what's at stake ahead of the budget

By Adam Bandt, Leader of the Australian Greens & MP for Melbourne 


Right now, millions of people around the country are struggling to pay the rent or mortgage and keep up with the rising cost of food. It’s not radical to think that everyone in this country should be able to afford a home and food to eat.  

It’s hard to stomach that while people are skipping meals and keeping a roof over their head, big supermarkets are making billions, and property investors are able to purchase scores of homes using government tax concessions.  

Labor is handing down another budget next month, but don’t hold your breath if you’re hoping for substantial cost of living relief, more affordable housing or anything which will reduce the cost of groceries.  

From everything they’re saying heading into the budget, Labor’s more focused on “managing the economy” for big corporations and protecting wealthy property investors than ensuring people who are struggling can eat healthily, and sleep soundly. 

They won’t coordinate a rent freeze. They won’t stop the massive handouts to property investors - negative gearing and capital gains tax. They won’t build enough affordable homes. They won’t tackle the profiteering and price gouging of big supermarkets. 

Since coming to power, Labor’s put more attention and effort into protecting profits and property investors than they have in helping people deal with the cost of living crisis. 

Partly it’s because Labor takes massive donations from property developers and big supermarkets, partly it’s because they just don't have the guts. They’re not managing the economy for working people, they’re managing it at their expense. 

What we can expect from this budget is more bandaids, more weak measures which are barely noticeable to most people. 

This presents the Greens with a huge opportunity at the next election. We have a chance to say to people if you’re disappointed with Labor, but don’t want Dutton - you have to vote Green.

We are the only party with the guts to do what’s necessary to manage the economy for working people and people struggling to keep their head above water. 

Labor used to be a party of free education, universal healthcare and affordable housing. But now, these things seem radical. Instead, Labor’s now the party of big corporations and property investors. Most people in the Labor party hold a property portfolio and shares in big corporations. 

We need to take on the big corporations. Big supermarkets, for example, are some of the most profitable corporations in the country, ripping off customers, suppliers and workers, while their CEOs make over $8m a year. 

The Greens have proposed giving the ACCC the power to break up the big supermarkets, so they can’t set prices for consumers and suppliers, but the Labor Party rejected the policy out of hand. Instead, they take massive donations from the big supermarkets.

If they took action, we could break up the big supermarkets, and reduce the cost of groceries.  

Then there’s housing. The government has refused to limit tax concessions for wealthy profits holders. Over the next decade, these concessions are going to cost the budget billions. If the government had guts, they would be focused on winding back the tax concessions to people with more than two homes. 

If they took action, this money could be going directly to building new homes for people to buy or rent at an affordable price. 

Labor’s not tackling the crises we face, and we know Peter Dutton would be even worse.

Something has to change. We need to take our message to the community, win more votes by showing people we can fight for them.