The Greens have released plans for investing $20 billion in public infrastructure by restoring taxes on property speculators and high-profit clubs, and without privatisation of public assets.
Greens candidate for Clarence, Janet Cavanaugh said: “Until now the voters of Clarence have been confronted with the false choice between losing control over the state’s electricity industry or living with outdated schools and hospitals, inadequate social housing and public transport, and increasing isolation.
“Because the Greens are prepared to stand up to the vested interests, we can find the money to invest in our hospitals and schools, and in social housing without privatising the wires and poles.
“The Liberal-Nationals government has been holding voters to ransom, telling them that without privatisation, there can be no more money for essential infrastructure upgrades.
“Labor, afraid of a backlash from the cashed-up clubs and property speculators, can only offer a half of what the Liberals and Nationals are promising.
“The Greens don't accept that choice. We want voters in Clarence to know that first class schools, hospitals and transport and continued ownership of community assets is entirely possible if the next government has the courage to stand up to the vested interests," Ms Cavanaugh said.
Greens NSW MP John Kaye said: “The Greens are offering $20 billion of new infrastructure, more affordable homes, new jobs and a brake on the problem they caused by pokie palaces.
“And we can do it without power privatisation or financial sleights of hand. The privatisation vs infrastructure debate ends today.
“NSW deserves better than the false choice between a government that will privatise community assets and an Opposition that will under-invest in the future.
"Governments can grow the revenue base and use the funds to create real jobs and a resilient economy, supporting vibrant communities across the state.
“But, hemmed in by vested interests, the Liberals, Nationals and the Labor parties only offer the choice of crumbling assets or the loss of control over the future of the electricity industry.
“Premier Mike Baird is obsessed with privatisation, while Labor lacks the courage to tax unearned income and gambling revenue.
“The Greens are not afraid to stand up to the developer lobby, land speculators and cashed-up mega-clubs because it means we can rebuild the state without cannibalising critical public assets.
“The Greens are offering new public investment, not a fire sale, and a sustainable and fair plan to fund it,” Dr Kaye said.
For more information: John Kaye 0407 195 455; Janet Cavanaugh 0429 479 968--------
The Greens have announced revenue measures that would fund the repayment of $20 billion of investment in new public transport, schools, hospitals, housing and other social infrastructure, without privatisation or running up unsustainable debt.
The Greens propose to restore taxation measures worth $950 million a year on property speculators and poker machines in the largest clubs that were introduced by former Labor Premier Bob Carr in 2004 and then axed by his successor, Morris Iemma, in 2006.
Together with $400 million a year from maintaining the stamp duties on business transactions that were scheduled to be abolished, a loan of $20 billion can be paid back over a 20 year period, using conservative estimates of interest rates.
The vendor duty would not apply to the family home or farm and would help prevent first home buyers being priced out by another housing bubble.
Rescinding Morris Iemma's tax cut for the most profitable clubs would reduce the money available to them to expand and further concentrate poker machines in areas with high incidences of problem gambling.
Taking back the tax cuts
· Reinstate the Vendor Duty. This would apply to the sale of all land other than owner-occupied homes and family farms, where the value since purchase has increased by more than 12 percent. The duty was designed to address the combination of capital gains and negative gearing tax concessions introduced by the Howard Government.
Revenue: $645 million averaged over four year forward estimates
· Restore marginal poker machine tax rates at clubs with profits of more than $1 million a year to the level set by Labor in 2004 (a sliding marginal scale from 25 percent on $1 million to $5 million of profits to 40 percent on profits over $10 million).
Revenue: $310 million per annum averaged over four year forward estimates
· Maintain the stamp duties on certain business transactions (the "IGA" taxes) which are scheduled to be abolished in July 2016. These include stamp duty on business mortgages, unlisted marketable securities and transfer duty on non-real business transfers. The duties are forecast to raise $381 million in 2016-17 and $403 million in 2017-18.
Revenue: $400 million per annum averaged over four year forward estimates
· Total revenue: $1.355 billion per annum
· $20 billion at 3.25%, paid back over 20 years at $1.35 billion a year. The rate is deliberately conservative, compared to the current 10-year Waratah bond rate of 2.75% which would require annual repayments of $1.3 billion. Phased borrowing over the 20 year period would increase the total amount of capital that can be sustainably raised.
Infrastructure investment includes
Schools, TAFE colleges and hospitals $4.5 billion
Social (including public) and affordable housing $4.5 billion
Public transport (new projects, not yet announced) $1.75 billion
Renewable energy package (already announced) $2.75 billion
Large scale solar and other renewables $2.25 billion
Sports and recreation $1.5 billion
Other social infrastructure, focused on jobs creation $2.75 billion
Total: $20.0 billion
Note: With the exception of the renewable energy package, these are all new projects, with details to be announced over the next three weeks. Other transport options announced in January are funded from redirecting existing funds not from Rebuilding NSW "asset recycling".
For more information on the tax measures and borrowing visit: http://nsw.greens.org.au/news/nsw/taking-vested-interests-fund-future