Pressure is building for the Hodgman government to undertake a comprehensive State Finance and Taxation Review, following the release of the annual state finances report by the Auditor-General, Mike Blake, Greens Leader and Treasury spokesperson Kim Booth MP said.
“The Greens have been calling for an independent comprehensive State Finance and Taxation Review to be undertaken to start to address long term structural problems facing the Tasmanian economy,” Mr Booth said.
“We must focus on these long term structural problems which are the massive debts hidden in the total state sector, including Government Business Enterprises (GBEs) and State Owned Companies (SoCs) and the state’s unfunded superannuation liability of $6.6 billion.”
“it is clear we cannot keep relying upon the Commonwealth to bail us out, as the Auditor General’s report identifies the GST and other source of federal funding as a key risk.”
“A comprehensive review of our revenue and spending regime is not necessarily about raising state taxes, but is about assessing whether we have the current revenue and investment mix right, and other implications of current economic policy such as propping up failed GBE business models.”
“It is inexcusable for the Hodgman government to be bleating poor on one hand, but then continue to pour public subsidies into Forestry Tasmania. We also know from this month’s GBE hearings that previous bad decision will cost Hydro Tasmania at last $700 million over the next six years.”
“These are serious matters which cannot no longer be left in the too-hard basket, or be ignored by hiding behind tired old blame the previous government lines.”
“The responsible action for the Treasurer to take is to commission an independent State Finance and Taxation Review, and start to prepare GBEs such as Forestry Tasmania and Hydro to transition to sustainable full-cost recovery business models as a priority,” Mr Booth said.