The Tasmanian Greens today backed Lara Giddings’ attempt to maintain the State’s current share of national GST revenue, but said that state Labor need to commit to a review of the state’s taxation base.

Greens Treasury spokesperson Tim Morris MP said that Treasury should be charged with producing a White Paper, including recommended reforms, of state taxation reform options as a matter of urgency.

“Wayne Swan will probably remind the Premier, in her meetings with him today, that he intends to penalise states which duck tax reform. I hope Ms Giddings has got a good excuse ready,” said Mr Morris.

“The real risk is that Ms Giddings may keep our share of GST only to be penalised by Wayne Swan for failing on state tax reform, after Labor and the Liberals walked away from last year’s State Tax Review Panel.”

“The Greens are urging Ms Giddings to restart the valuable work done by the now-defunct State Tax Review Panel, by urgently requesting Treasury to formulate a White Paper for discussion on the issue.”

“The Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Tasmania’s Small Business Council, along with the Greens, are calling for tax reform. A better tax system will mean less red tape for business, fairer taxes for everyone and boosted state revenues.”

“Last year, heeding the calls of the business community, Labor, the Greens and the Liberals took a tripartite approach on tax reform. We know the public appreciate this mature approach.”

“But then Labor and the Liberals ducked the tough decisions Treasurer Swan is directing them to take and they walked. For the sake of businesses large and small, and for the good of our state revenues, Labor and the Liberals need to come back on board and take a lead on tax reform.”

“With the state’s projected budget deficit at about a quarter of a billion dollars, now is exactly the right time to push the process forward, and to create a fairer tax system that delivers more certainty and less red tape for business.”

“Ultimately it’s Tasmanian taxpayers and businesses that will pay for the decision by Labor and the Liberals to dump tax reform. It’s just not in Tasmania’s interest to do so,” Mr Morris said.

John Lawrence: State of the State: What your mother didn’t tell you, graph by graph