Greens release economic principles for upcoming Budget and election

Greens Treasury spokesperson Adam Bandt MP and Finance spokesperson Senator Peter Whish-Wilson will today release the party’s Budget Principles for the 2016 Budget and Federal Election.

“To make society more equal, we need more tax, starting at the top,” Greens Treasury spokesperson Mr Bandt said.

“We'd rather have an Australia where everyone gets great public education and healthcare, which means being upfront about growing our revenue base by getting rid of unfair tax breaks and asking the very wealthy to pay more.”

“We're unapologetically opposing personal and corporate tax cuts this election and refusing to join a tax cuts arms race that will undermine public education, health and welfare.”

“It's time to stop treating debt like a four letter word. Liberal and Labor have become so debt-phobic that they've lost sight of what every household knows: if you can afford to borrow now so you've got an asset in the future, it can be a worthwhile investment.”

“There's no point in having a AAA credit rating if you don't use it.”

“It's time for some green Keynesianism as we start the next Apollo project, making Australia a renewable energy superpower. We owe it to future generations to start building clean, productive infrastructure now, taking advantage of this historic opportunity for governments to borrow cheaply.”

“Labor and Liberal have become so myopic that they'll cut support for single parents because of their fetish for a surplus, forgetting that the economy is meant to work in the interests of society, not the other way around.”

“It's not whether the budget is in deficit or surplus that matters, it's the sustainability and justification for the budget position.”

“Better to have a small deficit and well-funded public schools than a small surplus and an undereducated society.”

Greens Finance spokesperson Senator Whish-Wilson said: “The Greens have been chairing a long-running Senate Select Committee into infrastructure financing and what more the government can do to get money moving into productive infrastructure investment.”

“We have heard evidence from experts and business and government leaders around the country that Australia is under invested in infrastructure and a new approach is needed to build our nation, drive intergenerational equity and deliver jobs and prosperity.”

“There is also a strong consensus that now is a unique point in history for governments to take on cheap, long-term debt and invest in productive infrastructure.”

“The Greens have listened and have a detailed plan to innovate infrastructure financing and funding and deliver jobs and investment in the new economy.”

Australian Laureate Fellow in Economics at the University of Queensland John Quiggin added his support to the Greens’ Budget Principles.

“It’s time to lay to rest the longstanding myth that the Liberal and National Parties are superior economic managers,” Professor Quiggin said.

“The Greens’ statement of economic principles represents a coherent, progressive and responsible approach to economic management, contrasting very favourably with the shambles of the past three years under the Abbott-Turnbull government.”

The release of these principles follows the Greens ruling out supporting income or company tax cuts in the upcoming Budget or election, as well as their release of a number of measures that would end unfair tax breaks and raise billions of dollars in revenue. The revenue measures announced include: progressively taxing superannuation concessions; ending negative gearing on any new investments; phasing out the capital gains tax exemption; making the deficit levy permanent; creating a millionaire’s tax; and ending the diesel fuel rebate for big miners. Spending measures announced include: Renew Australia, our plan to create Australia’s new clean economy with at least 90% renewables by 2030; our housing affordability plan; Homeless Services Action Plan; and increasing Australian aid.

Media contact: Adam Pulford, 0429 109 054

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