Socialist Alliance: Tax corporate profits for flood levy

February 19, 2011

The Socialist Alliance has called for changes to the federal Labor government’s proposed flood levy to reduce the burden on workers and make Australia’s wealthiest corporations pay more.

Socialist Alliance national convener Peter Boyle said on February 18: "The government should start with at least a 1.5% levy on the profits of corporations employing more than 20 people.

“Corporations profiting from high carbon emitting industries could be levied an extra 0.5% as their actions are contributing to climate change.

“With big corporations like BHP-Billiton and the Commonwealth Bank announcing record half-yearly profits, people should demand that they be levied first.

"The mining companies were let off $60 billion in taxes because of the Gillard Labor government's cave-in on the mining super profit tax. For a start, the mining companies should be made to pay a significant share of the flood recovery costs."

Boyle said the levy “should only cut in on personal taxable incomes over $100,000 per annum at 1% and rise to 1.5% on incomes above $200,000”.

He also condemned Labor’s decision to cut social and environmental programs to pay for rebuilding infrastructure destroyed by the recent extreme weather events.

"Effective action must be taken now to shift to a 100% renewable and net carbon-free economy,” Boyle said

“If there needs to be cuts to government spending these should be cuts to the military budget and the approximately $10 billion a year in subsidies paid by state and federal governments to the fossil fuel industry.”

Boyle attacked the role of the “profiteering insurance companies” that have sought to avoid paying out claims in the wake of Australia’s recent floods, cyclones and bush fires.

“We call for the establishment by the federal government of a publicly owned and managed insurance scheme, run on a not-for-profit basis, to guarantee rapid disaster relief and rebuilding of affected areas,” he said.

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