Paying for our plans

If everyone paid their fair share of tax, we'd all get a fair go at living a decent life.

The Greens are building a world where everyone has what they need for a decent life, the essentials - either free or low-cost, our jobs are meaningful, where our environment  is protected and restored back to proper health.

Our economic plan is based on a few simple premises: 

  • That a strong economy is a sustainable economy, built on a healthy environment; 
  • That it’s the shape of our economy, not simply its size that determines our nation’s wealth; and
  • That our economy should work for us, not the other way around.

Right now our economy doesn’t work for us. Some big corporations are using their influence and their political donations to gain more and more for themselves, while many people across our communities are struggling to afford a roof over their head or to put food on the table.

For decades both Liberal and Labor governments have taken millions of dollars in corporate donations and in return, they’ve given away billions of dollars to corporations and left big loopholes in our tax system, to the point where 1 in 3 of the biggest corporations pays no tax at all.

That’s not good economic management. That’s economic injustice. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Being a good economic manager should mean that your plan works for people and communities, not solely for enormous private profit. It means you share the enormous wealth in our society by prioritising investment in public services for everyone – in world class accessible social services, education, healthcare and affordable homes.

Where does all the money go?


Our plan to make our economy work for all of us, and put billions of dollars back into public services:

A super profits tax on the oil, gas and mining giants that operate in uncompetitive markets and with huge tax advantages · More »

End the billions in corporate handouts from government · More »

Make big corporates pay for their pollution, instead of getting government handouts · More »

Stop the tax avoidance system, to stop giant multinationals dodging their tax bill · More »

Reverse the big tax cuts to shareholders and the super wealthy (while workers miss out) · More »

Paying for our plans

A large, polluting mining site

A tax on super-profits

The mining, oil and gas industries exploit our environment for their own super-profits, but an unfair tax system means they don’t pay for these natural resources - meaning less money for the public services we all need to live a good life.

Companies in some industries make super profits not because of their skill, innovation or hard work but because government sets the regulatory and tax settings in their favour. 

Right now, five multinational offshore gas projects are coming online. They'll make billions of dollars over 40 years of gas exports. They'll never pay a cent in royalties, and may never pay a cent in tax either. They get our gas resources completely free and Labor and Liberal don’t want to change that arrangement because they receive millions in donations from these companies. 

The rules have been rigged in their favour and it’s one of the major contributors to to the rapidly growing gap between the super-rich and the rest of us.

The Greens would implement the recommendations of the Henry Tax Review by introducing a 40% super-profits tax for these industries. It is time to set royalties for gas extraction and wind back the $200 billion worth of tax credits they are sitting on.

This means we could reclaim those super-profits in the mining and gas industries to invest directly in improving public services and infrastructure.

The benefits of our plan:

  • End the free ride these giant companies enjoy
  • Tax their super profits for the benefit of society, not just shareholders
  • Encourage investment in more productive areas of the economy

Total raised: $19.5 billion1

1 – Financial implications prepared by the independent Parliamentary Budget Office are costed and current as at 2018-19 Budget.

Diesel mining machinery

Ending corporate handouts from the government

Government spending should fund the services we all need to live a good life, not prop up industries which support the fortunate few over the rest of us. We can build a future for all of us, and create a truly sustainable economy with strong public services, but only if we reverse decades of terrible decisions by Labor and Liberal governments that reward industries which are causing social and environmental damage.

Government subsidies to mining companies make it more profitable for them to run their operations and pollute our environment. Subsidies to destructive industries cost the economy billions each year. Money that could be spent on schools, hospitals and other public services. These handouts are just a reward to the big corporate donors of the two major parties.

The Greens have a plan will take on the vested interests in health insurance and the military, cutting unnecessary spending and investing billions into the public services everyone relies on.

Tax-Free Fuel Rebate: The Greens will scrap the tax-free fuel rebate. This is the government’s 17th biggest expenditure item, just below funding for public schools and this rebate has given an enormous benefit to some of our largest and dirtiest companies.

Private Health Insurance Subsidies: We would remove the public subsidies that line the pockets of private health companies yet do nothing to take pressure off the public health system. This disproportionately benefits those who can afford private health insurance, while taking money out of the public health system, which is available to all of us. The Greens will reinvest this $6.5 billion back into the public health system to pay for our plan for health including expanding Denticare.

Weapons Exports: We would also cut back the billions of dollars the government hands over to weapons exporters and those who make money from war and misery. Billions of dollars have already been thrown at our military and weapons manufacturers with almost no scrutiny and for no overriding purpose. And still the Coalition government, supported by Labor, is intent on making Australia a top 10 global arms exporter. Our government has shamefully committed almost $4 billion to assist arms exporters to do deals with human rights abusers like Saudi Arabia. (Also see our policy on peace and demilitarization).

