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RBA Governor right about need for tax reform, but that doesn't mean tax cuts: Greens

The Australian Greens have joined RBA Governor Dr Lowe’s calls for tax reform, with Australian Greens Leader, Adam Bandt, saying that means removing unjustifiable tax breaks for polluters, shifting tax concessions towards research, development and innovation and boosting public sector investment.

In responding to Dr Lowe’s speech, Greens Leader Adam Bandt MP warned the Liberal Party against using it as an opportunity to further give tax breaks to their corporate backers, saying everyday Australians should be the chief beneficiaries of any reforms.

“We back the call for major tax reform, which must mean getting rid of unjustifiable tax breaks to the big polluters and instead offering incentives to research, development and innovation. To get our economy out of this crisis we need new thinking, not just tinkering around the edges,” Mr Bandt said.

“The pathway out of this crisis will be green growth, not blue cuts.”

“You have to accelerate out of a corner. The government is flagging an era of aggressive deregulation, but that will only prolong the pain and leave us poorly-equipped to deal with future economic shocks.”

“To get our economy back on track we need a Green New Deal, with people back in secure work and government investment to kickstart the economy. Slashing workers’ rights and the corporate tax rate won’t just fail to encourage investment, it will be another setback in the attempt to recover from this crisis.

“The government must immediately shelve its plan to cut the R&D tax concession and instead come back with a new plan to increase it.

“This is the perfect opportunity for a price on carbon that will encourage innovation, foster growth in new jobs and industries, and end the piecemeal approach to emissions reduction that we’ve seen over the past decade. It won’t just cause a spike in economic activity as companies avoid paying for pollution, it will create a truly 21st century industrial sector that is secure well into the future.

“Australia’s labour laws already breach international standards, our wages are stagnating, and job insecurity was increasing, our efforts should encourage people to come back into the workforce and give them the security they need to start spending again.

“Unemployment is expected to surge to 10-16%, and unsurprisingly young people will be hit the hardest. Recent data shows people under 20 have seen drops in employment of up to 9.9%, with wages plummeting by 12.7%.

“The Greens will block any attempts to drive through massive tax cuts and further strip away protections for workers and the environment. We hope the government will instead accept the Greens’ call for targeted measures to support R&D, help manufacturing and lift wages.”

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