The 2019 Federal Budget has delivered the Territory another blow with a further $75m reduction of GST, says NT Treasurer Nicole Manison (pictured).
Meanwhile NT Opposition Leader Gary Higgins says he hopes the Territory Labor Government’s Budget is as strong as the Federal Government’s, as a national surplus is forecast for the first time in over a decade.
Ms Manison says the GST reduction “is on top of the $500m cut which is having a major impact on the NT Budget.
“The Territory Labor Government has fought to see immediate Federal investment in the Territory and job-creating projects. This Budget doesn’t deliver that.
“There is no investment into developing Kakadu National Park over the next four years and funding into the Darwin Cities Deal is but a trickle,” says Ms Manison.
“We lobbied the Federal Government extensively to get more money for Territory roads – such as the Tanami, Port Keats Road and Tiwi Islands – but we need work on these roads to start now, not in 10-years’ time.
“We also need these roads to be excluded from our GST or they are giving with one hand and taking with the other.
“The Morrison Government have shown in tonight’s Budget that they don’t understand how much of an impact their GST cuts have on the Territory.”
Mr Higgins says the contrast between the Federal Coalition Government and the Territory Labor Government couldn’t be starker.
“On one hand, there is a strong, decisive leadership delivering a budget surplus and record employment numbers, but on the other, the Territory Labor Government is seeing record budget deficits and catastrophic net debt projections, fewer employed and less opportunity.
“The Territory Opposition is pleased to see commitments by the Federal Coalition returning the Budget to surplus, new taxation measures for business and individuals, and a continuation of funds for infrastructure for the development of Northern Australia – this is on the back of record investment in Kakadu, Defence, and the Cities Deal.
“This budget delivers record services without increased taxation. This is what can be achieved through fiscal discipline – something Labor knows nothing about,” says Mr Higgins.
“There is also increased funding for the Territory’s beef roads of $492.3m and the Federal Government has continued to recognise and fund programs to address the high level of disadvantage of Aboriginal Territorians.”