Coalition claims ‘sugar hit’ policies hint at early electionLiberal senator and shadow finance minister Jane Hume is also on the early election train, telling the Seven network:
Certainly, it does feel that way, doesn’t it? As I said, all those little sugar hits in there [the budget].
But the one that was really surprising was the $13.7 billion for billionaires, for people that are running companies that are into critical minerals and hydrogen.
That just seems a very strange use of taxpayers’ money. Wouldn’t it be better if instead of providing billion dollars in taxpayer subsidies for these companies, we simply got out of their way by making our industrial relations system simple, that was more energy in the system to bring prices down acceptably and we reduced approval times?
We want critical minerals and hydrogen but we don’t want to subsidise it with taxpayer money, particularly in a cost-of- living crisis.
According to the Australia Institute, fossil fuel subsidies in the last financial year hit $14.5bn. Not sure anyone who owns or runs a coal or gas company is doing it particularly tough either.ShareUpdated at 23.56 CESTKey eventsEmily WindWomen’s rights group says Australian aid stagnatingGlobal women’s rights organisation ActionAid Australia has welcomed a small aid increase in the budget, but says Australia is “failing” to respond to growing crisis and instability in the world.In a statement, the organisation said Australian aid has stagnated at 0.19% of gross national income (GNI) – below the government’s commitment of reaching 0.5% of GNI and an international obligation of 0.7%.Executive director Michelle Higelin said:
Australia continues to be one of the least generous aid donors and on the critical issues facing women globally – climate change, conflict and gender inequality – Australia’s aid budget has once again fallen short.
From Gaza, to Sudan, to Afghanistan, communities on the frontline of conflict, particularly women and girls, are facing untold human suffering. Increased humanitarian assistance well beyond the small increases in the budget are urgently needed to avert famine and to deliver lifesaving food, water and other relief.”
Higelin also said Australia’s climate finance commitment of $3bn over the 2020-25 period was “well below Australia’s climate finance fair share”.
The failure to significantly increase Australia’s climate finance contributions in the 2024-25 budget is a missed opportunity for Australia to demonstrate its commitment to progressive climate action.”
ShareUpdated at 00.23 CESTEmily WindThe budget contains welcome measures in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health but structural reform is needed and a longer-term commitment to close the funding gap, says the peak body for Indigenous health services.The chair of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (Naccho), Donnella Mills, welcomed a number of measures funded in the budget – including $12.8m in suicide prevention, $10m for mental health support, $11.1m to expand coverage of the Closing the Gap PBS, $94.9m to combat communicable diseases and $12.5m to facilitate the distribution of menstrual products in regional and remote First Nations communities.
These provide a critical first step after the failed referendum last year. The government needs to get a positive dialogue happening in the wake of all the misinformation and hostility that we lived through… Why should Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people expect to live 8-9 years less than other Australians?”
Mills said the “cold hard fact of the matter” is that a funding gap of $4.4bn each year exists, equating to around $5000 per Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person.
As we have been denied a Voice, it is up to Naccho and our counterparts to advocate for our sectors. The main message we have for governments, at the moment, is to work with us in closing the funding gap and let’s continue to work together to get the National Agreement firing.”
ShareUpdated at 00.23 CESTSpeaking of the energy wars, when asked when the coalition’s nuclear plan was coming, Dutton said it was “not too far away!”Asked what that meant, the opposition leader said:
We’ll make it in due course. But I think the important point here is that we have the ability to bring interest into transition for our energy market and I think if we do that, we can bring prices down, as we see in Ontario where prices for electricity are half the price because of the nuclear power that firms up the renewables.
We can have greener electricity because there are zero emissions from nuclear and we can have reliable energy. At the moment, we’re telling businesses to stop production or ramp down production because there’s not enough energy on the network.
We’ll have a balanced approach to it, which will include renewables, which are very important, but it won’t include giving billions of dollars to billionaires at a time when most Australian families are struggling to pay the grocery bill.
ShareUpdated at 00.24 CESTWhy won’t the Coalition support the tax credits for green energy and critical minerals?Peter Dutton:
People like Clive Palmer and Twiggy Forrest are great business people and they know how to milk a weak government and that’s what they’re doing at the moment. I think we’d be better off providing for arrangements and an environment which is conducive to business investment. Those projects should be able to stand alone and we support them but not with taxpayers’ money, splashing millions of dollars at a time when the Government has created an economic crisis for families and a housing crisis for millions of Australians.
This is similar to what Jane Hume said on the Nine network a little earlier (she didn’t name people, but said something about billionaires not needing assistance) and it is important because it is obviously the new line the coalition will be taking in the energy wars.ShareUpdated at 00.17 CESTSo the opposition will be supporting the $300 energy rebate, but what about the tax credits for critical minerals and green hydrogen?Peter Dutton:
We don’t support it because I think we should be helping, frankly, Australians who are struggling at the moment, to find a house. We’ve got people living in cars and in tents.
The Prime Minister had nothing to say about that yesterday.
The Treasurer had nothing to say about it last night.
You’ve got 1.67 million people coming in over a 5-year period under this government. It’s unprecedented*. Not under any previous Liberal or Labor Government have you seen immigration levels this high and that means that with an 11-year low in building starts, you are seeing people lining up 30, 40 deep to find a rental property. People can’t buy a house at an auction for love nor money and this Government spent $315 billion more, which has driven up inflation and therefore interest rates.
