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Baird pitches for GST that voters reject

NSW premier Mike Baird confronted by protesters against forced council amalgamations in NSW in Sydney on January 18. AAP Image/Paul Miller

NSW premier Mike Baird confronted by protesters against forced council amalgamations in NSW in Sydney on January 18. AAP Image/Paul Miller

Rashida Yosufzai, AAP

NSW Premier Mike Baird is renewing his pitch to hike the GST despite indications voters would reject the plan.

Mr Baird wants the consumption tax raised to 15 per cent by July next year to pay for health and education spending.

He believes $32 billion a year could be raised in 2017/18 to deliver the states $7 billion to cover funding gaps, including the final two years of the Gonski education agreements.

It would also include compensation for low income families and reductions to company and income taxes.

Mr Baird says his ‘modified consensus plan’ is the start of a process to bring the GST campaign together.

‘I think that is a good deal,’ he said in a video message posted on Twitter on Monday.

However, a new poll shows the public believes otherwise.

A majority of voters would reject increasing the GST rate even with compensation and tax cuts, the latest Newspoll shows.

More than half – 54 per cent – would oppose the hike and only 37 per cent would back a GST increase, with coalition voters the most supportive of the plan.

Meanwhile, the rift between South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill and his federal counterparts over the issue continues to deepen.

Mr Weatherill has said federal Labor lacked a ‘coherent or sustainable’ funding model for the Gonski plan without a hike in the GST.

Federal Labor frontbencher Stephen Conroy has dared Mr Weatherill to call a state election to test his support for a GST increase.

‘They would reject utterly Mr Weatherill if he was to campaign on increasing the GST,’ Senator Conroy told ABC radio on Monday.


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