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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.

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Greens call on Coalition, ALP to give aged pensioners a pay rise

Greens Leader Bob Brown today welcomed Coalition plans to review pensions and Labor's plans to increase the pension for Australian veterans by $30 per fortnight, but said it was time all aged pensions were increased.
"The Greens have been calling for a $60 a fortnight increase in aged pensions for some time and we are pleased that both the Labor and Liberal parties are responding to the Greens' policy," said Senator Brown said.

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Howard snubs aged pensioners - Greens

The Howard government is focused on giving the aged pension to more wealthy retirees when it should be focused on raising the income of those currently struggling on the aged pension, Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.
"The latest changes to the aged pension show how out of touch the Howard government has become. It could have spent $1 billion increasing the meagre aged pension by $20 per week, but instead it has decided to spend $1 billion giving the aged pension to wealthy retirees," Senator Brown said.

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Labor, Coalition vote against increasing the aged pension

Australia's 1.2 million pensioners were let down today when Labor and the Coalition voted down a Greens' motion to increase the aged pension by $60 a fortnight, Greens Leader Bob Brown said.
"Prime Minister John Howard has handed out $60 billion worth of tax cuts in recent years. Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd has offered the defence department a blank cheque if he is elected. Both are clearly prepared to spend billions of dollars elsewhere, so why not on pensioners?" Senator Brown asked.
The vote was 54 to 8 against the Greens motion read as follows:

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Why Walt Disney, Minister Andrews?

Greens Leader Bob Brown has called on Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews to answer why an extreme right-wing group, of which he is patron, is boycotting Walt Disney.
"After all, Walt Disney was a renowned advocate of family values. Maybe there is something symbolic or insidious hidden in one of Walt's cartoons?" Senator Brown said.
"But Minister Andrews, who has insisted that Dr Haneef warrants suspicion because he has not answered questions, should answer a few questions himself."

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MPs should cut 6.7% pay increase to match Fair Pay Commission ruling – Greens

Greens leader Bob Brown will move a disallowance motion in the Senate next month to cut the politicians' pay rise from 6.7% to 2.5%* in the wake of today's Fair Pay Commission ruling giving Australia's lowest paid workers a paltry 2% increase.
"MPs' pay rises should be determined by the Fair Pay Commission just the same as Australia's lowest paid workers," Senator Brown said.

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Greens call on Howard to raise aged pension by $60 a fortnight

Greens Leader Bob Brown today called on Prime Minister John Howard and Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd to raise the aged-pension by $60 a fortnight.
"There hasn't been a real increase in the aged- pension since 1993. The Greens call on Prime Minister John Howard and Opposition leader Kevin Rudd to increase the aged-pension by $60 a fortnight," Senator Brown said.

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At last – Brown gets unanimous Senate backing

The Senate has voted unanimously for Greens Leader Bob Brown's motion that:
The Senate wishes all Australians this season's greetings and a happy New Year.
The motion was passed this morning with much good cheer and Senator Brown claiming it likely to be his first unanimously backed motion in 11 years.
Further information: Ebony Bennett 0409 164 603

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Save Medibank Private – vote Greens

Australians can prevent the sale of Medibank Private by voting Greens at the next election, Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.  
"The sale is extraordinarily unpopular. This morning an AC Nielsen poll showed that 63% of Australians oppose (and 17% support) the Government's plan to offload Medibank Private and this afternoon the government backed down and postponed the sale," Senator Brown said.

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