The government’s principal of horizontal fiscal equalisation, she expounded, ensured that no matter where you lived, you would have the ability to access services of an equal nature to those available everywhere else.
The happy guarantee to a state awash with nervous Labor MPs dispensed with, Ms Gillard set about mauling Mr Abbott who, deprived of his equal ability to say anything, had to cop it.
An Abbott administration, Ms Gillard charged, would rip $6 billion from Tasmania’s allocation – $1200 from the mouths of every man, woman and child in the state. And that was before he started chopping into other programs.
Abbott had to wait to the end of question time to protest that he’d been verballed and that Tasmanians wouldn’t lose any of their GST under him, but by then, no one was listening.