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The recently released Grattan Institute Report shows that if Australia is to avoid a national revenue crisis the Gillard Government must fix the mining tax immediately and stop handing over billions in fossil fuel subsidies to Australia’s biggest and wealthiest mining companies.
“Labor needs to come clean on why it won’t fix the mining tax and why it is handing over billions of dollars in fossil fuel subsidies to people like Gina Rinehart and Clive Palmer when we are facing both ongoing deficits and a national revenue collapse,” Australian Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne said.
“Closing the loopholes in the mining tax and scrapping $13.8 billion in fossil fuel subsidies would help fund important initiatives like the Gonski school funding reforms and the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
“Clearly, Labor does not have the courage to take on the big mining companies, particularly in an election year.
“The Greens are the only party who have put costed revenue raising proposals on the table that would boost government coffers by tens of billions of dollars.
“The Grattan Institute supports what the Greens have been saying for a long time – that the accelerated depreciation rate for mining companies is sucking billions out of the budget that should be going to single parents, public schools and health care.
“Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott cannot afford to keep squandering the benefits of the resources boom while single parents are struggling to survive and our schools miss out.
“Just as the Greens have said, the report shows a race to a budget surplus is poor economic management and cutting government services is not the best way back to a balanced budget.
“The report also exposes the Coalition’s fiscally reckless economic management with Tony Abbott proposing to burn a $11 billion hole in the budget by 2020 with uncosted policies such as paid parental leave and Direct Action, while abolishing effective and important revenue raising measures such as the mining tax and carbon price.
“The Grattan Institute says that fixing the budget will require more tax, increased savings and some tough political choices.
“So my question to the Prime Minister and Tony Abbott is – do we keep giving billions of dollars in tax concessions to big mining companies or is it time to help Australians by funding better education, improved healthcare and lifting people out of poverty?
“Only the Greens can be trusted to stand up to the big mining companies and deliver revenue-raising measures that won’t hurt Australia’s most vulnerable.
“This report also shows that you need the Greens in the balance of power to stop Tony Abbott’s wrecking ball economics.”
Posted by admin on April 20, 2013
The Australian Greens argue that the new budget submission from ACOSS puts further pressure on the Government to increase support for jobseekers and single parents in next month’s Budget.
“The Government needs to listen to ACOSS and the individuals and organisations who are calling for an increase in Newstart,” Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on families and community services said today.
“People are falling further and further into poverty. The Government needs to provide a meaningful increase in Newstart in the May budget.
“Despite some Labor MPs finding their voice on this issue, the Government has continued its march towards the Coalition’s conservative policies in regards to our most vulnerable people. The May budget is the chance for them to take a new path, one which helps people find secure work, without putting them at risk of falling deeper into poverty.
“In the 12 months since my own week on Newstart, things have only become harder for people living more than $130 below the poverty line. Despite this, Newstart has continued to fall behind increases to the cost of living.
“The Greens are the only party taking the necessary steps in Parliament to help vulnerable people. My Private Member’s Bill increases Newstart by $50 per week and could be funded by fixing the mining tax.
“Everyone knows that Newstart needs increasing, but MPs from the older parties remain steadfast in their unwillingness to take meaningful action in Parliament. The May Budget is this Government’s big change chance to prove they genuinely care about vulnerable people,” Senator Siewert concluded.
Posted by admin on April 7, 2013
Greens Deputy Leader and workplace spokesperson Adam Bandt MP will move amendments to the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Consumer Protection) Bill 2013, currently before Parliament, to protect Sensis workers from off shoring. Mr Bandt joined a rally of Sensis workers in Melbourne who are fighting a decision by Telstra to cut up 700 workers from the directory business.
“Our national phone company shouldn’t send up to 700 jobs overseas just to make more profit,” Mr Bandt said.
“The law already requires Telstra to produce a phone directory for the benefit of the Australian public and the Greens’ amendment would require that work to be done locally.”
“As one of the major advertisers in the phone directories, the government should be using public money to protect local jobs.”
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A push for higher salaries for teachers should spark a national conversation about the recognition of the teaching profession, says Australian Greens spokesperson for Schools, Senator Penny Wright.
“It is wonderful that there is growing recognition of the need to treat teaching as we treat other professions,” Senator Wright said.
“At the moment, teachers reach the highest pay level very quickly and the only way they can advance their careers is to move out of the classroom to administrative roles.
“The Australian Greens know that if we want the best and brightest to be teaching our students, we have to offer career opportunities and incentives to stay in teaching positions.
“Last year, an OECD Education at a Glance report showed that the salaries of experienced teachers in Australia are lagging behind their counterparts in other countries.
“A very large number of prominent institutions, businesses and individuals are calling for a new approach to teacher pay, and I encourage State and Federal Governments to begin this discussion in earnest.
“We need to attract the best to teaching and we need to keep them there once they are in the workforce, which means fair wages, appropriate career structures and support for the challenging work they do.”