End the billionaires' rip-offs to fix the budget deficit

Issue 

This statement was released by the Socialist Alliance on August 2.

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“Both Liberal and Labor governments have squandered the fruits of the mining boom,” said Peter Boyle, the Socialist Alliance candidate for Sydney, in response to the Rudd government's August 2 economic statement.

“And the only real solution lies in reversing the tax cuts given to the rich by the Howard and Gillard-Rudd governments and by nationalising the mines, banks and energy companies and put them under the democratic control of the community.

“These governments have squandered these gains by granting billions of dollars of tax cut concessions to the wealthiest individuals and corporations.

“The billionaires and their corporations have been rewarded for greed and for social and ecological vandalism. And now, after more than a decade of record profits and record tax cuts for the rich, we are told the cupboard is empty and that ordinary people, including the poorest among us, have to suffer to make up the deficit.

“The Rudd Labor government's economic statement makes it clear that once again the losses are to be socialised after the profits have been privatised.

“The burden of the great bulk of the $17.4 billion of cuts and tax hikes announced are to be shouldered by ordinary working people.

“The one tax that targets the banks — the 0.05% levy on bank deposits — has met a predictable response from the bankers: they threaten to pass the tax on to the customers they are fleecing.”

Boyle said the Australia Institute calculated in May this year that income tax cuts between 2005-06 and 2011-12 have taken $169 billion out of federal revenue and had disproportionately benefited the richest 10%.

“In addition to reversing all the tax cuts on the rich, society should end the billions currently being ripped off in super profits by the mining companies and the banks by nationalising these two sectors.

“Though the mining boom may have peaked,” Boyle said, “the mining companies and the banks are still making huge profits.

“Worse still, these are companies are putting these profits and society's collective, savings in bank deposits and superannuation, into bad investments that lock us into climate catastrophe.

“If we want a safe and just future we need to take these assets into the hands of the community. There is simply no other way to do it.”