LABOR is running a ``scare campaign'' about GST changes to distract from its $30 billion deficit, University of Tasmania politics lecturer Tony McCall has said.
Both state and federal Labor politicians continued to campaign on the issue yesterday, despite Opposition Leader Tony Abbott again saying that he would not change the tax in the next term of government.
Dr McCall said reviewing Australia's tax structure, including the GST, was a necessary step to protect against an ageing population and one recommended by the Henry Tax Review.
But he said the in-depth discussion necessary was not likely to happen in the next four weeks.
com``Election campaigns aren't the time to have a mature policy debate, they are really about politics,'' Dr McCall said.
``(Labor) don't want a discussion based on their budget circumstance, and therefore the best way they can deflect from their $30 billion deficit is to run a scare campaign around the fact that the Coalition is prepared to say we need a review of tax.
``It won't matter how many times the Coalition come out and say there won't be any changes under a Coalition government, all Labor needs to do is keep saying it.''
Mr Abbott told reporters in Western Sydney yesterday: ``The GST will not change. Full stop. End of story.''
However, the GST is included in a broad tax review that would be conducted under a Coalition government.
Tasmanian Labor Senator Lin Thorp said Mr Abbott had still not given a ``firm enough, clear enough, definitive enough'' response to the suggestion made by West Australian Premier Colin Barnett that the GST be distributed on a per capita basis, as opposed to the current system of greatest need.
Ms Thorp said that change could result in a $600 million loss to Tasmania's GST share, which this year is $1.8 billion.
In 2013-14 Tasmania will receive $1.61 back from every dollar it spent on GST, compared with Western Australia which gets just 45 back.