Swan gears up for hostile reception

Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan is likely to get a hostile reception today as he hosts his first meeting with state and territory counterparts since the Queensland election, where the Liberal National Party’s win resulted in the Coalition having control of state governments in NSW, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia.

Liberal state treasurers in those states are readying themselves for a fight with the federal government over changes to the GST and funding of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Victorian Treasurer Kim Wells says the states are not happy about the lack of consultation over changes to the GST.

“It’s not the way to do business,” he says.

NSW Treasurer Mike Baird says his colleagues are determined not to be treated as “bit players”.

Of the NDIS, he said: “You cannot have a position where it is done under the smokescreen of a federal budget with the bill left to the states,” he said.

West Australian treasurer Christian Porter, who has spent a year as the only conservative at the state/federal meetings, said the GST system was in “serious disrepair”.

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