$146 million GST windfall means ESL ‘slug’ and pensioner concession cut no longer necessary

Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas said last week’s decision on GST allocations now meant South Australia would get an unbudgeted and unexpected $146 million GST funding windfall next year.

“In fact total GST funding to South Australia next year will actually be $571 million more than this year but $425 million of that has already been included in the government’s budget estimates,” said Mr Lucas.

 

“This unexpected GST bonus means the Weatherill Government no longer has any excuse to continue its massive $90 million ESL slug on homeowners and its plans to remove $30 million of pensioner concessions and to close the Repatriation General Hospital.”

 

Prime Minister Abbott confirmed at COAG last week that South Australia’s distribution would now be $5525 million in 2015/16, $571 million more than for 2014/15.

 

State budget papers show:

 

Expected GST increase in 2015/16

Budget Paper 3 p55

$359 million

MYBR p8

$425 million ($359m + $66m)

COAG decision

$571 million

GST windfall

$146 million

 

“Whilst the Weatherill Government continues to spend millions on taxpayer funded advertising attacking the Federal Government, no mention has been made of what is now a $571 million increase in GST funds to South Australia for next year,” said Mr Lucas.

“What is particularly important is the windfall of $146 million confirmed last week which the Weatherill Government did not expect and did not include in its MYBR update.

 

“South Australian families have been struggling for many years as a result of massive increases in state taxes and charges such as the $90 million increase in the ESL last year.

 

“Pensioners are rightly concerned at the Weatherill Government’s policy of removing their local government rate concessions as from July this year.

 

“Tens of thousands of South Australians have signed petitions and protest cards and attended rallies to save the Repatriation General Hospital.

 

“Mr Weatherill and Mr Koutsantonis must now immediately revise these policies to provide much needed relief to long suffering South Australian families.”