“At a time of great change like now, investing properly in health, education and food is absolutely critical to building a better, smarter, healthier future for us all,” Australian Greens Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said.
“As the World Economic Forum said recently;
“Unless the present link between growth and the consumption of scarce resources is severed, our resource base, governance, and policy structures are unlikely to sustain the standards of living societies have grown accustomed to and aspire to.”
“Therefore we should be looking at ways to tax ‘bads’ like pollution, and share the benefits to our whole society from the mining bubble, rather than put more tax on the goods that we want to invest in.
“Expanding a regressive tax like the GST onto education – the single most important thing to invest in if we are to build a flourishing, innovative society – would be to head in completely the wrong direction.
“The game-changer is the implementation of the Gonski review. We need to invest $5 billion a year to improve education outcomes in Australia.
“How would extending the GST to health care help to build a healthier society? And how would applying the GST to fresh foods encourage people to eat well and support Australian food producers?
“Instead of increasing taxes on health and education we should be investing the $5 billion a year the Gonski review called for to bring our schools up to OECD standard and give our kids the best possible education, and set up a proper Medicare-style scheme for dental care.
“We have the money to make these vital investments for building a better future if we look at taxing pollution and super-profitable mining corporations in a fairer and more reasonable way.
“We do need to reform our economy to take into account the changes in the world around us, but it’s time we did that by taking a good hard look at the huge benefits to our society at large by cutting the billions of dollars we hand out each year to polluters or putting in place the kind of real super profits tax on mining corporations recommended by Ken Henry.”