Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip Clive F Palmer at press Conference 134 The Last Sentry at the Gate: Clive Palmer & the 44th Parliament of Australia


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