Queensland’s recently elected Greens MP Michael Berkman will lead supporters in a temporary blockade of BHP Billiton’s Brisbane office in protest against the federal government’s proposed company tax cuts.
Organisers will stage a funeral for democracy and for the social support services which will likely receive funding cuts in future if the Coalition government lowers the company tax rate for big corporations.
“Wages are going backwards, living standards are falling, and 1 in 4 parents are going without food to make sure their kids have enough to eat,” says Greens MP, Michael Berkman.
“The Coalition government could be using revenue from big companies to properly fund education, healthcare, social housing and welfare.
“Instead they’re trying to swindle crossbench senators into passing billions of dollars in tax breaks for corporations which are already making record profits."
Brisbane City Councillor Jonathan Sri, who is supporting the rally, said Australia’s political system has been hijacked by morally bankrupt corporations.
“Our political system is broken, and primarily serves the interests of corporate elites who are using the two major political parties as puppets,” Councillor Sri says.
“Independent research bodies like the Australia Institute have rightly pointed out that a cut to the company tax rate for big businesses is not in the public interest, and will likely result in further cuts to essential government services.
“BHP’s claims that a corporate tax cut will lead to job creation and wage growth are bullshit. CEOs and senior managers are the only people likely to get a wage rise out of this, and they’re already overpaid.”
“This tax cut doesn’t affect smaller business - it only applies to the big end of town,” Councillor Sri says. “Of course they’re claiming that tax cuts will create jobs, but the evidence is pretty thin. If BHP wants to create more jobs, they should start by cutting the CEO’s $5.7 million annual salary - that’ll free up a bit of money.”
“Right now, the rich are getting richer while the poor get screwed, and ordinary Australians are sick of it.” Councillor Sri says.
When: 12.15pm, Tuesday, 27 March
Where: BHP Office, 480 Queen St (Adelaide St side)
Media: 0419 626 725