Gloom and doom Budget a missed opportunity

The opportunity for substantial tax reform to improve Australia’s bottom line has been missed by the Albanese Labor government’s first Budget.

One Nation leader Senator Pauline Hanson said the Commonwealth’s spiral into higher deficits and debt – with all the long-term pain this entailed for the Australian people – would not be arrested as long as Labor and the Coalition remained too frightened to undertake necessary tax reform.

“This gloom and doom Budget is a stark warning of things to come, but Labor has squibbed the chance to take the necessary measures to see us through these tough times and invest in Australia’s future prosperity,” Senator Hanson said.

“It’s clear Labor and the Coalition are in lock step on big government – there’s no longer any difference between them on this issue. The problem with big government is the reality of much higher taxes.

“The $1500 tax offset is gone, cutting the majority of Australians’ take-home pay by $30 a week. Labor’s priority, however, should be reforms which make foreign-owned multinationals pay their fair share of tax in Australia. They need to stop blaming Russia’s invasion of Ukraine for high energy prices and look to their own incompetence.

“The tax reform I’ve been advocating would add billions of dollars to government revenue and ensure Australians are justly compensated for the exploitation of their natural resources.

“This Budget also highlights huge increases in electricity and gas prices over the next two years. Yet the Coalition and Labor blew an opportunity to increase the supply, and reduce the price, of gas in the domestic market by failing to support my amendment to the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006.

“They’re too gutless – and too poorly informed – to make the right decisions in the best interests of their country and its people.

“In my discussions with the current Prime Minister, and in many discussions with senior ministers of the previous government, I was shocked to learn how unaware they were of the rich natural gas fields on the North-West shelf – the most productive such field in the world – and that more than $80 billion in liquid natural gas (LNG) exports from there were only generating about $200-300 million in Commonwealth revenue.

“There is a sliver of hope in the Treasurer not ruling out changes to the petroleum resources rent tax (PRRT) as reported this morning, but I’m not holding my breath this Labor government will have any more guts than the Coalition to stand up to foreign-owned multinationals.

“The Coalition had almost 10 years to fix this problem while in office. They profoundly failed the Australian people and let this massive rip-off continue unabated. This betrayal won’t be forgotten.

“I will never stop fighting for Australians to get a fair and just return for our natural resources, for a pipeline to deliver North-West shelf gas to Australia’s east coast, and for reliable, secure and affordable energy for Australian households, businesses and industry. Our future relies on it.”

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