A left wing Budget?
Madame Deputy Speaker, I move that the Budget Bill now be read a second time.
Madame Deputy Speaker, I am tonight presenting the most left wing Budget in Australia’s history.
This Budget will squeeze the rich till their pips squeak. This is a Budget for the battlers and working class.
It is a budget which unashamedly targets the parasites of capital who live off our labour and give us poor wages, few jobs and a crap environment.
I make no apologies for this class war. For over 30 years there has been a one sided class war in Australia waged by the rich and powerful against the poor and working class.
It is time our side fought back. This Budget is part of that fight back.
Madame Deputy Speaker, inequality in Australia has grown markedly over the last decades as neoliberalism became the ideology and practice of the ruling class and its two main parties, the open party of capital, the Liberals, and Labor, the disguised party of capital, or the capitalist workers’ party.
The ALP’s commitment to managing capitalism has led, Madame Deputy Speaker, the charge to austerity and attacks on jobs, wages and a social policy of repression, demonisation and racism that we will begin to fix.
We will set up refugee welcoming centres for a quick transition of any who want to come here into the community. A special Serco tax and workers’ take over of ‘detention’ centres to turn them into places of merely temporary stay before our new friends are relocated in the community will begin tonight.
Madame Deputy Speaker, we in the Left Front say enough is enough.
The magnificent strikes which broke out earlier this year in Australia against Labor’s Unfair Work laws have changed the political environment and the election of a Left Front Government under my leadership and that of comrade Leonie Bronstein marks a new era in the struggle for socialism and the overthrow of the dictatorship of capital.
As we speak the unrepresentative swill that is the Senate has been disbanded for its reactionary obstructionism by workers’ militias. The abolition of that bastion of backwardness will save over $250 million a year, offset by an increase in members of this House to 501 to allow for adequate local representation.
Madame Deputy Speaker, I am pleased to also announce that all Australian troops are on their way home from Afghanistan as we speak or will be within the next 3 days. That imperialist war of destruction and subjugation is over from our point of view.
Madame Deputy Speaker, the $2 billion we save from this folly and misadventure will go towards increasing immediately our foreign aid spending to 0.7% of GDP. In fact Madame Deputy Speaker we believe this itself is not enough and aid will be given to organisations of national and social liberation around the globe in their struggles against US and, until today, Australian imperialism.
Madame Deputy Speaker, the treatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in this country is nothing short of a disgrace. We will impose a Twiggy Forrest tax on the rich miners to pay for a program of health and education devised and run by local people, not senior bureaucrats.
This is the first step in a treaty with the original inhabitants, recognition of prior sovereignty and setting up a process for paying the rent.
Madame Deputy Speaker, my colleague the Minister for the Liberation of Indigenous People will provide more details in her speech to the House later tonight, including of an election process to elect representatives of the original inhabitants to begin the treaty negotiation process.
Madame Deputy Speaker, one of the key tools for equity in our society is the tax system.
Ever since the election of the Hawke Keating Labor governments the tax system has become an instrument of the one percent. Tax inequality in Australia has increased to such an extent that the bottom 20% of income earners pay 26.7% of their income in tax while the top 20% of income earners pay only 34.5%.
We will reverse that trend tonight. All those earning salary and wages or similar remuneration that is more than $180,000 will be taxed on that extra income at 100%. Those earning salary and wages income between $120,00 and $180000 will pay 45% on that bracket. From $80,000 to $120,00 the figure will be 30%. Those earning below $80,000 will pay 20%. Anyone earning less than $30,000 will pay no tax.
All unearned income such as capital gains, interest, dividends and rent, will be subject to a tax rate of 50% for the first $20000, 75% after that up to $70,000 and 100% above that.
Madame Deputy Speaker we will impose a super profits tax not only on resource companies making super profits but all companies making such profits.
The big 4 banks and supermarket duopoly will pay extra tax worth, we estimate, ten billion dollars per annum on average under these new arrangements, along with other monopoly or oligopoly industries and entities.
A comprehensive rent tax across all industries will raise at least $20 billion a year, money which will be spent on public education, public health, public transport and addressing the environmental catastrophe looming under capitalism.
Madame Deputy Speaker, we will abolish the neoliberal carbon tax and instead devote on average $10 billion a year to making Australia a carbon dioxide emissions free economy by 2020. We will adopt the Beyond Zero Emissions plan to do this and begin work immediately.
We estimate this will create 500,000 new jobs, reducing unemployment from its current real 10 percent to around 5 percent.
Madame Deputy Speaker, using just some of the rest of our fair tax approach we will employ an extra 50,000 teachers on premium wages for all teachers using the Finnish model of cooperation to help make Australia’s education system the best in the world.
