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Greens to oppose deficit levy and offer permanent taxes on wealthy

The Australian Greens will oppose a temporary so-called deficit levy but have left open the option for permanent increases in taxes on the wealthy if the Abbott government wants to get serious about progressive structural tax reform.

"Australia needs long-term structural economic reform for the future to address challenges like climate change and growing inequality," Greens Leader Christine Milne said.

"Both those challenges highlight the need for permanent revenue streams - not phoney temporary measures.

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Greens move to end policy costing farce

"The Greens will move to end, once and for all, the election policy costing shambles," Australian Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne said.

"In the next parliament we will move legislation to ensure election policies are independently costed and made publicly available as soon as Treasury and the Parliamentary Budget Office can cost them.

"To have policy costings released without independent verification and two days from polling day is an insult to the public.

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Milne to Abbott: We will block your secret slash and burn agenda

Australian Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne says obfuscation by Tony Abbott on details of the Coalition's savings measures is a deliberate attempt to hide his razor gang from voters.

"Tony Abbott wants to cut environment spending and the public service to fund tax breaks for the rich but he isn't being honest with the Australian people about it," Senator Milne said.

"Mr Abbott wants total control of the parliament and for the Senate to wave through policies he won't even come clean on. He is hiding the ruthlessness of his razor gang from voters.

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Labor's cowardice and cruelty

Labor's cowardice and refusal to raise money from those who can afford it has led to cutting a billion dollars from the world's poorest to spend on cruelty.

"Labor will spend over a billion dollars on its cruel and inhumane PNG ‘solution' while hitting the aid budget and Australia's public service," Australian Greens Leader Senator Milne said.

"We shouldn't be slashing money from the aid budget or the public service in a rush back to surplus.

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Treasury tight-lipped on Rudd's G20 commitment on fossil fuel subsidies

With Australia due to present a progress report on Kevin Rudd's commitment to phase out fossil fuel subsidies at a G20 meeting in Korea this weekend, Treasury has refused to provide any information on this progress report to Senate Estimates hearings today.

Mr Rudd committed at the G20 leaders' meeting in Pittsburgh last September to prepare implementation plans and timelines for phasing out fossil fuel subsidies. This weekend's meeting in Busan, Korea, is supposed to be a final review of plans prior to the leaders' meeting in Toronto at the end of June.

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Treasury modelling begs the question: Why not go harder, faster?

Even with its pessimistic assumptions on energy efficiency and renewable energy, Treasury modelling released today backs the Greens position that cutting emissions hard and fast makes economic and environmental sense, Australian Greens climate change spokesperson, Senator Christine Milne, said today.

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