EASE COST OF LIVING PRESSURES AND CREATE JOBS
Our economy should provide a good life for all
Cost of living pressures are hurting Victorians. Big banks, coal and gas corporations and property developers are making billions while many of us struggle to get by.
The Greens will tax the big banks, property developers and other big corporations to invest in the essential services we need.
We can invest to provide lower energy prices and build affordable housing, while also creating tens of thousands of new quality jobs.
Cost of living pressures can also be eased by making public transport cheaper and making public schools genuinely free, through removing additional fees and charges.
Low wages are contributing to cost of living pressures. With inflation increasing and wages flatlining, too many Victorians are coming under financial strain.
Unfortunately the current government is contributing to this problem with its 1.5% wages cap for public sector workers. This means teachers, nurses, mental health workers and many other vital public sector workers are actually experiencing a real wages cut.
Suppressing the wages of public sector workers is keeping wages low across the economy.
The Greens plan to tackle the cost of living includes:
- Cheaper energy bills for households through a publicly-owned energy retailer.
- Building more affordable housing and capping rent increases.
- Genuinely free public schools with no out-of-pocket expenses for families.
- Making contraception free, like contraceptive pills, condoms, intrauterine devices (IUDs) and hormonal implants (like Implanon).
- Higher wages for essential public sector workers by removing the wages cap for non-executive workers.
- Creating tens of thousands of jobs in renewable energy, building affordable homes, restoring nature, and in the caring professions such as mental and dental healthcare and more teachers and community services.
Big corporations should pay their fair share of tax
We can increase revenue to pay for the public services we need, like schools and hospitals, through making big corporations and property developers pay their fair share of tax.
Victoria has a structural revenue problem. The state budget is too reliant on unfair taxes like stamp duty, which contributes to the housing affordability crisis, and gambling taxes, which means the government refuses to fix the harm of problem gambling.
The Victorian Labor Government caved to the property development industry and scrapped its plan for a social housing levy, which would have raised billions from developers to pay for more affordable housing.
The Greens plan includes immediately:
- Charging the big banks a levy. They continue to make tens of billions in profit every year, and at just 0.015% quarterly of Victoria’s share of bank liabilities, the levy could raise $1.4 billion over the next four years.
- Making developers help pay for affordable housing, by charging them a levy of just 2.5% of the value of the properties they sell.
- Holding a parliamentary inquiry into how to transition Victoria off stamp duty, to make housing more affordable. The ACT and NSW are already making the shift to land tax which is fairer.
- Charging developers who make it rich when land is rezoned a 75% tax on their windfall profits.
- Doubling the royalty rates for coal, gas and oil.
- Increasing the online betting tax to 20%.
- Making levies on water corporations fairer, by charging all of them the same rate (5%), and continuing the levy past its current expiry date.
- Reducing congestion in the innercity by immediately increasing the congestion levy to $2540 for category one.
Stop privatising public services
Privatisation puts private profit over the public good
Successive Labor and Liberal governments have handed control of our essential services to private corporations. Some of our most essential services like energy, roads and public transport are now run by profit-driven corporations when they should be run for us.
In the last two terms of government, Labor has privatised the Port of Melbourne, the Land Titles Office, the registration and licensing division of VicRoad as well as public housing. They are also spending $20 billion of public money on two toll roads, with the West Gate Tunnel set to make billions in profit for Transurban.
The current Labor government has privatised more essential services than any government since Kennett.
The Greens plan includes:
- No more privatisations.
- Starting to bring essential new energy infrastructure back into public hands.
- Building more public housing, instead of selling it off to developers.
Build community not prisons
Instead of building more prisons, we can use this public money for early-intervention programs that keep people away from crime in the first place. Instead of building more private toll roads, we can improve our strained public transport system and build smarter road projects. Instead of propping up native forest logging, we can invest in protecting our environment.
The government is spending six times as much on two polluting toll roads than it is on building affordable housing.
Victorians expect their government to make smart decisions with public money today to guarantee our wellbeing tomorrow – it’s just good economic management.
The Greens plan includes:
- Ending the state subsidy to native forest logging.
- Ending state government support for coal and gas.
- Stopping private schools from getting more than their share of public money, by capping their funding at 100% of the school resource standard.
- Halving expenditure on consultancies in the public sector.
A successful economy creates good in our society
The Greens believe that measuring the success of our economy should go beyond financial measures alone, and instead focus on improving the quality of life of all Victorians and our environment. Financial indicators such as Gross State Product or the debt figure do not tell us anything about the wellbeing of our society, the health of our democracy, or the wellbeing of our environment.
The COVID crisis exposed inequality in our society, but we also saw governments act to support the community. That should happen all the time.
For Victoria’s economy to continue growing sustainably, it must benefit its people.
We have a plan to develop the Victorian Wellbeing Standards in consultation with all Victorians.
The Greens’ plan for a wellbeing budget includes measuring and reporting on how the budget improves our collective wellbeing across four main areas:
- Victoria’s Environment would measure and improve the ability of our natural environment to support life, as well as benefit people.
- Opportunities for All Victorians would measure and improve the things that enable us all to fully participate in all parts of Victorian society, such as school completion rates, social connection, adequate leisure time, and the state of the physical and mental health of Victorians.
- Victoria’s Assets and Finances would measure such things as whether our infrastructure is keeping up with demand, the number of affordable and adequate homes, the amount of safe active transport, the standard of our hospitals, and the proper resourcing of our universities, schools, TAFEs, and early education centres.
- An Equal and Fair Victoria would measure the things that strengthen our society, such as the rates of democratic participation, equality and equity across our society, levels of trust amongst Victorians, anti-racism, and Aboriginal sovereignty.
HOW WE'LL PAY FOR OUR POLICIES
- Making big corporations pay their fair share
The Greens will make the big banks, property developers and the gambling industry pay their fair share of tax so we can invest in climate action, affordable housing and public services for all.
Our plans will also be paid for by spending smarter and making our state borrowings work for the community.