After being elected as your representative 12 years ago, one thing which always strikes me about the Federal Budget is the dinners.
Not my dinner, where my office put on some cold pizzas while we listened to the Treasurer speak, but the fundraising dinners for the Liberal Party which appear all over Parliament House, raising money for their re-election campaigns.
During budget night, the Liberals turn the Parliament into a function centre, packing the place out with high-paying donors to come and listen to the Treasurer announce how he will be spending your money.
It’s not just the dinners, but corridors and halls are actually laid out with tables, so donors can pay up to $10,000 a plate for the privilege of watching the Treasurer on telly.
All the big donors are there, the coal and gas corporations, the big business groups and their lobbyists, the people who own media companies and the big corporations.
There are the Treasurer’s mates, like the billionaires who took millions of dollars of your money through JobKeeper.
It’s incredible, because the public doesn’t get to go to these dinners, only those who can afford to pay are invited. The budget is actually for the donors.
Much was made of the government giving $420 to low- and middle-income earners in a one-off payment, but little was made of the fact that billionaires will be getting a $9075 tax cut each and every year, under the government’s stage three tax cuts, with Labor’s support.
The coal and gas corporations which attended these events presumably had a great time, given that in the budget there was more than $36 billion in handouts from taxpayers, and nothing new to roll out renewable energy.
Instead of tackling the climate crisis, the budget actually pays polluters.
The budget gave over $16 billion in subsidies to push up housing prices and make it harder for first home buyers to get into the housing market, which is why some of the developers who stand to profit were only too happy to get into Parliament House and have a piece of overcooked chicken.
If you feel like politics doesn’t work for people like you, this is why. Liberal – and sadly, Labor too – take too many big donations from big corporations and billionaires, and as a result, Budgets get written which deliver little for everyday people. On budget night, it’s like the curtain is pulled up, and there they all are, in your Parliament, getting drunk on your wine, and ripping off your resources.
This is why this election is so important. We have to kick the Liberals out. They have sent the climate crisis and cost of living crisis out of control and have refused to make the big corporations and billionaires pay their fair share.
With the Greens in the balance of power after the election, we will push the next government to make the billionaires and big corporations pay their tax, not donations, and we will fight for everyone’s future, not just those on the guest list •
Contact Adam Bandt:
[email protected] or phone 9417 0772