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Greens Budget push to force billionaires & big corporations to return Job Keeper

Media Release
Adam Bandt 3 May 2021

Greens leader Adam Bandt will announce the next steps in the Greens campaign to make the billionaires and big corporations pay their fair share today, with a Budget push for the Morrison government to force the billionaires and big corporations who profited from JobKeeper to pay it back.

Launching the campaign in his electorate outside a Harvey Norman store in Richmond, Mr Bandt said the Greens would seek to amend the Budget to effectively force the repayment of JobKeeper by billionaires and big corporations, like billionaire Gerry Harvey's corporation, who received JobKeeper yet paid dividends, executive bonuses or were otherwise profitable. 

Mr Bandt will also outline the details of a campaign by Greens supporters to name and shame the billionaires and big corporations who have profited during the pandemic. Flanked by supporters and holding a giant debt collection notice outside the Harvey Norman store, Mr Bandt will say Greens supporters would be serving debt notices online and outside stores and offices of the billionaires and big corporations. 

Mr Bandt will write next week to Crossbench Senators and MPs and Labor to ask for their support for the amendments to the Budget.

A Parliamentary Budget Office costing, commissioned by the Greens, shows that 65 of the big corporations that have made excessive profits or paid out executive bonuses during pandemic would return $1.1 billion to the public if effectively forced to return JobKeeper. This is a low estimate of what could be returned, as the government has not disclosed any comprehensive list of excessively profitable companies who received JobKeeper for inclusion in the PBO costing. 

Quotes attributable to Greens Leader, Adam Bandt:

“The Greens will make the billionaires and big corporations pay their fair share.” 

“While everyone else was suffering during the pandemic, billionaires and big corporations took government handouts and got even richer.

“If you’re making enough money to buy a private jet or pay executive bonuses, then you can pay back JobKeeper.

“Billionaire Gerry Harvey doesn’t need public handouts. Australians have shoveled money through the front door of Harvey Norman and the government has shoveled public money through the back door. Big corporations like Harvey Norman should be made to pay JobKeeper back.”

“The PBO estimates over $1 billion dollars has gone to just 65 big corporations who then made big profits, paid dividends or gave out executive bonuses, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.”

“It’s not enough to just ask them to pay back JobKeeper, Parliament has to make them do it. Simply appealing to these billionaires’ better nature won’t work, because they don’t have one.”

“The Greens call on every member of Parliament to back our push to force these billionaires and big corporations to pay back JobKeeper.”

“We will be naming and shaming these corporations with debt collection notices in the coming weeks.”

“JobKeeper was a lifeline for many, but for some billionaires it was another ivory back scratcher. 

“Liberals and Labor take donations from billionaires and big corporations, but this is their chance to make them pay back the JobKeeper payments they didn’t need.”

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