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Budget, like Turnbull, a massive let-down: Greens

Media Release
Adam Bandt 3 May 2016

"This Budget is a massive let-down, just like Malcolm Turnbull has turned out to be," said Australian Greens Leader Richard Di Natale.

"The government is pretending it can afford unsustainable and unfair tax cuts for the big end of town by claiming fanciful levels of economic growth.

"While champagne will be flowing in board rooms across the country, these irresponsible cuts come at the expense of long-term funding for schools, hospitals and public services.

"Rather than reducing inequality the government has chosen to make it worse by cutting social support, university funding and health services.

"The Treasurer wants to claim that this is an economic plan for extraordinary times, but he failed to mention global warming once. His speech has a wasteful defence plan but absolutely no plan to deal with the single greatest challenge facing our economy: the transition to clean energy that would power the new economy.

"The government doesn't see the jobs of the 21st century in building wind turbines and public transport, they see them in building military hardware.

"While subsidies continue to flow to the fossil fuel industry, more than a billion dollars is being ripped out of clean energy.

"The much-trumpeted $50 billion investment in infrastructure turns out to be a case of smoke and mirrors. It's just a repackaging of existing funding.

"While the Greens have led the way on multinational tax avoidance and superannuation reforms, the government's response barely scratches the surface. On so many other important reforms, like negative gearing, the government has completely squibbed it.

"The Treasurer was right about one thing: we are in extraordinary times and that's why this Budget needed to show some vision and courage to tackle the major challenges of the 21st century. Instead we got more cuts to essential services, a ramping up of defence spending and a deafening silence on global warming.

"When Malcolm Turnbull took on the leadership, he said that Tony Abbott was not capable of leading the economic transition this country needs. Tonight the Prime Minister has shown he is not up to the task either," Senator Di Natale said.

Greens Treasury spokesperson, Adam Bandt MP said:

"Just like Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull is taking the axe to the young, the old, the sick and the poor while handing out tax cut election bribes to high income earners and business.

"With our schools and hospitals desperately in need of investment, now is not the time for unaffordable and unfair tax cut election bribes.

"Over the next decade, the tax cuts for big business will grow inequality in Australia by eroding our ability to fund social services.

"The government is ripping $4b out of schools and hospitals for a $6/week tax cut for higher income earners, a tax cut that won't even buy a sandwich in a city lunch bar.

"The flagged $4.1 billion for schools and hospitals won't even touch the sides of the $80 billion hole that Tony Abbott blew in health and education.

"How can the government look Australians in the eye and rip $6 billion out of universities, welfare, Medicare and the public sector while giving more than $12 billion in tax cuts and tax breaks to business, high income earners and the super wealthy?

"This is a missed opportunity to remove unfair tax breaks from the super system. Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison had the support and goodwill of business groups, civil society, the unions and the Parliament to end unfair tax breaks in our super system and raise desperately needed revenue but they've failed.

"Truly reforming our super system could bring in more than four times as much as revenue, make the system fairer and help super work in the way it was intended.

"By day Malcolm Turnbull praises our public service, yet by Budget night he continues Tony Abbott's attacks. $1.4 billion is set to be cut from our public sector and it adds to the 16,000 public servants axed under Labor and Liberal over the past 5 years.

"The government says it wants to help young people get jobs, yet it still plans to rip 20 per cent of public investment out of our universities and instead is only offering them voluntary internship programs," said Mr Bandt.


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