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"Stuck pig": budget hit looms


A prominent Tasmanian economist is warning the devil's in the detail for Tasmania in Tuesday night's federal budget.

Australia's GST pool will increase 16 per cent next financial year, resulting in Tasmania's share rising to $2.8 billion, then $3 billion in the year following.

Premier Peter Gutwein is welcoming hundreds of millions of dollars in extra revenue.

"Tasmania’s share of the GST pool is expected to remain relatively consistent at approximately 4.1 per cent over the Budget and Forward Estimates period, providing increased GST revenue to Tasmania of $846 million to that estimated in the recent Pre-Election Financial Outlook," said Mr Gutwein. 

But economist Saul Eslake has told Tasmania Talks Western Australia's GST top-up arrangement expires in 2026-27, potentially leaving Tasmania exposed.

"Because Tasmania gets almost twice as big a share of the GST revenue as its population share, we and the Northern Territory are going to be the biggest losers from this, unless the deal is changed, which I don't think it will," he said. 

"There are 15 House of Representatives seats in WA, the Coalition holds 12 of them; if they lost four of them, they'd be in trouble...the political maths is obvious.

"Mr Gutwein, once he gets his feet under the desk again, needs to be squealing to Canberra like a stuck pig about this."