No new taxes in state budget, says Gutwein

Peter Gutwein
Peter Gutwein

TREASURER Peter Gutwein has used a keynote address to make the promise of no new taxes in next month's state budget.

Speaking at the Annual States Taxation Conference in Hobart yesterday, Mr Gutwein expressed concern about changes to the GST carve-up.

As the federal government undertakes two tax-based white papers, Mr Gutwein said the state government would not agree to any changes that would disadvantage Tasmania.

``We will, of course, participate fully in the development of the white papers and take any and every opportunity to put Tasmania's case,'' Mr Gutwein said.

Mr Gutwein told the conference the state was ``blind-sided'' by the  federal budget, and that it would rip more than $2 billion out of the state over the next 10 years.

``But in some respects it's not the reduction in funding that is most concerning,'' Mr Gutwein said.

``Rather, it's the fundamental changes to state-federal financial relations and the increase in vertical fiscal imbalance,'' he said.

Mr Gutwein did not give much of the state budget away, but said spending would need to be reined in.

``Not every decision we make in the lead-up to budget day will be popular,'' he said.

``But I can say that every decision is absolutely necessary to get the state back on track.''

Tax specialist Robert Jeremenko told  The Examiner  on Wednesday the government should consider abolishing ``inefficient'' taxes such as stamp duty, and raise revenue through either an increased GST or by taxing income at a state level.

Mr Gutwein told the conference the state government was committed to reducing motor tax and duty on compulsory third-party insurance, saving Tasmanian drivers $10 million.


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