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Government and Opposition both failing fiscal responsibility test

Media Release
Christine Milne 1 Apr 2012

Neither the Government nor the Opposition have the revenue options to fund disability insurance, childcare, aged care, Denticare and schools, unless they abandon proposed tax cuts for big business and get rid of wasteful fossil fuel subsidies, the Australian Greens said today.

"We can have a fair and forward-thinking budget which makes responsible savings and still invests wisely in helping people who are struggling and building a cleaner, healthier, cleverer future," Australian Greens Acting Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said.

"Tony Abbott's statements today that only a Coalition could deliver the surplus to fund disability reform flies in the face of his fiscal reality. The Coalition has a $70 billion funding hole to plug, opposes any mining tax and holds out the prospect of further tax cuts. That is in fact a recipe for massive cuts to social services, not a major reform like a disability insurance scheme.

"Meanwhile the Government would be in a far stronger position to fund increases in childcare funding, schools or Denticare if it abandoned the $16 billion tax break for large business (while allowing it to go ahead for the struggling small business sector) and got rid of the handouts to fossil fuel mining giants.

"Only the Greens are being fiscally responsible. Only the Greens are putting forward the revenue options like Treasury's original expanded mining tax, cuts to fossil fuel subsidies and a hold on the 30% corporate tax rate that could fund these social reforms.

"Australia has a falling tax take with an effective $21B pa lost in revenue since Labor came to office in 2007. It's time the old parties joined the Greens in advocating a fiscally responsible plan to fund services and nation building infrastructure."

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