• Initiatives that help locally owned small businesses, including online distribution, tax incentives and training courses.
• The Greens don’t favour the big end of town because they don’t accept corporate donations.
The complete range of Greens policies regarding the economy can be found here
The Australian Greens believe that:
- A prosperous and sustainable economy relies upon a healthy natural environment. Economies exist within, and are dependent upon, natural systems. Environmental stewardship is, therefore, central to good economic management.
- The pursuit of continuous material-based economic growth is incompatible with the planet’s finite resources. In order to provide for the needs of present and future generations, economic management should prioritise improving the quality of life rather than the production and consumption of material output.
- Human induced climate change poses the greatest threat to our world, requiring Australia, and all nations, to transform to a low carbon economy. The cost of addressing climate change now is far less than the cost of failing to do so.
- Measures of national progress should include indicators of ecological sustainability and social wellbeing.
- Equity of access to the essentials of life and the promotion of equality are central goals for a civilised society.
- The continued existence of poverty and growing inequalities of income and wealth undermine social wellbeing and democracy. Achieving social justice and eliminating poverty depend on greater democratisation of the economy.
- Governments have an essential role in regulating markets and ensuring that any externalities are reflected in market prices of goods and services. In a mixed economy, markets that function well and are fair, efficient and competitive, have an important role in the allocation of resources.
- Deliberate and coordinated government intervention and, where appropriate, government assistance, is necessary to encourage a diverse and resilient Australian manufacturing industry and create more green employment opportunities in a dynamic economy.
- While government finances must be sustainable over the long-term, it is appropriate to stimulate the economy during economic downturns and save during economic booms. Government financing should be responsibly managed so as to minimise intergenerational debt.
- Government policies that guide investment should prioritise the long-term public interest not the short-term desire of companies to maximise profits.
- Natural monopolies and essential public services should generally be in public ownership. Whether in public or private ownership, natural monopolies and essential public services should be subject to a regime of transparency, accountability and stewardship that ensures maximum benefit to the public. Not-for-profit involvement with the provision of essential services and infrastructure should also be subject to a long-term community benefit test.
- Government financing is the preferred mechanism for funding public infrastructure.
- A secure and expanded revenue base is required so that governments can fund a high standard of infrastructure and human services including education, health, transport, environmental protection and social security. Much of the additional revenue required should be raised by taxing polluting industries, resource extraction and economic rent.
- The taxation and transfer system should operate on a progressive, not regressive, basis.
- Tax revenue from the extraction of finite resources should be invested for the future or focussed on providing public infrastructure, rather than used to meet recurrent expenditure that does not meet these ends.
- The tax regime can be a powerful tool to transform the economy using appropriate incentives and penalties that reward socially and ecologically responsible effort.
- Social services such as health, education and social care, should be available through universal access to high quality public and community services.
- Public assistance is generally best provided through universal service provision or targeted payments, rather than through tax concessions which often fail to assist low-income earners.
- Unemployment benefits, pensions and other government allowances should enable all Australians to live with dignity, provide an adequate Co-operative and collaborative structures for the organization of work and the provision of goods and services can provide important community benefits.
- Strong support for local and regional economies is important as they contribute to a sustainable national economy by providing diversity and resilience.
Aims of our Economic Policies
The Australian Greens want:
- An economy that will reduce greenhouse gas pollution to an atmospheric concentration of 350ppm or less.
- The introduction of broad measures of genuine national progress including the production of a comprehensive national balance sheet that reflects this.
- A reduction in the inequities in the current tax and transfer system, including:
taxing trusts as companies;
removing fossil fuel subsidies;
redirecting funding from subsidising private health insurance towards direct public provision;
strengthening the progressivity of the income tax and transfer system across all income levels including by reducing effective marginal tax rates for low income workers, and increasing the marginal tax rate on incomes over $1 million.
- Taxation reforms that improve housing affordability by no longer rewarding speculation and reducing asset inequality.
- A shift in taxation that helps restructure the economy by rewarding productive activity that avoids pollution, degradation of natural resources and rent seeking.
- An end to subsidies and tax concessions to environmentally harmful industries. Instead, subsidies should be provided to aid the development of alternative industries and training to assist in re-employment.
- To increase the rate of minerals resource rent taxation and broaden the commodity base.
- The prioritisation of social and environmental goals in any reform of public service delivery. Where market-based mechanisms are used in the delivery of public services or goods, such mechanisms should not undermine the achievement of social equity and ecological sustainability.
- To increase the transparency and accountability of the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) in making its decisions against the National Interest Test. The National Interest Test should be strengthened to incorporate national, ecological and social objectives.
To provide direct industry assistance towards the energy efficiency and renewable energy industries, in order to spur research and development, overcome market inertia, create new long-term employment and rapidly decarbonise the economy.
- A simpler, more transparent superannuation system with fairer rates of taxation and ethical investment structures, which provides equitable retirement incomes, particularly for women.
- Better incentives for superannuation funds to invest in government securities and public infrastructure.
- Full accountability of government and corporations to the broader community, including implementing holistic accounting measures at all levels of government to incorporate social, environmental and financial impacts into policy development and assessment.
- Transparent and accountable public utilities and government business enterprises. Where public subsidies are provided, information on the full environmental, social and fiscal costs should be publicly available.
- The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to have the powers and resources to prevent the formation of monopolies through ‘creeping acquisitions’, and to divest monopolies and oligopolies of assets if they are abusing their market power.
Measures to reduce excessive executive salaries.