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Audit report a kick in the guts for families: Greens

Media Release
Christine Milne 1 May 2014

The Australian Greens have today slammed the report from Tony Abbott's Commission of Audit which protects the big end of town while slugging families and low income earners.

"This is a hit on every family in the country, while Gina Rinehart gets off scot-free," said Australian Greens Leader, Christine Milne.

"Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey handpicked commissioners from the big end of town and rigged the terms of reference to ensure that the audit would focus on sweeping cuts to government services. And the commission has delivered precisely the report the government wanted.

"Rather than tackling fossil fuel subsidies or corporate welfare, the report would see Australian families bear the brunt of cuts. We should be investing in our children's education, building up Medicare and protecting our environment, but this report would see them destroyed, so long as big business is protected.

"It goes to what sort of country Tony Abbott wants to deliver. This report's vision is one of a nation that abandons universal health care, destroys equal access to education and leaves us vulnerable to further climate disasters," said Senator Milne.

The Greens' health spokesperson and chair of the Senate Committee into the Commission of Audit, Senator Richard Di Natale, said this report tears apart some of the most important aspects of our social fabric.

"If the Abbott government implements this report then Medicare will be dead, buried and cremated," said Dr Di Natale.

"This is the blueprint for a two-tiered American-style health system with families forced into the hands of private health insurers. Medicare will become nothing more than a second-rate safety net for poor people.

"Tomorrow morning my Senate inquiry will be holding a special hearing and calling in Commission of Audit chair Tony Shepherd, so that he can explain why he has recommended cutting vital services and ignored raising revenue."

Greens Deputy Leader, Adam Bandt said that the report was the end of Australian egalitarianism.

"This is a recipe for higher unemployment and a divided Australia, where the poor and low-paid workers are thrown to the wolves.

"For single parents , young people and Australians with a disability, the report is all stick and no carrot," said Mr Bandt.

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