viernes, 30 de junio de 2017

Scott Morrison threatens to cut states' GST share if they oppose fracking

Scott Morrison has warned state governments the Productivity Commission will be considering its attitude towards fracking in its review of GST distribution. Photograph: Mike Bowers for the Guardian

The Guardian
By Gareth Hutchens
29 june 2017

Lock the Gate accuses Coalition of trying to blackmail governments into accepting controversial gas extraction industry

Scott Morrison has threatened to cut the GST distribution for state and territory governments if they push back against unconventional gas exploration, known as “fracking”.

He has warned state governments the Productivity Commission will be considering its attitude towards the controversial gas extraction industry – particularly any moratoriums or limits on the practice – in its review of the goods and services tax distribution, according to reports.

“I think it needs a fair dinkum look,” Morrison told the Australian. “The Productivity Commission is looking at whether the way the states and territories operate is giving them a leave pass under the GST formula for not getting on and doing things. When you have states that get on and do things, should they be penalised by getting less GST?”

Morrison’s threat has enraged an anti-coal seam gas group, Lock the Gate.

“This is an outrageous move by the federal government to blackmail state and territory governments into accepting fracking, regardless of the devastating impact it will have on farmland and water resources,” Georgina Woods from Lock the Gate said on Thursday.
“We will be asking for urgent advice as to whether it is lawful for the government to subvert the proper return of tax dollars to states in order to pursue a blatantly political agenda to promote multinational fracking companies.

“This is yet another example of the fracking industry undermining our democratic institutions – even the fair distribution of GST dollars is now being hopelessly compromised by the debasement of our democracy to fossil fuel interests.”

Morrison’s warning to the states comes as the Turnbull government tries to keep a lid on rapidly rising energy prices, with electricity bills set to increase by up to 20% on 1 July…..

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