Ending the age of entitlement begins by ending handouts to wealthy polluters

If the Abbott Government is genuine about ending the age of entitlement it must stop giving handouts, subsidies, loans and tax breaks to wealthy resource extraction companies and big polluters, the Australian Conservation Foundation said today.

News reports today confirm the Government has granted a $110 million loan to two of the world’s richest companies – BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto – to allow those companies to operate a copper mine in South America.

“The Treasurer says the age of entitlement is over but the Government’s actions don’t match the rhetoric,” said Dugald Murray, senior economist at the Australian Conservation Foundation.

“This year alone the Government will give out more than $10 billion in fuel subsidies and tax concessions to mega profitable companies.

“Handing over billions of taxpayer’s dollars to wealthy multinational mining companies and big polluters doesn’t make sense.

“Mining creates pollution, wrecks tourism and farming and tears our landscape apart.

“We need to look to the jobs of the future – and they are in clean energy.

“Instead of handouts to big polluters the Government should maintain not scrap the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which invests in vibrant, dynamic industries and jobs here in Australia where they’re needed most.

The Australian Conservation Foundation’s Budget submission calls for reform of these wasteful handouts and outlines the immediate investments needed to help reverse Australia’s catastrophic decline in biodiversity. 

ACF’s Budget submission also provides additional savings that can be used for socially productive areas such as education and disability support services.