Greens say $34b should go to schools, hospitals, climate change and the poor
Yesterday's tax cuts took Australia a giant new step towards the flat tax beloved by US neo-conservatives and Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.
"Once again the rich get the biggest gains. The big end of town, those on $200, 000 per annum will get $128 per week while battling households on $70,000 per annum will get just $20 per week.
'This $34 billion should have gone to hospitals, schools, carers, housing and public transport to help Australian battlers with services rather than an untargeted cash windfall," Senator Brown said.
The Greens would have put Australia's 2 million pensioners first with a $30 per week rise costing $3 billion per annum.
$10 billion per year is a lot of money; it be much better spent to boost living standards in Australia.
· $10 billion per year could employ an extra 140,000 teachers, nurses and other professionals (based on salary and on costs of $70,000 per year, if you assume $100,000 each for wages and on costs then you could employ an extra 100,000); or
· $10 billion per year could buy 3 million solar hot water systems
in 3 years all Australian households could have a free solar hot water system with a huge saving in CO2 polluting the atmosphere; or
· $10 billion per year could make public transport free with enough money left over to invest in a massive expansion of the existing public transport network with the huge savings bonus in greenhouse gas emissions from Australia; or
· $ 10 billion per year could pay for a $60 per fortnight increase in the aged pension, with money left over to reintroduce the Commonwealth Dental Scheme and invest significantly in improved aged care, including assistance to Australia's "forgotten" carers (doubling the Carer Allowance to $197 per fortnight would cost $927 million); or
· $10 billion per year could raise Australia's spending on education to the front of OECD rankings AND abolish HECS fees which confront the nation's tertiary education standards.
Further information: Ebony Bennett 0409 164 603
Authorised and printed by Christine Milne, Parliament House, Canberra, ACT 2600