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"Positive, concrete action" as COAG considers Jay's GST gambit

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Premier Jay Weatherill expects the nation’s leaders to take “positive, concrete action” on his tax reform plan at today’s COAG meeting, but believes they will need further discussions to “land” a deal.

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Speaking ahead of the Sydney forum, Weatherill maintained that “everything has to be on the table”, after yesterday’s Treasurer’s meeting looked favourably on the South Australian Government’s proposal of ramping up the GST rate and giving state and territory governments a share of income tax revenues.

“We’ve put some constructive propositions on the table,” Weatherill told reporters.

“We think there’s really a simply solution here, and that’s to give the states a share of income tax…amongst the states there’s a view that that’s a sensible proposition.”

The Premier said after reaching an impasse with former PM Tony Abbott, the meeting was “an opportunity to have a new start with a new Prime Minister”.

 

“I think we need a further meeting next February to land it, but I think we can take some positive concrete action today,” he said.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews appears to be the biggest stumbling block to consensus, maintaining his state would not agree to a rise in the GST.

However, even he concedes Weatherill’s proposal on income tax is worth consideration.

“I don’t think there’s anywhere near a consensus on tax reform, we’re nowhere near that,” he told the ABC.

NSW Premier Mike Baird, who has also advocated a GST hike, said he was prepared to consider Weatherill’s proposal, nominating health funding as “absolutely the biggest priority” the nation’s leaders faced.

“Unless we build that in the long-term we’re running away from the biggest problem that we have,” Baird said.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the commonwealth should stop shifting the goal posts on tax reform.

“What we are seeing is a lack of a clear plan being put by the federal government onto the table,” she told reporters.

“We must have a consensus here today that the single biggest issue facing our nation into the future is the massive increases in health costs.”

 

 

 

-with AAP

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