South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill has taken a swipe at both his federal Labor colleagues and the Coalition Government over tax.
At a time when Mr Weatherill has been urging a national debate on raising the GST from 10 to 15 per cent, he said Labor was pledging support for Gonski schools funding and meeting growing health system demands but failing to detail where the money would come from.
As for the Coalition, he accused Treasurer Scott Morrison of being “utterly misleading”.
Mr Weatherill told 891 ABC Adelaide both parties needed to detail their plans as the nation approached the next federal poll.
“We’ve got the Treasurer, Mr Morrison, running around misleading people in suggesting that there isn’t a revenue problem, all we’ve got is some spending problem — if we just nipped and tucked some of our spending everything would be OK, so that’s utterly misleading,” he said.
“On the other side of the debate we have the federal Labor Party — which is saying some very good things, very important things about maintaining its commitment to Gonski and providing support for the healthcare system — but we haven’t seen any coherent or sustainable way in which that is going to be funded.”
‘So be it’ if federal colleagues upset: Weatherill
The SA Labor leader said it was his job to stand up for South Australian interests and if that upset some federal colleagues “so be it”.
“I think both national leaders, both the Labor Party and the Liberal Party, need to level with the people of Australia about what’s actually happening with our national economy, with our national accounts and the basic healthcare needs of our citizens,” he said.
“Nobody seems prepared to say what is bleedingly obvious, and that is that we’re not collecting enough money to pay for the healthcare needs of our nation. You’ve only got to take one look at the national accounts to see that.”
He said federal MPs needed to stop accusing the states and territories of overspending on health and education.
“We need to see the detail of both parties’ plans of how they’re going to deal with the obvious issue,” Mr Weatherill said.
“It’s not beyond human capacity to design a taxation system which meets the needs of our citizens and that is the debate that I’m seeking to have in this nation.
“What’s going to happen is that we’re going to slide into an election campaign very soon and you will not get any sense out of both major parties in relation to these important issues.”