Greens Treasury spokesperson, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, provides the following comments on Labor pledging larger surpluses to pay down debt than the government, on top of their ‘larger tax cuts’ than the coalition.
Senator Whish-Wilson said, “Labor… Really? You can promise bigger tax cuts to people on wages, and you can promise to pay off more debt than the government, but all you can do for someone struggling on $40 per day on Newstart is offer them a review?
“For many Australians doing it tough, Labor’s light on the hill is dim and getting dimmer. So much for Labor’s war on inequality. There has to be more to fighting inequality than offering bigger bribes to voters than Malcolm Turnbull. It’s one thing to say you won’t make inequality get much worse, but what we need to see is policies that actually make it better.
“Labor likes to taunt the Greens by saying “Labor are the progressive party of government,” but in moments like this, it shows that Labor needs a genuinely progressive party like the Greens in parliament to remind them what it actually means to be progressive.
“How can Bill Shorten honestly say he can afford to give larger tax cuts to people already getting by, but nothing to people living well below the poverty line on Newstart? Why do wealthier people get an iron-clad guarantee about their financial future but someone struggling on income support gets the brush off.
“This budget is the first time in a decade where everyone agrees there are funds available to address the significant challenges Australia faces, such as climate change. All we see from the major parties is a tax cut competition.  Where is the vision for addressing inequality, or climate change, or even the species extinction crisis?
“Australia is already a low-taxing economy and the system is rigged so the wealthiest individuals and big corporations dodge paying a fair share. If we want a decent society we need to unrig the system, maintain the tax base, and invest in the services and support so many people so desperately need,” he concluded.