Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon has said that whatever the Federal Budget reveals tonight, it must pass the ultimate test of fairness.
Ms Claydon said the Turnbull Government needs to reverse its record of driving inequality by backing in wealth and privilege at the expense of vulnerable Australians.
“Too often, we’ve seen this Government take from those who can’t afford it to give to those who don’t need it,” Ms Claydon said
“This Budget, the Government has an opportunity to mend it’s ways and focus on inclusive economic growth without savage cuts to health, education and public services.”
Ms Claydon said the first step would be to axe its corporate tax cuts, which are set to cost the Federal Budget $80 billion over the next ten years - $9.5 billion of which is expected to end up in the hands of the big four banks – the very same institutions that are currently before the Royal Commission into their unconscionable conduct.
“Every dollar we hand over to big business is a dollar we can’t spend on health, education, vital public services or budget repair,” Ms Claydon said.
“Mr Turnbull’s argument that corporate tax cuts will create jobs and boost wages just doesn’t stack up. In fact, when Australian managers were asked what they’d do with a corporate tax cut only 7 percent said they would create new jobs and just 4 percent said they would increase wages.
“Even the Government’s rosiest Treasury modelling indicates the tax cut will boost GDP by just 1 per cent in 20 years’ time – an average increase of just 0.05 per cent a year.”
Ms Claydon said she would also like to see evidence of fair budget repair in the Federal Budget.
“Under this Government, gross debt has spiked to more than half a trillion dollars, but the Liberals now seem unconcerned about the budgetary bottom line,” Ms Claydon said.
“If the Government was serious about Budget repair it would be looking at tax loopholes and concessions, like negative gearing and franking credits, that are largely benefitting wealthy Australians and costing the budget hundreds of billions of dollars.”
Ms Claydon said that removing expensive tax breaks and not proceeding with wasteful corporate tax cuts would create space for meaningful budget repair and still leave room for the Government to fund important Budget Wish list items:
#2: Restore funding to Newcastle hospitals
#3: Reverse University of Newcastle cuts
#4: Save TAFE
#5: Action on housing affordability
#6: Fix the looming aged care crisis
#7: Restore funding to Newcastle’s schools
#8: Get high speed rail back on track
#9: Kill off the zombie cuts to protect pensioners
#10: A fair go for independent brewers