Paying for Our Plans

 

The Greens are building a world where everyone has the right to a dignified life. The essentials are either free or low-cost, our jobs are meaningful, and our environment is protected and restored to proper health.

Our economic plan is based on a few simple premises:

  • a strong economy is a sustainable economy, built on a healthy environment;
  • it’s the shape of our economy, not simply its size, that determines our nation’s wealth;
  • our economy should work for us, not the other way round.

 

Right now, our economy doesn’t work for us. Some big corporations are using their influence and political donations to gain more for themselves, while many people across our communities are struggling to afford a roof over their head or food on the table.

For decades, both Liberal and Labor governments have taken millions of dollars in corporate donations and in return, they’ve given away billions of dollars to corporations and left big loopholes in our tax system, to the point where 1 in 3 of the biggest corporations pays no tax at all. A particularly egregious example in New South Wales is an accounting trick that allows mining companies to escape paying for rehabilitation costs - this may have cost taxpayers nearly $500 million.

 

Federal Plans

State budgets don’t work in isolation. By working to create good, green change at the federal, state and local level, we can align our priorities and work for a country where people and planet are taken care of.

With a significant portion of the state budget comprised of federal grants, the federal Greens’ policy has a large bearing on what states spend and the revenue they raise. The plans costed by the Parliamentary Budget Office have forecast an additional $98.5 billion in annual revenue by:

  • Tax on super profits: $19.5 billion
  • Ending corporate handouts: $36.2 billion
  • Tax on pollution: $13.9 billion
  • Closing tax avoidance loopholes: $12.3 billion
  • Reversing unfair tax cuts: $16.6 billion

NSW currently receives $41 billion (incl. redistributed GST) out of a total revenue pool of $486.1billion for all Australia; roughly 8.4%. If we assume that the total funding pool increases to $584.6 billion from our revenue raise, then New South Wales will receive $49.1 billion in funding, an increase of $8.1 billion from the additional revenues generated by the federal government and disbursed back to the NSW.

 

Smart Spending

We may not be able to rely on the federal government to fully fund all that needs to happen to transition our state. The Greens will not hesitate to implement smart spending policies that require borrowing at low interest rates to fund projects with high rates of economic, environmental or social return.

Australia is a low-tax, low-spend country which has low records of debt, compared to other developed countries. We need to make urgent investments in our infrastructure and in our communities, which does involve getting into debt; but we are confident that the productive investments we make towards a clean energy future will more than pay for themselves. New South Wales has a budget surplus of $4.2 billion, which we will invest to end the social and environmental deficits in our state. 

 

Our plan will:

  • Leverage Australia’s position as a low debt, low-interest rate state
  • Fund social investments which will address the social and environmental crisis

 

Revenue Raising

New South Wales is a rich state with low tax rates. We will require the very wealthy to pay their fair share and use taxation as a mechanism to promote the development of housing and reduce the number of vacant houses.

We will raise stamp duty for investors with over three properties to stimulate investment in affordable housing. Single-home owner-occupiers will be exempt from this addition.

Taxes on vacant residential land and vacant housing may be levied to encourage the development of vacant land and encourage available housing stock to be used by renters. This measure will also help raise revenue for our social housing program.

 

Our plan will:

  • Raising stamp duty on house sales for investors (but not for home buyers)
  • Potentially, taxes on vacant residential land to increase housing stock

 

Ending Corporate Subsidies and Low-Value Infrastructure

The Greens are committed to ending corporate subsidies and working to stop our state’s spending on low-value infrastructure.

We will close loopholes which allow mining companies to avoid cleaning up their pollution and to ensure land is remediated when operations cease. Our priority will be to investigate a review of all tax breaks, subsidies and concessions given to corporations in NSW and eliminate those that are not contributing to a clean energy future.

Low-value infrastructure projects such as motorways won’t do anything other than line the pockets of construction giants, generate tons of emissions and contribute to the state’s commitment to trucks and cars. We will put an end to this low value, counter-productive spending and invest the money on effective transit solutions. This will help prepare our state for a clean energy future; not keep it stuck in the destructive ways of the past.

 

Our plan will:

  • End corporate subsidies
  • Cancel low-value infrastructure projects