We will employ as many nurses as needed, again on premium wages for all nurses in recognition of the great job they do, to reduce nurse:patient ratios to 3:1 in the short term and 2:1 long term.
For too long teachers and nurses have been treated as the cheap training and caring workers of our country. That ends tonight.
We celebrate their contribution not just with words but with money, money taken from the rich who have had an easy ride in our society for too long. It’s time for the billionaires and millionaires to pay for their privileged unearned position.
To that end negotiations have already begun with the teachers’ and nurses’ unions across Australia to implement our plans.
Madame Deputy Speaker, according to the Treasury Tax Expenditures Statement released earlier this year, last year business and the rich, the bastions of free enterprise and competition, received over ten billion in grants through the tax system. These disguised grants include superannuation concessions for the rich, capital gains tax concessions for business, fuel rebates, accelerated depreciation, immediate write off of mining exploration expenditure, massive international tax concessions, to name but a few.
These concessions are abolished immediately, and the revenue will gain an extra $21 billion as a consequence and the tax system will become fairer.
We have set up a workers’ tax reform committee with representatives from the most militant unions to develop a tax program that really does tax the rich till their pips squeak. Included in their terms of reference will be proposals to tax the family homes of the rich, a wealth tax and a death duty.
The workers’ tax reform committee will also investigate the goods and service tax with a view to abolishing it and replacing it with further taxes on the rich and powerful. In the interim we will cut the rate to 5%.
Madame Deputy Speaker, tax policy follows the wider struggles in society . During the last 30 years of working class subservience tax policy, indeed all government policy, has become, under both Labor and the Liberals, the plaything of the rich. This has been driven by the fall in profit rates from the early 1970s in the developed world.
Those days end tonight.
Tax and other policies can only redress inequality that arises as a consequence of growing inequality in the workplace. A progressive tax policy can only be built on the back of class struggle to win wage increases and defend jobs.
Madame Deputy Speaker, despite the recent magnificent strikes across Australia, led by the 17 militant unions, the share of national income going to capital is still almost at its highest ever and that to labour its lowest.
We will immediately raise the minimum wage to $1000 per week. All pensions will be paid at the rate of 125% of the minimum wage and other welfare payments adjusted accordingly.
One way to recognise the great contribution of labour to the wealth of Australia is to reduce working hours. We will cut the working week to 30 hours with no loss of income, effective immediately.
We have set aside $5 billion for a prices watchdog with real teeth, and that watchdog will control prices currently set by big business. Its guiding principle will be people, not profit.
Madame Deputy Speaker, from tonight the retirement age will be 60 if workers want to leave the workforce then.
No profitable big business will be able to sack workers.
The company tax rate for big business will be 39% up to $100,000 and 50% on profit above that. Dividend imputation is abolished. The tax lurk that is trusts will also end tonight. All trusts will be taxed as companies.
If big business resists our policies the relevant workers and their unions will take them over and run them to satisfy human need.
Madame Deputy Speaker, to stop capital fleeing the country we at 6 pm tonight closed down all electronic transfer mechanisms. Members of the Finance Sector Union have occupied key financial organisations and centres.
I am advised that attempts have been made by some major sections of capital to send their money offshore. These companies are now nationalised and we will put them under workers’ control.
The same will apply to any capital which attempts to leave the country in the days, weeks and months to come. You will be nationalised under your workers’ control.
Madame Deputy Speaker, one of the blights on Australian society has been the ANZUS treaty. I announce that we have tonight withdrawn from the treaty. My Foreign Affairs Comrade Bill Nile will be making a statement to the House in the next few hours. We believe, Madame Deputy Speaker, that such a move will save us about $5 billion a year.
The abolition of the secret police, ASIO and ASIS, will save almost a billion dollars a year and countless lives here and around the globe.
Madame Deputy Speaker, we have abolished the defence forces and the police. This will save approximately $50 billion a year. A people’s militia, already in formation, will receive $20 bn in funding, a saving of over $30 billion a year.
I am advised, Madame Deputy Speaker, that workers at the News Limited papers have seized control of their companies and begun producing The Liberated Australian. I look forward to reading its first copy tomorrow morning free of the malign influence of the Murdoch robber barons.
I am further advised Madame Deputy Speaker that Andrew Bolt has bolted.
Madame Deputy Speaker, this is just the tip of the iceberg. More details can be found at the Free Treasury website.
I will now hand over to the Commissioner for Working Class Spending. She will outline new spending on public health, education, transport and addressing climate change among other important issues.
Madame Deputy Speaker I commend the Bill to the House and to the working class.