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Greens policies would cost taxpayers an extra $47 a week, and add $35 billion to public debt.



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senator.cherry@aph.gov.au www.democrats.org.au News releases can also be sent by email. Please advise us if you want to join the email distribution list.

DEMOCRATS

MEDIA 04/1025

THURSDAY, 7 OCTOBER, 2004

SENATOR JOHN CHERRY AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRATS SENATOR FOR QUEENSLAND

Greens policies would cost taxpayers an extra $47 a week, and add $35 billion to public debt Taxpayers would be slugged an additional $47 a week on average in tax and see higher mortgage rates with a $35 billion increase in public debt if the Greens economic policies were fully implemented, the Australian Democrats say.

Democrats Queensland Senator John Cherry, one of only four economics graduates in the 76-member Senate, said he had added up all the policy proposals by the Greens which would increase public spending by $28 billion a year, with $3.5 billion of that financed through bonds and the rest through tax.

"The Greens spending proposals would cause enormous damage to the Australian economy and to household budgets," he said.

"Their plans to offer $35 billion in bonds to finance transport and energy projects would cancel out exactly half of the public debt reduction since 1996/7, putting more pressure on interest rates.

"The spending plans outside the bonds issue total $24.7 billion a year, or $2465 a year (or $47 a week) for every taxpayer in Australia.

"The Greens comprehensively fail the test of economic responsibility and cannot be trusted with the balance of power on important tax and economic laws.

"The Democrats have long experience of carefully balancing economic, social and environmental policy and working with Government to achieve sensible policy outcomes on areas like tax, superannuation, workplace relations and corporate regulation.

"But, if the Greens spending, tax and debt policies are anything to go by, the Greens in the Senate would fail to be a sensible and responsible break on Government.

"Australia cannot afford to take an economic risk with the Greens," Senator Cherry said.

For further information: Pam Hose 0408 752 750

List of Greens spending proposals attached

DEMOCRATS MEDIA

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LIST OF GREENS SPENDING PROPOSALS

Policy Date Commitment Annual

Renew Australia green bonds 15/7/04 $35 b over 10 years $3500m1

Education policy 1/10/04 $7400m

Health policy 23/9/05 $4600m

Social security policy 14/9/04 $4700m

Jobs for all policy 21/9/04 $3940m

Overseas Aid 3/10/04 $7.25b over 5 years $1450m2

Parental leave policy 3/10/04 $1223m

Housing policy 3/9/04 $518m

Biosecurity 30/9/04 $250m

Indigenous policy 16/9/04 $450m3

Solar roofs 17/9/04 $100m4

TOTAL $28131m

1 $35 billion over 10 years 2 $7250m over 5 years 3

$1500m over 4 years and $500m over 10 years 4 $1 billion over 10 years

Notes:

The Health policy claims to be funded by abolition of the Private Health Insurance rebate ($2.6b), abolishing the Medicare safety net ($0.4b), and the rest by tax increases.

The Education policy claims to be funded by $3.5b increase in Company Tax, $2.3b increase in capital gains tax and a $1.6b reduction in funding to private schools.

PUBLIC SECTOR DEBT:

Between 1996/7 and 2003/4, public sector debt was reduced from $96 billion to $25 billion, with accumulated Budget surpluses of around $35 billion. The Greens’ bonds proposals would wipe out half of the debt reduction since 1996/7.