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Malcolm Turnbull’s Trump-style budget a dead end for Australia

“Rarely do budgets give us such stark choices about what kind of future we want for our country, but this one surely does. We have a clear choice between the Liberals’ selfish, dog-eat-dog worldview or a more caring society where we look after each other,” Dr Richard Di Natale said.

“Under the Government’s radical US-style tax plan, a hedge fund manager on $200,000 gets 10 times the tax cut as the person who trims the hedges around his mansion. 

“We have a progressive tax system in Australia but now we have a fight ahead of us to keep it.

“This Government has spent five years looking after the needs of big corporations, and now they’re looking after the executives who run them. A few extra bucks in your pocket at tax time are not enough to offset decades of privatisation and the harsh cuts to services this Government has already made.”

"This budget proves once and for all that large corporations and the super-rich have rigged the rules for themselves.  And while they are profiting from our community and our environment, the rest of us pay for it.”

“How are they going to fund our schools, hospitals and fix the climate without the $130 billion in revenue that this income tax plan rips out of the budget over the next 10 years? With that much revenue we could end childhood poverty once and for all, fund public dental care or have a world-class national broadband network. 

“There is nothing in this budget that addresses or acknowledges how hard it is for young people to find a secure place to live or full time work. This Government is determined to fight for giveaways for their corporate mates, but won’t lift a finger to support young people through their transition to adulthood; this budget is evidence of that.

“We don’t have a tax system in this country, we have a tax avoidance system and this budget does nothing to change that. It contains a ten-year plan to help millionaires and multinationals dodge their tax bill but in real terms it also cuts nearly half a billion out of higher education.

 “The only time the Treasurer mentioned renewable energy in his speech was when he pledged to stand in its way. There can be no greater act of intergenerational theft than doing nothing on climate change. Funding to combat dangerous climate change is falling off a cliff - there’s half as much money this year as in the previous budget. The Government is failing to protect threatened species and their only solution is to fob it off onto the private sector.

“If you want to understand this Government’s priorities for our future, consider this: under this budget we are spending nearly as much tax-free fuel for mining companies as we are spending on public schools,” Whish-Wilson said.

“When it comes to funding for infrastructure, less than one in five dollars the Government is spending on infrastructure grants is going into public transport. At the same time, it’s holding back more than $4 billion for massive inner city toll roads that will make congestion and pollution worse.

“This budget has heaps of measures to make life easier for people with deep pockets, but not a single one that will help a young person buy their first home. It makes it so older people can work more without their payments being affected, but people on Newstart, Youth Allowance and DSP can’t."

“This budget was an opportunity to address inequality by tackling tax avoidance and making sure big corporations and the super rich were paying their fair share. Instead, they’ve backed in massive tax cuts years for corporate Australia and wealthy Australians while starving public services and making inequality worse” Whish-Wilson said.

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