The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, discussed the proposition by the Federal Government to allow states and territories to levy income tax.
“The proposition by the Federal Government that states and territories be allowed to impose income taxes, in addition to the current federal income tax, would seriously disadvantage Tasmania and must be ruled out immediately by Premier Will Hodgman,” Mr Wilkie said.
“Despite all of the wonderful things about Tasmania, it is a small state with relatively low average income and higher dependence on government pensions and payments. For our smaller tax base to fund our health and education services, as would be the case in the larger and wealthier states, is ludicrous. It is a recipe for even less funding for our hospitals and schools and consequently even higher rates of disadvantage.
“The simple fact is that Australia is a commonwealth of states and territories where wealth is shared across the whole population. To devolve even more revenue raising to the states and territories would fundamentally undermine the Commonwealth and seriously disadvantage the smaller and poorer states. That is why the concept of horizontal fiscal equalisation exists in the first place.
“Let us not forget that in any one year the Federal Budget is in the order of $400bn. This is more than enough money for all of the states and territories of the Commonwealth to have the very best hospitals and schools in the world. It’s all about priorities. That we don’t have the best is testimony to a series of federal governments with their priorities completely out of whack.”