The Nationals WA have welcomed the Labor Government’s admission that a new revenue source is critical to repairing the State Budget.
Leader Mia Davies said The Nationals had turned up the pressure on the new State Government since returning to Parliament and pushed Labor to explore all options in tackling WA’s structural Budget deficit.
“The Nationals have led the charge on calling for a new revenue source for the State which centres on ensuring the big miners pay their fair share,” Ms Davies said. “Our party has prosecuted the argument that the 25c special lease rental – a tax-deductible fee which has not increased in 50 years – is an anomaly and needs to be looked at.
“Despite both Labor and Liberal parties denouncing our proposal before the election and a multi-million-dollar scare campaign funded by the Chamber of Minerals and Energy, The Nationals have won public support and have turned the major parties around.”
Ms Davies said although small in number, The Nationals had a history of leading policy debates.
“Since the start of the new Parliament, Nationals MPs have used every moment to push Labor to revisit our election proposal to increase the special lease rental,” Ms Davies said.
“This policy would raise $7.2 billion over the forward estimates and unshackle the State from its dire financial situation which has been inflicted upon us by a broken GST distribution system.”
Ms Davies said The Nationals had repeatedly argued the task of Budget repair should not just be a burden left to Western Australian households and small businesses.
“Labor have so far looked to rein in the deficit by sacking public servants, taxing investment properties and increasing utility prices,” Ms Davies said.
“The Nationals remain of the view that the legacy iron ore State Agreements, signed in the 1960s, do not deliver the real value to the people of Western Australia that they did 50 years ago.
“It is our position that these legacy State Agreements should be managed and updated to reflect the benefits to the State and the obligations of the mining companies.
“The State’s investment in infrastructure for 500,000 new residents whilst facilitating the mining boom has been torn away by other States via the GST system.
“We must therefore ensure State Agreements are subject to ongoing oversight and scrutiny to ensure the WA taxpayer sees a return on their investment.”