*The coalition’s last budget forecast a higher rate of migration.ShareGiven Peter Dutton said the government is trying to “buy” an interest rate cut, and Dutton wants people to have interest rate cuts, isn’t an interest rate cut a good thing no matter how it happens?(To be clear, “buying” an interest rate cut is a political line – we are not saying it is happening.)Dutton:
I just don’t think that’s the case. On the one hand, you’ve got the Reserve Bank governor saying there’s an inflation problem and it’s home-grown, which means that – that’s code for saying in the last two budgets, Labor policies have driven up inflation and therefore interest rates.
You’ve got every credible economic commentators overnight saying this is a disastrous budget, that they’ve pan the budget and on the other hand, you have Anthony Albanese and Jim Chalmers saying everything is OK, there’s nothing to see they’re and inflation is going to come down, which is contrary to Reserve Bank predictions.
They trumpet the fact that they’ve got a surplus in this Budget but they’ve been bequeathed that from the Coalition management of the economy, two years in surplus and every year after that, under Labor management, you end up with huge deficits and additional debt that Australian taxpayers will have to pay.
ShareUpdated at 00.06 CESTDoes Peter Dutton believe that the $300 in energy relief should go to high income earners?
I don’t think so. I don’t understand why you and I on high incomes need to get that assistance.
Frankly, I think the money would be better provided by way of support to those more in need but the government, as was the case for Labor in Queensland facing an election, they’re splashing out cash because they know that they’ve got a huge problem on their hands for the average household in Australia, they’re $35,000 worse off under this government and people are paying thousands more each month for their mortgage in many cases and I think this is a Band Aid on a bullet wound and the government’s made a really bad situation for Australian families over two budgets and last night they made it worse.
(The Queensland situation he is referencing is the $1000 in energy rebates the Labor government announced at its last budget)Might be worth pointing out that while Dutton is against $300 going to wealthier people as they don’t need the assistance, he was also against changing the stage three tax proposals, which were going to give people earning over $180,000 almost $9,000 in tax breaks.ShareUpdated at 23.59 CEST‘Inflationary budget’ will make life harder for families – DuttonPeter Dutton is next up on the ABC interview carousel and he is READY with his lines.Will the Coalition support the $300 energy rebate?
We will, but we need to be honest about it. The fact is families and small businesses have faced thousands of dollars’ worth of increases in energy bills and this will be welcomed by some but it won’t compensate for the effect of the renewables-only* policy the government has implemented.
A lot of businesses at the moment are doing it tough and they’re passing costs on to consumers, which is why we’re seeing a problem with inflation.
Yes, the government wants to buy itself an interest rate reduction coming up to the election but really, as most credible economic journalists have pointed out, this is an inflationary budget and it will make it harder for interest rates to come back and it will make it more difficult for families and small businesses for longer.
*The government is backing in gas to 2050 and beyond in a strategy it announced last week.ShareUpdated at 00.02 CESTAdam Bandt was also asked about the green subsidies and said:
Labor’s future made in Australia is a future for coal and gas past 2050.
They’ve put up in lights they’re spending on climate measures –‘$5 billion for new climate spins’ – but $50 billion in fossil fuel subsidies.
You can’t have your foot on the accelerator and the brake at the same time. So we’ll be having a look at this package when it comes to parliament.
We’ve got to take this as a package (along with the gas plan). The Greens support growing our critical minerals industry and green metals.
So does that mean in-principle support for the tax credit plan?
We’ve always said for example, the best job for a coal miner is another mining job. And so if we can find jobs for people who work in Queensland, for example, on either critical minerals project, we support that, but you’ve got to look at this as a package.
They’ve buried the money for gas in the back of the budget. The strategy is for coal and gas past 2050 Labor’s trying to hide that.
Our job when it comes to parliament is to say to Labor if you’re serious about tackling the climate crisis and growing green jobs, you can’t also be opening new coal and gas and keeping coal and gas past 2050.
And the fine print in the budget papers, shows Labor wants coal and gas past 2050.
ShareUpdated at 00.03 CESTBandt says Labor ‘doing nothing about unlimited rent rises’Greens leader Adam Bandt also spoke to the ABC a little earlier this morning and he had a bit to say about inflation as well:
Well, clearly the government is taking this approach because they say that will help them get inflation under control.
That is a sign that if they can do that for for energy, they can do it for rent, and I think it’ll be very difficult to start getting inflation under control if Labor keeps backing unlimited rent rises.
Again, the Reserve Bank has said rents have gone up. We’ve seen going up potentially by $46 a week. It’s a main driver of inflation, and yet Labor is doing nothing about unlimited rent rises.
And on housing, Bandt said:
We know that the billions of dollars in handouts that are going to help people who’ve already got three homes going to buy their fourth, fifth and sixth are pushing property prices out of reach of first home buyers and making life tough for renters.
Labor has failed to take on the big problems Labor’s failed to make price gouging illegal. They failed to stop unlimited rent rises, and it’s going to leave lots of people don’t further behind.
ShareUpdated at 23.55 CEST


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