GST revenue threatened by exemptions: PBO

The stoush between states and territories over the GST carve-up could intensify if household spending on exempt goods increases further.

New analysis by the independent Parliamentary Budget Office has found a rise in the proportion of goods and services purchased that are GST-exempt.

In particular, rent and other dwelling services, education and health.

"If consumption patterns continue as they have over the latter half of the past decade ... this could flow through to GST revenue, and could potentially result in lower than projected GST transfers to the states," the PBO said.

While the GST in dollar terms has steadily increased, as a percentage of GDP it has been volatile.

GST revenue to the states fell from 3.8 per cent of GDP in 2002/03 ($30.7 billion) to 3.2 per cent of GDP in 2013/14 ($51.1 billion).

Commonwealth budget papers project an increase to 3.4 per cent of GDP by 2017/18 ($63.6 billion).

The Abbott government has insisted all taxes are on the table in its tax white paper review, but has been reluctant to lead the charge on any change to the GST.

Instead, it would prefer the states take up the challenge.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and state and territory leaders have agreed to a mid-winter retreat in July, where they will thrash out reforms to the federation.

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