Frustrated: Queensland Premier Campbell Newman and NSW Premier Mike Baird. Photo: Dominic Lorrimer
State premiers are demanding an "emergency" meeting to discuss an immediate multibillion-dollar shortfall in health and education funding from Canberra.
NSW Premier Mike Baird said the $80 billion in cuts to health and education projected in Tuesday's federal budget "cannot proceed".
Unhappy with the budget: from left to right, Tasmania Premier Will Hodgman, Victoria Premier Dennis Napthine and NSW Premier Mike Baird. Photo: Dominic Lorrimer
More than 1000 hospital beds nationally will be impacted by cuts to health, Mr Baird said at a meeting with the other state leaders in Sydney on Sunday.
"The cuts that have been put forward by the federal government, we cannot absorb," he said. "We can give no clearer message to Canberra than to say we cannot absorb these cuts."
Dismissing Prime Minister Tony Abbott's assertion that funding cuts would not bite the states until years into the future, Victorian Premier Denis Napthine said his state would be $200 million worse off from July 1.
Cuts: Treasurer Joe Hockey Photo: Andrew Meares
Mr Baird said his state had been left $2 billion out of pocket over the four-year forward estimates period.
The premiers want a specially-convened Council of Australian Governments meeting before July 1.
They have also asked for a planned white paper on tax reform to be expedited.
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman all but accused Mr Abbott and Treasurer Joe Hockey of trying to corner the states into calling for a higher or broader GST.
"I have a belief, and I think it is shared by the first ministers, that the federal government want us to talk about tax increases. Sorry, we are not going there," he said.
"In my state, we have done a lot of work cutting out inefficiency and waste and bureaucracy, and we didn't have to put pressure on people's cost of living, by putting up taxes on families. I think the federal government should look at their own inefficiencies, waste and bureaucracy for cuts before they go after tax increases. Simply they are passing $80 billion ... to the states."