The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance (ATA), a 75,000+ member national grassroots advocacy group representing the nation’s taxpayers, today condemned the federal government’s $2 billion taxpayer-funded Australian Business Securitisation Fund which will intervene in the small business loan market by effectively guaranteeing loans.
“While supporting small business is an admirable goal, we’ve seen the disastrous effects when governments with good intentions begin to underwrite risky investments using public funds. The ordinary mums and dads of Australia are the ones who bear the cost.” Said Satya Marar, Director of Policy at the ATA.
“South Australian taxpayers may soon have to foot a whopping $291 million bill because their previous Labor government underwrote the investment on the embattled Port Pirie Zinc smelter. That will be $291 million which could have gone towards building schools, roads and hospitals or providing essential services to those who cannot look after themselves.
“In the United States, the policy of successive governments to underwrite risky home loans to promote housing affordability resulted in an eventual collapse which triggered the Global Financial Crisis. Politicians splashing public funds cannot be forgiven for failing to learn lessons from these mistakes.
“It would be poor and unconscionable stewardship of taxpayer funds to write blank cheques so banks can sell debt into the small business market without proper checks and balances. If the ABSF is going ahead, it should at least include strict eligibility requirements that single out commercially viable organisations and investments so hardworking taxpayers across Australia don’t end up paying through the nose for corporate welfare.”