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Greens warn Labor not to lurch to the right on budget cuts

Media Release
Christine Milne 29 Jul 2013

The Australian Greens are warning the federal government against lurching further to the right by taking the razor to programs that care for people and protect the environment.

"It is disgraceful that Labor cuts support for single parents and refuses to increase Newstart and now wants to send the unemployed to boot camps," Australian Greens Leader Senator Milne said.

"It is time Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott stopped attacking the environment and the poor and instead directed their focus on raising money from those who can afford to pay such as Rio Tinto who paid no mining tax in the June quarter.

"Having wasted the benefits of the boom it now seems that the community and the environment are going to have to pay because the old parties lack the courage to take on those who can afford it.

"Minister Bowen also needs to come clean on how much of the razor gangs cuts will be used to pay for Labor's cruel and inhumane PNG plan and specifically what is the dollar figure they are putting on the cruelty they intend to deliver.
"Australia should be investing in higher education, not cutting funding to universities and putting students under even greater pressure. We should be increasing Newstart, not condemning people to poverty, and we should be caring for single parents, not making their lives even more difficult.

"We can do all these things and more, like bringing dental care into Medicare for everyone, by standing up to the big mining companies and big banks and demanding a fairer contribution to the community.

"While Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott fight each other in a race to the bottom, the Greens are only party standing up for what matters by focusing on raising revenue from those who can afford to pay."

The Greens revenue raising plan, costed by the Parliamentary Budget Office, will raise an extra $42.7 billion by:

1. Fixing the mining tax. So the multi-national mining corporations pay their fair share for mining our natural resources. An improved mining tax will raise $21.8 billion over the three years from 1 July 2014.

2. Abolishing tax breaks for the fossil fuel industry and assistance to carbon capture and storage programs. This will raise an additional $12 billion over the forward estimates. Please note: These proposals are directed at big mining companies and ending tax breaks for fossil fuels. They will not impact farmers in any way.

3. Introducing a Public Support Levy on the big banks. A 20 basis point levy on bank assets over $100 billion will raise $8.4 billion over the three years from 1 July 2014.

4. Increasing the marginal tax rate on incomes over $1 million. Increasing the rate to 50 per cent from 1 July 2014 will raise $500 million over the forward estimates.


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