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Greens tell Cabinet to abandon cruel budget, embrace a healthy, clean energy future

The Australian Greens are urging those at tomorrow's Cabinet meeting to abandon Tony Abbott's brutal budget, saying no sales pitch can hide the fact that this government's obsession with propping up the fossil-fuelled past is making life harder for ordinary Australians and deterring investment and job creation.

"Tomorrow, when Cabinet meets to discuss its budget strategy, it should adopt the strategy of ditching this cruel, mean budget. Instead, we should be pursuing revenue streams that can drive the clean energy revolution and make people healthier," said Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne.

"The community hasn't fallen for the tricks. Joe Hockey's budget emergency has been exposed as a lie. There is no budget emergency, there is no rush and there is no justification for all these hits to the young, the poor, the elderly and the sick. Nor is there any justification for breaking election promises, undermining universal healthcare and the Renewable Energy Target.

"Cabinet needs to find its ticker tomorrow and admit it has got it all wrong," said Senator Milne.

"Today's talk of exempting vaccination visits from the GP co-payment is an admission from the Abbott government that its proposed $7 fee to see the doctor will be too much for families.

"Tony Abbott knows the Medicare co-payment will make life harder and has admitted it would deter people from making essential visits to the doctor.

"Exemptions and adjustments here and there will not change the fundamental fact that Australians do not want this budget to pass.

"Tony Abbott keeps asking for budget alternatives and the Greens have got plenty. We want to find common ground with the crossbench, Bill Shorten and the Treasurer on revenue-raisers that would make it very clear these cruel cuts are unnecessary, and to fund a healthy, future-focused Australia."

One example is an improved Mining Tax, which would generate more than $35 billion for the government over the forward estimates, according to the latest modelling from the Parliamentary Budget Office.

"When Parliament resumes we should fix the Mining Tax, not repeal it. It's good policy to set aside mining super-profits to fund the future, but Tony Abbott keeps proving he's governing for the past and for the big end of town.

"Ideological changes that turn Australia into a meaner, harder place to live reflect what Tony Abbott and his big business mates want Australia to become, but they have been firmly rejected by the people.

"The Greens are calling on the Government to ditch this cruel budget and change direction."

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