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Qld fears for services after GST change

Queensland’s Labor government has called on the Liberal National Party opposition to clarify which services it says should be reviewed following a shake-up of the GST allocation to the states.

Labor says it’s sceptical about the federal government’s plan to add about $7 billion dollars to the GST pool which is distributed to the states, to ensure no state is worse off.

Queensland would receive a $518 million boost on top of the GST revenue the state is already allocated but Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says she wants to see the fine detail, in particular which services and ongoing funding agreements would be cut to fund it.

Queensland Liberal National Party Deputy Opposition Leader Tim Mander said he “trusted” his federal colleagues to make good economic decisions.

“Those grants that have a term, it’s more than reasonable that those things are reviewed,” Mr Mander told reporters on Wednesday.

“We’ve been guaranteed that Queensland will not be worse off over the next eight years, we’ll be better off.”

But Acting Treasurer Steven Miles accused Mr Mander of using the word “review” when he meant “cut”.

“We want to see where Malcolm Turnbull is finding hundreds of millions of dollars to make up for cuts in the GST he has announced for Queensland,” Mr Miles said.

“But the LNP seem happy to accept any cuts as ‘reasonable’ and refuse to place Malcolm Turnbull under any scrutiny.”

State and territory treasurers will meet in September to discuss the plan with a final agreement expected by the end of 2018.

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