Greens Treasury spokesperson Adam Bandt MP says Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook is the canary in the coal mine, reinforcing the need to grow the new economy and get rid of unfair tax breaks if Australia is to avoid descent into austerity and economic irrelevance.
Mr Bandt says the cuts to programs outlined in today's announcement are too harsh and are unnecessary, as the government should instead tackle unfair tax breaks for the wealthy. The Greens have outlined $38 billion in unfair tax breaks, costed by the Parliamentary Budget Office.
Mr Bandt also said the collapse in commodity prices and the end of the mining investment boom reinforces the need for a government-led shift to the new economy powered by clean energy.
“This MYEFO is the canary in the coal mine, reinforcing the need to grow the new economy and get rid of unfair tax breaks,” Mr Bandt said.
“There is no contingency plan if the iron ore price keeps falling.”
“After two years of Coalition government, Australia remains heavily reliant on a small number of commodities and Scott Morrison's only response is to once more take an axe to the old, the sick and the poor.”
“Scott Morrison still hasn't learnt from Joe Hockey's unfair Budget disaster.”
“There are $38 billion in savings* if the government is prepared to tackle unfair tax breaks that benefit the wealthy. Instead the government attacks Medicare, childcare and aged care while letting the very wealthy off the hook.”
“The alarm bells are ringing and Australia must act now to avoid austerity and economic irrelevance.”
“With Paris signing coal's death warrant and China wanting less of our iron ore, Australia risks sleepwalking into irrelevance, a nineteenth century economy in a twenty first century world.”
“The big cuts include $1.2 billion from health, $1.9 billion from social services, $472 million from aged care, $1.4 billion from childcare. There is no new spending for the environment, except $2.5 million for continuing Tony Abbott’s attack on wind farms via a wind farm commissioner. Meanwhile the big-end -of-town avoids any savings, including the big banks whose successful lobbying against the bank levy is a further cost to the Budget.”
*By winding back just four sets of unfair tax breaks alone, costings from the Parliamentary Budget Office released by the Greens show $37.6 billion in additional revenue could be raised. These include, limiting superannuation tax breaks for high income earners; an end to the capital gains tax discount; an end to negative gearing for new investors; and an end to most fossil fuel subsidies.