The 2017 Federal Budget has reaffirmed the failure of Western Australia’s 16 Federal Liberal MPs to properly represent their State.
The Nationals WA Leader Mia Davies said the pitiful $226 million GST top-up for WA, outlined in Treasurer Scott Morrison’s Budget, was a mere drop in the ocean compared to the $23 billion tidal wave of cash the State had sent east in the past decade.
“The Budget has also revealed the rank hypocrisy of WA’s Federal Liberal MPs for their backing of a new levy on the big banks,” Ms Davies said.
“Having rejected The Nationals’ proposal to ask the State’s two big miners to pay their fair share just a few short months ago, the Turnbull Government is now doing exactly that to the five major banks.”
In an interview on ABC News Breakfast this morning Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull stated:
“The banks are the most profitable banks in the world, $32 billion in profits. They benefit from the implicit support of the government, that is a major benefit that they have. It’s only fair that they pay this levy to help bring the budget back into balance. Levies like this are common right around the world. This is a very conventional approach and it is one that will secure that additional money, $6 billion over the next four years. That will assist us in bringing the budget back into balance and ensuring that our children and grandchildren are not burdened with a mountain of debt.”
The Nationals’ proposal to increase the special lease rental paid by BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto – a fee that has remained at 25c since the 1960s – was expected to raise in excess of $7 billion over four years.
Ms Davies said the underlying principal of both The Nationals and the Federal Government’s levy was the same, that everyone should pay their fair share for the purpose of Budget repair.
“Having facilitated the equivalent of the population of Tasmania moving to our State during the mining boom and built the schools, hospitals and road infrastructure that goes with it, WA is now borrowing money to pay its police, teachers and nurses,” Ms Davies said.
“The Nationals do not think it fair to ask mums and dads, small business and pensioners to pay more in fees and charges when BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto are still paying an outdated charge and posting enormous profits, while simultaneously cutting jobs and moving toward a fully robotic workforce.”
Ms Davies said the Federal Government had recognised it could not turn the Budget around on savings alone, and the WA Labor Government should do the same.
“The Federal Budget includes both savings and new revenue sources to set a course to surplus and reduce debt,” she said.
“So far the McGowan Government has shown it can only inflict Budget savings by cutting jobs and regional development spending.
“The Premier is simply tinkering around the edges while protecting two of the world’s largest mining companies from an increase to a 1960s fee that has never been indexed.”