Federal governments would risk losing every seat in Western Australia if they tore up the GST deal, Rita Saffioti says, as pressure once again ramps up on the government to axe it.
Federal Labor would risk losing every seat in Western Australia if it tore up the GST deal, Rita Saffioti said, as pressure once again ramps up on the government to axe it.
However, speaking at a Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA breakfast at Crown Perth on Tuesday morning, the treasurer and deputy premier said she believed there was no way the deal for a 70-cents floor first inked by the Morrison government in 2018 would be changed.
The floor is due to rise to 75 cents in the dollar from 2024-25. In 2014, WA received just 30 cents in the dollar due to the state’s economic strength.
“I don’t think any government will (axe the deal), to be honest,” Ms Saffioti said.
“Politically it just would not work.
“The no-worse-off guarantee, which we're very much 100 per cent behind, I believe that nobody can change it because you basically lose every seat in the state.”
The comments come as the GST debate heats up again in east coast political and media circles over reports the deal, under which no state or territory would be left worse off, was now projected to cost $50 billion.
A Productivity Commission review due by December 2026 will report on the effectiveness of the policy.
Ms Saffioti said the state would put its case forward to that review to prove the worth of the current formula.
“A lot of what we do helps drive economic growth that supports the national economy,” she said.
“We need to continue to prove the point where it costs a lot to actually deliver the economic output, but also servicing such a big state but such different needs.
“We need to continually prove that we are a very high-cost state to deliver services.”
Labor holds nine seats in WA. Tangney, held by a 2.4 per cent margin by Sam Lim and Hasluck held by Tania Lawrence on a 6 per cent margin, are the most at-risk seats.
In a broad-ranging question and answer session with CCIWA chief economist Aaron Morey, Ms Saffioti ducked probing questions around reducing payroll tax for WA businesses, which Mr Morey described as the highest burden in the country.
With regard to what Mr Morey claimed were damaging federal policies around environmental, fiscal and business issues, Ms Saffioti said she would ensure the federal government knew WA had already built a balanced policy system.
“We have a strong environmental process, and of course, we are looking at how to change that a little bit to make sure that we have a more timely environmental process,” she said.
“We have balanced the native Title tssues; WA has handled that better than any other state.
“So we keep saying to all of those federally that WA has done it well, we have done a lot and we have balanced all the needs.”