This is the text of a statement issued by Prime Minister John Howard in the lead-up to the Ryan by-election.
The G.S.T. has emerged as a major issue affecting the electoral support of the government.
Earlier, Howard had claimed that the ALP would raise the rate of the GST if elected to office, despite the fact that the ALP has consistently opposed the GST and voted against it in both houses of parliament in 1999.
Statement by Prime Minister John Howard.
In responding to my claim that the rate of the GST could rise under a future Federal Labor government because of rollback, the Victorian Premier, Mr Bracks, has said that there are ways other than raising the GST rate to fund rollback.
The Australian people should be immediately told about these other ways.
Mr Beazley and Mr Bracks should come clean. They should tell us how rollback is to be paid for.
Mr Bracks claims it won’t be through a rate rise in the GST.
Mr Beazley, having already guaranteed the States that they would not be worse off under rollback, has also promised to increase spending and not to lift income tax.
It simply won’t add up. Unless the Leader of the Opposition has found some hitherto unknown fiscal “fourth way” he has no capacity to deliver on his rollback commitments.
The Victorian Premier is to be thanked for blowing the cover on Federal Labor’s rollback deception.