Jackie Trad (centre) will front a Productivity Commission hearing into the GST on Monday.Treasurer Jackie Trad has warned of slashing the number of Queensland’s teachers, police and nurses if a proposed reduction to the state’s GST allocation goes ahead.
Ms Trad on Monday afternoon appeared at a Productivity Commission hearing reviewing GST distributions to argue Queensland’s case not to be given a smaller slice of tax revenue.
She told the hearing a draft proposal from the commission could result in the state being $1.58 billion a year worse off.
This amount of money, Ms Trad said, could pay for 5000 teachers, 5000 nurses, 3000 police officers and 1100 firefighters.
“Such losses would mean the Queensland government would no longer be able to deliver services to many parts of our community, or at least not be able to deliver services to the same standard as other states,” she said.
The treasurer told the commission the current model recognised specific challenges faced by Queensland, such as the high cost of providing services to remote areas, and funding of natural disaster recovery.
Following the hearing, Ms Trad told AAP she believed, despite her best efforts, Queensland’s share of GST funds would change.
“I did get the sense that they are moving away from what is currently a fair and equitable system, to one that means that some states will be able to provide better services and get more GST than Queensland,” she said.
Ms Trad, who is also the deputy premier, earlier on Monday labelled the current model being discussed a “rip-off” rather than a redistribution.
But the opposition has accused Ms Trad of running a “scare campaign” and are urging her to work with the federal government on the issue.
Deputy Opposition Leader Tim Mander said a number of options had been put on the table.
“It’s important that we do get our fair share, but let’s put the petty politics aside, and Jackie Trad needs to work with the federal government to get the best outcome for Queensland,” Mr Mander told reporters in Toowoomba.
Ms Trad also took aim at federal Queensland senator Warren Entsch, who called for WA to be given a larger slice of the GST pie, saying he should be looking after his own community in north Queensland which could lose funding under the proposed changes.