South Australia is set to benefit from an unbudgeted GST windfall of $857 million, announced in the Federal Budget.
“The Federal Budget has confirmed an increase of $857m in unallocated or unbudgeted GST funding to SA over the next three years,” said Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas.
“The simple reality is that next year the extra and unbudgeted GST funding of $136m is more than enough to pay for council rate concessions for pensioners and to reverse the massive ESL slug on family homes imposed last year.”
The following table compares GST funding estimates from last night’s Federal Budget with the most recent State Government estimates included in the Mid-Year Budget Review (released December 2014):
15/16 16/17 17/18 Total
Fed Budget $5517m $6151m $6565m
State MYBR $5381m $5872m $6123m
Unbudgeted GST increase $136m $279m $442m $857m
Whilst the Federal Budget shows total Federal payments to SA will increase by $2.1b per year from 2014/15($8.1b) to 2018/19($10.5b) some of that funding is already expected and has been included in state budget estimates.
“However, this $857m GST figure is clearly unbudgeted money which is available for the State Government to spend on whatever priorities it determines,” said Mr Lucas.
“The South Australian Liberal Party has publicly opposed cuts to health and education funding as well as cuts to road funding provided to councils.
“We have also indicated that we will not support Weatherill Government threats to cut pensioner concessions.
“Mr Weatherill and Mr Koutsantonis can no longer justify cutting pensioner concessions in SA as they now have more than enough money to pay the $30m a year which is required to protect SA pensioner concessions.”