Though many in the Northern Rivers are too distracted to even know it happened, the Australian Greens have slammed the government’s final budget for what they say makes housing more expensive, locks in tax cuts for the wealthy and funding more coal and gas projects rather than acting on the climate crisis.
The Liberals’ final budget contains more than $37.6 billion for coal, oil and gas, gives $13 billion of public money to property investors, and has no new money to build affordable housing.
Greens want affordable homes
The Greens want government investment to build a million affordable homes.
Greens Candidate for Richmond, Mandy Nolan says that when Scott Morrison came to see the flooding last month, he didn’t dare show face in Richmond. ‘My community is furious. People across the electorate are in no doubt these extreme weather events are the result of climate change. They are not afraid to say it.
Ms Nolan says flooding has supercharged a housing crisis that already existed in the Northern Rivers. ‘Now thousands of women, men and children across the region have lost their homes, and these figures don’t even include those whose houses are made unlivable due to black mold.
‘Our community isn’t done cleaning up, and this morning, we’ve been evacuating again!’
Housing was already hard to find and unaffordable
Ms Nolan says housing was already hard to find and unaffordable for many – now the situation is even more desperate. ‘People are being forced into overcrowded housing with friends, parking caravans on their front lawns or living in makeshift shelters.
‘We shouldn’t have to be crowdfunding and selling raffle tickets to survive the climate crisis. Instead, the government could start rebuilding safer homes in our community with the stroke of a pen. It’s a disgusting slap in the face for flood survivors.’
Housing more expensive, tax cuts for the wealthy and more coal and gas projects
Leader of the Australian Greens, Adam Bandt MP said Scott Morrison’s Budget makes housing more expensive, locks in tax cuts for the wealthy and funds more coal and gas projects, all with Labor’s support.
‘This Budget of election bribes will not keep you safe from the climate crisis and it won’t put a secure roof over your head. It doesn’t have a cent of new money for building new affordable housing, but it gives hundreds of millions to new oil and gas projects.
‘Even as floods again threaten the Northern Rivers for the second time in a month, Scott Morrison plans to give more than $38bn in handouts to coal, oil and gas corporations to fuel the climate crisis and Labor backs him in.
Insulting to flood victims
Mr Bandt says there is $1.6 billion for renewables, $2 billion for disaster recovery, and more than $38 billion in subsidies to coal, oil and gas. ‘It’s an insult to every flood victim that the Prime Minister is spending more than 10 times more on coal, oil and gas as he is on protecting us from climate floods.
‘Scott Morrison’s Budget spends $13 billion on unfair tax breaks that will push up the cost of housing and lock people out of the housing market, handouts that Labor will wave through.
‘A temporary cut to fuel excise may not even make its way to people’s pockets. There’s every chance that world oil prices or profiteering from oil corporations will wipe out any gains to motorists overnight, at very substantial cost to the budget.
‘We need to permanently boost the pension by almost $250 a fortnight, not $250 an election.’
Student debt and dental
Mr Bandt says that to tackle cost of living pressures, the Budget should wipe student debt, get dental into Medicare and build 1 million affordable homes that people can rent for 25 per cent of their income or buy for $300,000. ‘That would be much fairer, better and cheaper than proceeding with Stage 3 tax cuts and temporarily cutting fuel excise.
‘This Budget shows we need to kick the Liberals out and get the Greens in balance of power to push the next Government to tackle cost of living pressures by taxing the billionaires, getting dental into Medicare, wiping student debt and building affordable housing.’