With just days to spare before the debt limit needed to be increased, the Australian Greens have struck a deal with the government to abolish the ceiling.
Once labelled “economic fringe-dwellers” by the Coalition, the Greens have stolen a march on the ALP by negotiating a deal that reshapes the debt debate and sidelines the Opposition.
Greens leader Senator Christine Milne told a media conference that the agreement allows for increased parliamentary scrutiny of government debt. An automatic ministerial statement and parliamentary debate will take place whenever a $50 billion increase in debt is undertaken. There is no provision for the parliament to disallow a debt increase.
The Greens are selling the deal as an agreement that ensures that debt will be justified and the public “will now be able to see whether the government is incurring good debt to invest in our future, or bad debt to cover up a shortfall in revenue”. [Read more...]