Even since the Greens disastrous result in the Batman by-election leader Richard Di Natale has been under leadership pressure. What compounded the damage from Batman was the fact the party’s campaign and Di Natale’s pick as the candidate Alex Bathal was sabotaged by hard left elements in the party.
Di Natale who sold himself when he became Greens leader has a centrist and willing to work constructively across party lines has now veered to the left to save his job. His party has accused Peter Dutton of being a racist and fascist because of his desire to explore bringing as refugees to Australia persecuted white South African farmers. Di Natale also blamed climate change for the bushfires in Tathra and Terang backed up with no evidence.
Di Natale also began the year by stating his biggest priority as leader was changing the date of Australia Day and would utilize the power of the Greens in local government to agitate for it. Other policies recently announced by the Greens the phasing out of petrol and diesel cars by banning their sale from 2030.
Today in his address to the National Press Club in Canberra Di Natale has unveiled two new big government, borderline socialist policies from the Greens. The first is a ‘People’s Bank’ which would offer low-interest housing loans to Australians. The Reserve Bank would offer banking services which could be accessed via Australia Post and other contracts. Homeowners would be able to borrow 60% of the value of their property.
Di Natale claimed this policy is needed because of the misconduct of the big banks being explored in the Banking Royal Commission. However many of the stories coming out of the commission involve people being granted loans they could not pay back and hence getting into financial trouble. Di Natale is proposing to do exactly the same thing except having a government bank grant irresponsible loans.
The Greens other new policy idea is to introduce what is known as a universal basic income (UBI) where all Australian citizens would be able to receive a regular, non-means-tested wage from the government, with no obligation to work. This of course would add billions to the nation’s welfare bill and also incentivize Australians from either looking for work or taking on more work.
The Coalition has flat out rejected both proposals with Eric Abetz calling them “regressive and utra-socialist approach of less work, higher welfare and killing profitable businesses”. They are even too left wing for the Labor Party with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten correctly highlighting “The real answer here isn’t to put more cheap cash into the market, which will actually just boost the cost of housing”.
The Greens announcement of these new big government policies are another indication that all the major political parties are lurching to the left. Labor wants to tear up the nation’s workplace relations laws and is always looking for new ways to tax higher income earners. The Turnbull Government during its tenure has increased superannuation taxes and introduced a bank levy. We have a choice it seems of left, far-left and ultra left.