In exchange for a hand-written list of reviews, inquiries and vague commitments, the Government has conned the Xenophon party into supporting a $15 billion hit on an already stressed Commonwealth budget.
“Today is a win for the Government’s corporate donors, and a punch in the guts for everyone else,” Australian Greens Acting Leader Senator Scott Ludlam said in the wake of the marathon Senate sitting.
“Before the debate had even started, Pauline Hanson capitulated and sided with the Government, guaranteeing her continued irrelevance. Senator Xenophon held out for longer while the Government whispered sweet nothings in his ear, until walking away with next to nothing,” said Australian Greens Treasury Spokesperson Senator Peter Whish-Wilson.
“Imagine a government creating an energy crisis through pure incompetence, and then using this failure as a bargaining chip to give big business a tax cut.
“What’s worse, any gains for clean energy in this deal will be completely overshadowed by the proposals that encourage filthy fracking in the NT,” Senator Whish-Wilson said.
“The Government has been demanding the poorest Australians tighten their belts, through cuts to social services and putting the weekend pay of some of the poorest workers at risk. At the same time as crying poor they are now blowing a huge hole in future revenues, and buying votes in the senate with secret deals,” said Senator Ludlam.
“We will remember this debacle the next time the Government claims it can’t afford healthcare, education and social services. At a time of widening inequality, this is exactly the opposite of what a responsible Government would be doing.” Senator Ludlam concluded.