Greens Finance spokesperson and Senator for Tasmania, Peter Whish-Wilson, provides the following comments on the Prime Minister’s latest thought bubble to pass income tax powers to the states.
Senator Whish-Wilson said, “Tasmania has the oldest and lowest-paid workforce in the nation. Our unemployment rate is the second highest in the country and our employment participation rate is the outright lowest. Combined with the lowest population growth in the country, this leaves Tasmania with a massive revenue burden that will only worsen in time.
“If Malcolm Turnbull wanted to pick out the form of tax reform that disadvantaged Tasmania the most, then handing the income tax powers back to the states would be it.
“Tasmanians will either need to pay a disproportionally high-level of new income tax or will have to settle for substandard services, especially in health and education.
“Other wealthier states will start a race-to-the-bottom by lowering their tax rates leaving us further at an economic disadvantage. This entrenches Tasmania as a perennial cellar-dweller rather than giving us a chance to improve.
“The Prime Minister’s latest tax adventure will devastate opportunities for Tasmania in the ‘grey economy.’ Returning to a locally-raised income tax will mean that Tasmania will no longer be able to seek to attract new retirees to the state because health standards will not be able to keep pace with the mainland.
“The first Joe Hockey budget cut $2.1 billion from Tasmania’s state health and education budgets. Now it appears Malcolm Turnbull’s plan to fix Hockey’s mess will only make things worse.
“Where are the Tasmanian Liberal MPs and Senators standing up for their state’s interests? Have they been consulted on this latest plan? Do they agree with it?” he concluded.