Federal budget: GetUp wants a future to fight for

The 2018 federal budget gifts more than a quarter of a trillion dollars to the big end of town at the expense of everyone else. 

Under the Turnbull Government’s plan, the richest companies in Australia will get $80 billion and the wealthiest Australians – including politicians – will take home an estimated 75% of the Government’s $140 billion individual tax cuts. Yep, that’s the tax cut the Government said would be going to “middle Australia”. 

Meanwhile, the Turnbull Government is refusing to increase Newstart allowance for those out of work, is doubling down on its cruel robo-debt scheme, cutting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment programs, and delaying basic support to migrants.

And there is no meaningful increase to per-capita spending on our schools and hospitals. 

We are being told, dishonestly, that this is a budget for middle Australia. But the facts suggest the Government is more interested in attracting donations from corporations and wealthy individuals.

What happened to the “fair go” and each of us contributing according to our means?

A worker earning $42,000 per year clearly does not have the same means as an executive  earning $199,000 per year; and shouldn’t be taxed at the same rate. Not today, not ever. It’s simply not fair.

Right now there are 700,000 Australians trapped out of work, and a quarter of us stuck in casual jobs without any real protections if we fall ill or are called to a family emergency.

The sell off of critical infrastructure has left us with an out-of-control energy market, and ridiculous quarterly bills. Decades of under-investment in affordable housing has tipped us closer to crisis point, and young people have all but given up on the dream of owning a place to live. And the same party that insisted we shouldn’t pick winners by investing in clean technologies, are now subsidising coal power plants scheduled for decommissioning. 

What answers does Scott Morrison’s budget offer to these very real and very urgent problems? None.

At a time when Australians are crying out for vision, our political leaders are offering nothing more than politically-calculated tax cuts aimed squarely at the next election.

We’re disappointed, and increasingly frustrated with Canberra – and we’re right to be. We can no longer cross our fingers and hope for the vision we want. Which is why, GetUp has released its own blueprint for a fairer economy, called Future to Fight For

It says meaningful, full time work should be a non-negotiable right guaranteed by the government, and that everyone should have access to free high-quality education throughout their life. We also offer proposals for more affordable childcare, housing, and energy, and measures to strip back the power of our largest corporations and banks - instead of giving them billions in tax cuts they don’t need. 

These are the reforms we need to solve the problems we face. Because at the end of the day, people shouldn't be working for the economy, the economy should be working for people. 

Paul Oosting - GetUp National Director