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Hockey’s vision for a dog-eat-dog Australia

The Greens will vigorously defend a vision for Australia that sees us properly and fairly support each other and provide universal public health and education against Joe Hockey's vision of a dog-eat-dog world where short term profits are more important than people and planet.

"The big question I've been asking people since becoming Leader of the Greens last week is what kind of country do we want to live in?" Australian Greens Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said.

"I see a nation of generous people who understand that we live in a society, not an economy, and who want to invest in supporting people and protecting the land for now and for the future.

"The logical conclusion of what Mr Hockey is saying is no universal health care, no universal access to public education, certainly no Denticare. It's a Thatcherite every man, woman and child for themselves world where people who are struggling are told it's their fault for not working had enough. Thank goodness Australia isn't like that.

"The more Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott reveal their true colours, the less I believe Australians will like what they hear.

"In Joe Hockey's vision for Australia, government should be paying billions of dollars to hugely profitable companies to subsidise their diesel fuel use, but shouldn't be supporting people who have hit hard times.

"In Joe Hockey's vision for Australia, taxpayers should pay polluters to ask them to clean up their act and the super profits from the mining bubble should flow off-shore to shareholders, not be shared fairly across Australian society.

"The Greens have proposed multi-billion dollar savings and revenue measures to help push the budget back towards the black while still supporting people and investing wisely for the future.

"Whilst we believe the budget needs to be in surplus over the economic cycle, this year is a political deadline, not an economic one, and surplus should not be achieved by driving families and our environment deep into debt."

Australian Greens spokesperson for Family, Community and Disability Services, Senator Rachel Siewert, who has been living the last week as though on the Newstart Allowance, said "What Mr Hockey is obviously aiming at is reducing support for our most vulnerable Australians.

"Rather than reducing our support we need to be increasing it, and a $50 increase to Newstart is a vital part of that. My experience this week living on Newstart and meeting with people trying to survive on Newstart has shown me that we clearly need to do more."


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