The benefits of our plan:

  • Make renewables cheaper and dirty energy more expensive 
  • Redirect funding going to private health companies into the public health system
  • Stop weapons exports ending up in the hands of human rights abusers  

Total raised: $36.2 billion1

1 – Financial implications prepared by the independent Parliamentary Budget Office are costed and current as at 2018-19 Budget.

An ablaze oil rig being put out

Taxing pollution

A green economy is one where we tax pollution and use that revenue to support households and transform our energy sector to renewables. A carbon price is essential to create a clean economy. 

Our biggest polluters are so profitable because they get to pollute for free and we all pay. Macquarie University calculates that this looting in Australia has totalled a staggering $9.5 trillion of corporate profits since 1995, with our communities being left to clean up the mess left by these big polluters. 

The rules have been rigged in the favour of polluters, but it doesn’t have to be this way. 

The Greens support a carbon price as the simplest, fairest, most effective way to reduce emissions, drive a transition in renewables and reduce household costs. We will legislate to re-introduce an economy-wide carbon price on direct emissions from facilities which emit more than 25,000 tonnes of CO2-e per year.

The benefits of our plan:

  • Reduce pollution and fast-track more renewable energy
  • Unleash innovation in smart, clean technologies 
  • Make the polluters pay for the damage they are doing to our environment

Total raised: $13.9 billion1

1 – Financial implications prepared by the independent Parliamentary Budget Office are costed and current as at 2018-19 Budget.

Corporate skyscrapers

End tax avoidance

Profits made by multinational corporations in Australia are soaring. These enormous corporations get so much out of our society, but many are not giving anything back. They use every method available to avoid paying their fair share – if any – tax.  

Australians have had enough of multinational companies and the super rich treating tax as an optional extra. It’s shaken our faith in the tax system. We don’t have a tax system anymore, we have a tax avoidance system. The Greens have a comprehensive plan to stop multinational tax avoidance. We’ll focus on enforcement, changes to our tax laws, public disclosure and global action. 

Trusts & Transparency: We will crack down on the tricks of tax avoidance like trusts and superannuation funds. We would reduce the threshold for public reporting to $50 million to provide greater transparency over the tax affairs of the biggest companies in the country.

Buffet Rule: We will also introduce a Buffet Rule that means that the super rich will have to pay a baseline amount of tax, no matter how many deductions they use. With this Buffett rule, we can make serious inroads to eliminating poverty and economic inequality. Every year, we hear the news stories telling us about the fifty to sixty millionaires in Australia who paid accountants to reduce their tax bill to zero - so they don’t even pay the Medicare Levy. Our plan is to cap those deductions so that someone earning above $300,000 a year - the richest 0.5 percent of the workforce, could no longer deduct to a level below 35 cents in every extra dollar earned.

Resource the ATO: The Greens would also resource the Australian Tax Office to do their job well. We would recreate the 4,400 tax office positions that have been taken away by Labor and Coalition governments since 2012 and requiring accurate and timely reporting on tax avoidance, including a settlements register to detail any arrangement reached with the ATO. 

Benefits of our plan

  • No more tax loop-holes 
  • Restore faith in our tax system 
  • Everyone pays their fair share

Total Raised: $12.3 billion1

1 – Financial implications prepared by the independent Parliamentary Budget Office are costed and current as at 2018-19 Budget.

Protest against big banks

Reverse unfair tax-cuts

Everyone should pay their fair share of tax in order to contribute to a fairer, more equal society. Our taxes pay for the things we all need, like schools, hospitals, public transport and infrastructure. No one should be above contributing to a fairer society for all of us.

Both the Liberals and Labor have passed tax cuts to top income earners and big business in this term. The Liberals want to go further after the election and Labor won't rule it out. 

These tax cuts will turbocharge economic inequality and wipe out our progressive tax system. A graduate nurse on $41,000 will pay the same rate of tax as a financial adviser on $200,000. We can create new jobs by reversing these unfair tax cuts and investing in the public services we want and need.  

Company tax cuts for banks and mining companies will do nothing to help ordinary Australians as public services deteriorate. And because of Australia’s dividend imputation system, company tax cuts will only benefit foreign investors. The ‘trickle down’ approach to economics has been proven not to work.

These giant businesses don’t need a tax cut, they need to start paying tax so government can pay for the services that we all need to live a good life.

The Greens will reverse any company tax cuts for businesses earning more than $10 million per annum by restoring the tax rate to 30%. Small businesses would still keep their current tax rate.

Only the Greens will unequivocally oppose further tax cuts to big corporations and the wealthiest Australians. We should be sharing the enormous wealth in our society by investing in public services, not handing out tax cuts. 

Benefits of our plan:

  • More money for services we all use and need - like schools and hospitals
  • Bigger corporations pay more tax than small businesses
  • Create new jobs directly instead of hoping that ‘trickle-down’ jobs finally arrive 

Total raised: $16.6 billion1

1 – Financial implications prepared by the independent Parliamentary Budget Office are costed and current as at 2018-19 Budget.

Next: Renewable Economy & Climate Change

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