Hodgman sends mixed messages to Canberra Thu 10 May 2012 Lara Giddings Premier The Premier, Lara Giddings, today called on Will Hodgman to stop sending mixed messages to Canberra.Ms Giddings said Mr Hodgman had clearly taken advice from Tony Abbott on how to hold two polar opposite political positions at the same time. "Mr Hodgman says he wants Tasmania to stand on its own two feet and yet he is bleating louder than anyone about the results of the Federal Budget. "He wants to put away the begging bowl, but in the same breath, he wants more hand-outs from Canberra. "And it is the height of duplicity to claim Tasmania has received a slap in the face from Canberra when his own Federal Leader would rip up to $700 million out of Tasmania every year by changing the GST formula. "Unlike Tony Abbott, who would make a deliberate policy decision that would cost Tasmania $700 million, the current fall in GST revenue for Tasmania is simply a reflection of a shrinking GST pool as consumers spend less. "Mr Hodgman's attempt to blame the Australian Government for falling GST revenue is a shameful attempt to cover his embarrassment about Mr Abbott's potential vandalism of Tasmania. Ms Giddings said in contrast to the politically consumed opposition, the State Government was providing responsible financial management in the face of significant global and national pressures. "The Liberals remain oblivious to the global economic waves that continue to wash against our shores. "Unlike the Liberals, the State Government does not respond to these challenges with blame or panic, we have stepped up to the task of providing strong and stable financial management. "There is no doubt conditions are tough, and they are not getting any easier, but we have a clear plan to get Tasmania back on a sustainable footing." Ms Giddings said the economic confusion of the Liberals extended to Peter Gutwein, who had displayed a breathtaking ignorance of Budget matters in his comments about GST forecasts. "There is nothing unusual, untoward or inaccurate about the forecast method used by Tasmanian Treasury. "Most other states including WA, Victoria, South Australia and NSW prepare their own GST forecasts for the Forward Estimates to factor in the fluctuations of the Commonwealth Grants Commission process. "The Commonwealth uses a relatively simple formula for determining each state's share of the estimated level of GST Revenue that does not take account of the expected changes in relativity that occur from one year to the next. "For example, Tasmania's GST relativities have been distorted by the capital funding for the Royal Hobart Hospital project but once this money flows through the system we can reasonably expect our GST payments to bounce back. The Treasury estimates will be taking these sorts of things into account. "Peter Gutwein might like to think he is smarter than the collective minds of Treasury but I will rely on their collective knowledge any day over Mr Gutwein's politically motivated posturing."