Canning byelection: Chris Bowen and Matt Keogh warn on GST hike

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen campaigned for Labor Canning candidate Matt Keogh in Mandurah on Thursday morning with Perth MP Alannah MacTiernan, warning voters about plans to increase the GST from ten to 15 per cent.

Mr Bowen said Prime Minister Tony Abbott supported an increase in the GST, despite promising before the last election not to make any changes in the tax.

“Tony Abbott’s plan to increase the GST to 15 per cent will see Western Australians pay an additional $3.2 billion in GST,” Mr Bowen said.

"Just in Canning alone an increase in the GST would have a significant impact.

“An increase in the GST would see the average Canning resident paying $1200 extra a year and just in Canning alone an increase of more than $200 million being paid in the GST.”

Mr Keogh said increasing the GST would aggravate the unfairness of WA’s tax burden.

“As many Western Australians know, WA’s been getting a raw deal out of the distribution of GST funding already and increasing the GST will only make that distribution unfairer,” he said.

“We’ll be fighting to make sure we get a fairer distribution of GST for WA, but the proposal of Mr Abbott to increase GST will only make it more unfair at the moment.”

A spokesperson for treasurer Joe Hockey said any change to the GST rate or base would require the unanimous support of state and territory governments.

“GST revenue is collected for the states and territories and as such, it is a matter for state and territory governments to consider proposals to broaden the GST base,” she said.

“The Federal Government is undertaking a Taxation White Paper process which will consider sensible, constructive contributions, provided overall they contribute to a tax system that is lower, simpler and fairer.”

An increase to the GST was proposed by New South Wales premier Mike Baird at a July meeting of Australian governments, however no agreement was reached.

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