Over the past 12 months, the Greens have conducted a widespread consultation of you – our members and supporters – about what you would like to see moving forward. The outcome is our 15 big ideas for our future, of which Adam Bandt shares three key planks of the Fight for the Future plan launched in Brisbane last Sunday.
By Adam Bandt
We face a critical decade.
The global pandemic presented Australia with a chance to solve long-term problems. Instead, inequality has skyrocketed and the climate crisis has gotten worse.
As millions of Australians struggled to keep their head above water, billionaires and big corporations received massive taxpayer handouts, and made record profits. The virus especially threatened older Australians, but the cost of lockdowns has also been borne by women and young people, who have lost jobs, income and even a place to live.
The pandemic presented an opportunity to tackle the climate crisis, but instead we saw millions of dollars in public money handed out to coal and gas companies.
Billionaires and big corporations have too much power.
The Liberal and Labor Parties can’t tackle these long-term problems, because they rely on millions in donations from the big corporations. But we can solve these long-term problems.
The next election is a lot closer than you think.
If just 828 people changed their vote from the last election, the Greens would be in the balance of power.
In the balance of power, we can push the next government to tackle the climate crisis. We can make big corporations and billionaires pay their fair share of tax. And we will phase out coal and gas.
This is the plan. A government-led program of action across the country to solve long-term problems and set us up for the future. But we cannot move forward until we face our past. Sovereignty was never ceded by First Nations people.
We need a Treaty.
We need to fight for the future. This plan outlines some of the key social and economic reforms the Greens will fight for at the next election.
These policies represent the Greens’ values of equality, the public interest and services for everyone.
Our plan will create more than a million jobs and underpins our commitment to a national jobs and income guarantee, where there’s a decent job for everyone who wants it and no-one lives in poverty. If billionaires and big corporations pay their fair share of tax, we can achieve these bold, far-reaching policies, affordably.
Here are three key planks of our plan:
Making the billionaires and big corporations pay
Economic inequality in Australia is out of control, because big corporations and billionaires have too much power.
Wages have flatlined. Work is more insecure. And the cost of living keeps going up.
Young people in Australia now earn less than they would have a decade ago.
It’s because billionaires and big corporations have too much power, making massive profits, not paying their fair share of tax and getting politicians to write the rules in their favour.
1 in 3 big corporations pays no tax. Australia’s top ten billionaires increased their wealth by 68% during the pandemic. Corporations received billions of dollars of public money and some funneled it into profits and executive bonuses.
It is time to make the billionaires and the big corporations pay their fair share.
The Greens will introduce the first ever ‘billionaires’ tax’ in Australia and make the billionaires pay their fair share. By making the billionaires pay an extra 6% of their wealth back each year, we can help get dental care into Medicare, ensure our public schools are genuinely free and give a job to everyone who wants one.
We will also introduce a super-profits tax on big corporations, so that big corporations making super profits pay their fair share too.
The major parties can’t tackle inequality, because they rely on millions in donations from billionaires and big corporations. With the Greens in shared power after the next election, we can tackle inequality and bring down the costs of the essential services you rely on.
700% renewable energy
We are in a climate emergency that threatens to catastrophically overwhelm our society and economy.
We now have no choice. Over the next decade, we need to rapidly transition our power grid to wind and solar backed by storage, and electrify our transport, businesses and homes to run on clean energy. If we protect our environment and restore the land, farms and forests as well, we will draw down pollution and play our part in turning the climate crisis around.
700% renewables means not just 100% renewable electricity as we replace coal and gas power stations, but switching transport and industry to clean energy too, as well as becoming a renewables superpower, exporting our renewable energy to the rest of the world through renewable hydrogen, solar electricity and green metals. We will attract massive new international investment in clean manufacturing and industries to Australia.
This clean energy revolution will create hundreds of thousands of well-paid, long-term jobs, enabling workers in fossil fuel industries to transition and farmers to be paid to farm carbon and protect the land.
To unlock this revolution, the government will need to lead the way with public investment in renewable generation, storage and transforming the power grid.
Liberal and Labor are holding back this brighter future because they want to protect their political donations from the billionaires and big corporations that mine and burn coal and gas.
But with the Greens in shared power we will be able to set a goal of 700% renewable energy and have a government-led clean energy revolution over the next decade to fight the climate emergency.
National jobs and income guarantee
In a wealthy country like ours, everyone who wants a decent job should get one and no-one should live in poverty.
Instead, unemployment is high and insecure work is out of control. Many of the jobs on offer are crappy jobs with low wages and unpredictable hours, making it hard to plan your life and make ends meet.
To make things worse, the government has said that when we hit 6% unemployment — which still means two million people without enough work — they will start their ‘trickle down’ spending cuts again, which will plunge even more people into poverty.
But there is more than enough work for everyone. There is so much that needs to be done to tackle the long-term problems we face. If we make the billionaires and big corporations pay their fair share, we can give a job to everyone who wants one on nation-building, planet-saving government projects.
Only a government-led national jobs and income guarantee can solve the unemployment and wages crisis over the next decade.
From clean energy to aged care, Greens’ policies will create more than a million jobs, forming the bedrock of our national jobs and income guarantee. Additional government programs will be established in habitat restoration, energy retrofits and community services, restoring the country to full employment.
At the same time, the national job and income guarantee will mean a livable income of at least $80 a day for everyone, by lifting JobSeeker and other government payments and making payments available to everyone who needs them.
By moving to full employment and a universal liveable income, wages will begin to rise again, further boosting economic recovery.
We know the billionaires and the big corporations will fight a national jobs and income guarantee with their political donations to the Liberal and Labor parties, but with our movement in shared power after the next election, we can make our plan for full employment a reality.
Together we can build the power we need to make this change at the next election.