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PM's austerity politics to force people into poverty

Media Release
Adam Bandt 1 Feb 2021

The Prime Minister’s plan to put Australia back into austerity mode will throw thousands of people into poverty and risks bankrupting our nation, Leader of the Australian Greens Adam Bandt MP said today. 

“The Prime Minister is desperate to go back to the bad old ways of economic rationalism and austerity, but he is blind to the pain of people out of work and the clear signs that JobSeeker and JobKeeper are still desperately needed,” said Mr Bandt.

“When you talk to people in the arts, tourism or hospitality industries, they are clear - the pain of the pandemic isn’t over yet. These industries remain shuttered, and until our borders are open, need help.

“Scott Morrison or Josh Frydenberg aren’t really worried about debt, they just don’t want to borrow to help people out of work. The government went into debt to give tax cuts for millionaires, but now they’re refusing to properly support people out of work while the pandemic continues. 

“The total tax cuts package will cost the budget $325 billion by the end of the decade, 58% of which will go to the top 20% with just 0.1% going to the poorest 20%.”* 

“The Liberals are going into debt for the rich while inflicting austerity on everyone else. It’s trickle-down cruelty, an intentional structural deficit by tax cuts.

“The Prime Minister’s economic recovery plan is based on a sole figure: the unemployment rate. But a rising employment rate itself means nothing to a casual bar worker who gets just 5 hours a week work and can’t get the hours they need. Business confidence doesn’t help a hire boat company that has no customers and soon no JobKeeper. By looking at the headline figure you can justify anything, and the Prime Minister is using it to sacrifice millions of people on the altar of trickle-down ideology.

“Cutting JobSeeker to the cripplingly low Newstart rates of just $40 a day will force people into poverty - torn between keeping a roof over their heads and feeding themselves. 

“If you’re out of work, you shouldn’t be pushed to starvation or homelessness. Living expenses aren’t any less than they were at the height of the pandemic.

“Austerity politics kills people and economic growth. Stimulus measures are the best way to pull people through the pandemic, and get our economy out of recession, but Scott Morrison is ending treatment just as the patient is recovering.”

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