Opposition Press Releases


08
Nov

Higher taxes and debt pipeline to Chinese government to pay for Andrews’ promises

Opposition Press Releases

Daniel Andrews will hike taxes by a conservative $12.5 billion and mortgage our infrastructure to foreign governments to pay for his unfunded infrastructure promises.

These tax increases on residential property, car rego, payroll tax, tolls on public transport and more would all be ripped straight from taxpayers’ pockets.

These tax hikes alone would pay for just one quarter of Daniel Andrews proposed $50 billion Suburban Rail Loop.

To offset the shortfall Daniel Andrews will have to borrow billions of dollars.

Daniel Andrews’ refusal to release the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) he signed with the Chinese government regarding its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) raises serious questions that he must answer before Victorians vote in the State election.

In light of reports that other BRI participants have cancelled projects regarding concerns over corruption and a lack of value for money, it is vital that Daniel Andrews comes clean on exactly what he has committed Victoria to.

Daniel Andrews must release the MOU today.

He also needs, at minimum, to answer the following questions:

• Does Daniel Andrews’ deal facilitate Chinese government loans for Labor’s unfunded infrastructure promises? If so, on what terms? How much will taxpayers have to pay back?

• Does Daniel Andrews’ deal facilitate Chinese government equity investment in Labor’s unfunded infrastructure promises? If so, on what terms? What level of control will the Chinese government have over the projects?

• Was Daniel Andrews’ deal approved by the Victorian Cabinet with circulation of the full text of the MOU to Cabinet members? If not, why not?

• Does Daniel Andrews’ deal exclude any Victorian regulatory oversight, including from the Independent Broadbased Anti-corruption Commission?

Victorians can start voting on Monday 12 November.

They deserve full answers to these important questions before then.

Otherwise, Victorians will rightly ask – what is it that Daniel Andrews and Labor are hiding?

Background

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s Michael Shoebridge has noted a “strong debate within China about whether the BRI needs to be recast to address rising international pushback because of its lack of transparency, the financial burdens it puts on recipients and its seemingly strong political and security implications”.

Shoebridge also reports that the new Prime Minister of Malaysia “was cancelling some US$22 billion in BRI projects with Chinese firms and banks because of corruption in these deals and the lack of value for money to Malaysian taxpayers”.

Source: “Victoria signs up to the BRI: what didn’t they know and when didn’t they know it?” The Strategist, www.apsistrategist.org.au, 6 Nov 2018




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