VICTORIA continues to be short-changed by the Commonwealth, with the state last year getting an average of nearly $500 less per person than the national average in federal grant payments.
Federal Treasury's final tally of the 2011-12 budget shows Victoria was paid $21.4 billion by the Commonwealth in 2011-12, a disproportionately small 22 per cent of the national total given the state's one-quarter population share.
When averaged across the population, each Victorian received the equivalent of $3838 worth of GST revenue and ''specific purpose'' grant payments for health, education, infrastructure, housing, welfare and the environment.
It was by far the lowest funding share in the nation and $476 less for every man, woman and child than the national average per person payment of $4314.
Victoria has long complained it is being unfairly treated under the formula used to carve up the GST among the states and territories, which it claims is arbitrary, unnecessarily complex and unfair.
The government has commissioned an independent review of the GST distribution, due later this year. Victoria is using it to push for a new formula that would see the GST divided by population share, arguing other objectives such as providing access to basic services are best achieved using other sources of funding.
But the budget papers, released yesterday by Treasurer Wayne Swan, suggest Victoria is also being squeezed on the so-called special purpose payments.
In 2011-12, Victoria received 19.9 per cent of the cash for skills and workforce development and 21.5 per cent of the funding for community services. It received 16.9 per cent of the total for housing and 18.6 per cent for infrastructure - well below its population share.
Mr Wells urged voters to ''send the Gillard government'' a message, suggesting Victoria was being taken for granted because it had been deemed politically less crucial than other states, such as Queensland and New South Wales.
''Victorians should be angered that the Gillard government is withholding revenue to fund basic services and infrastructure,'' Mr Wells said.
''Over the past decade [it] has received less Commonwealth funding per person than any other state.
The figures, analysed by The Age, show the Commonwealth provided general funding - mostly GST payments - equivalent to $1859 for each Victorian. Another $1979 was made in specific grant payments.
A spokesman for Treasurer Swan said ''the concept of horizontal fiscal equalisation'' - sharing federal funding fairly around Australia - is the principle that has underpinned our federation.
''It's cheap political point scoring for Mr Wells to say he's try moving away from this principle - one which successive federal and state governments of both political persuasions have supported for many decades,'' he said.