Axe $13 billion in fossil-fuel subsidies: Greens

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Greens today said a report from the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) makes clear that Tony Abbott can raise more than $13 billion without hurting vulnerable Australians.

The PBO report details how, by ending taxpayer subsidies to ‘big mining’ and the likes of Gina Rinehart, the Abbott Government wouldn’t need to go after pensioners, disabled people and Medicare, said acting Greens Leader, Adam Bandt.

“Taxpayers shouldn't fork out billions of dollars each year just so the likes of Gina Rinehart can buy cheap diesel, while everyone else is told to tighten their belts,” said Mr Bandt.

“If the government is genuine about ending the ‘age of entitlement’, it should start at the top and axe corporate welfare instead of going after pensions or essential services.

“However, all the signs are that Tony Abbott will keep this ‘dead money’ in place and will instead needlessly continue to attack those who can least afford it.

“The Greens fear this Budget will mark the end of the age of equality.

“If Tony Abbott comes after ordinary people, the Greens will fight his cuts tooth and nail.

“For so long as billions of dollars are spent each year propping up fossil fuels for mining magnates, there is a better path back to a balanced budget,” said Mr Bandt.

Mining sends 83 percent of its profits overseas and gets billions in government subsidies, while tourism and manufacturing struggle under a high dollar and receive little government support.

Supporting mining and fossil fuels puts them at a huge advantage compared to other sectors of the economy.

The PBO has followed usual practice in developing its costings and accepted the government's assumptions that the price on pollution is repealed and the general company tax rate cut, both of which the Greens will oppose.

Parliamentary Budget Office report_Ending 'big mining' taxpayer subsidies.pdf