Wyatt’s hand-wringing hypocrisy exposed by his own words

Shadow Treasurer Dean Nalder said today it was hypocritical that Treasurer Ben Wyatt and Premier Mark McGowan would claim to have been blindsided by a $1.9 billion revision to GST revenue.

“This claim follows years’ of lectures from them in Opposition that any variations in GST are entirely predictable and are not an excuse for the State Government’s budget woes,” Mr Nalder said.

“This statement on Ben Wyatt’s own website ridicules what he is now saying:

Treasury is pretty good at knowing what we will have in a budget year. We know what our GST revenue will be. The only time the government can use that as an excuse is if it has gone into a budget assuming, based on something, that it will receive a lot more revenue somehow, which would be not just incompetent, but negligent, financial management.” (November 20, 2015)

Mr Nalder said the Labor Opposition had refused to accept revenue write downs of $10.1 billion in the 2015/16 Budget and $6.9 billion in the following Mid-Year Review to be an excuse for a budget deficit but were now surprised, indignant and outraged at a variation of $1.9 billion.

“I am of the strong view that WA’s current GST share is unfair,” Mr Nalder said. “However, these variations are nothing new.”

“The only new aspect is that this one will hit Labor’s fragile first budget, and Treasurer Ben Wyatt is panicking.

“The reality is WA Labor has no way of paying for the $5 billion in unfunded and unaffordable election commitments it made and this variation will further reduce their ability to deliver those commitments, which included debt reduction and a budget surplus by 2019/20.

“If the Treasurer is serious about fixing the State Budget, he will review Labor’s multi-billion dollar election spending commitments, especially those without clear business cases, and if the Premier is serious about fixing the GST he will join the Liberal Party and call on both Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten to come to a joint position on fixing the GST.”

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