Media Release by The Hon Julie Collins MP

Tasmanians worse off under Tony Abbott

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott should explain to Tasmanians during his whirlwind visit to the State today how he plans to take away thousands of dollars a year from them under a Coalition government, the Federal Member for Franklin, Julie Collins, said today.

“While he’s travelling around the State today for his picture opportunities, he should put Tasmanians in the picture on what he will do if he gets elected,” Ms Collins said.

“The Opposition Leader continues to dodge the question of whether he’ll protect Tasmania’s share of GST funding.

“Will he cave in to the demands of the resource rich and bigger states and strip more than $600 million a year – $1200 for every Tasmanian – from the State?” Ms Collins said.

“That’s the equivalent of 3000 nurses, 800 doctors, 500 allied health professionals and over 100 child protection staff.

“He fudged the question in his Press Club speech yesterday and before that he said one thing in Western Australia and another thing in Tasmania.

“The current Horizontal Fiscal Equalisation scheme ensures part of the GST returns to all Australians equitably so all of us have access to comparable services no matter which State we live in.”

Tony Abbott said in May 2012:

“that the GST revenue should be distributed on what is closer to a per capita arrangement. This is the unified position of the Coalition premiers. I think it makes a lot of sense.”

“Now, he’s confirmed he’ll stop the schoolkids bonus, which 34,800 Tasmanian families have been receiving this month, helping them with back to school costs.

“In all, Tasmanian families will receive $36.5 million in Schoolkids Bonus payments this year.

“These families will be worse off under Tony Abbott. In fact, a typical family with two kids will be $15,000 worse off over the course of their children’s schooling if Mr Abbott gets elected.

“This is in addition to his plans to slash the household assistance package, which includes additional increases to family payments and tax cuts for workers on low and middle incomes.

“Tony Abbott’s economic and family policies are a danger to the well-being of Tasmanian families and a threat to Tasmanian jobs and services,” Ms Collins said.