Australian billionaire: Rudd, Abbott don’t understand business
Australian billionaire and aspiring prime minister Clive Palmer, has lashed out at election candidates Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott, claiming neither of them understand the concept of business or how to get the country's flagging economy back on track.
Palmer, who is Queensland's wealthiest man, formed the Palmer United Party in April this year in a bid to challenge ruling Labor Party chief and Prime Minister Rudd, and leader of the opposition Liberal-National coalition party Abbott in the federal elections scheduled for September 7.
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In an interview with CNBC on Sunday, the outspoken Palmer criticized both Rudd and Abbott for failing to understand the concept of business and lacking "common sense."
"These guys (Rudd and Abbott) don't know anything because they've never been in business," he said. "We need a total revolution. We've got to change what's happening. We've got professional politicians making us bankrupt."
Although the country is struggling with an expanding budget deficit, projected to rise to over A$30 billion ($27 billion) for the fiscal year ending in June 2014, Palmer said tax cuts rather than hikes were the answers to the country's problems.
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Palmer's policies vastly differ from opposition leader Abbott, who has declared Australia's finances to be in a "budget emergency" territory and has promised hefty cuts to government spending to get the country's finances in order.
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At Palmer's official campaign launch at his resort on Queensland's Sunshine Coast on Sunday, Palmer outlined how if he were to gain power, businesses would be allowed to pay tax annually on earnings rather than quarterly on projected profits - a policy that would free up around A$70 billion ($63 billion) per year, he said.
"People don't have demand because there's not enough money circulating....If (a) business has to pay their money in advance like that, they haven't got the confidence to employ people and they haven't got money to employ people," he added.
He also promised a 15 percent cut to income tax, which he said would give the average Australian A$2,500 extra to spend every year from 2014.
The additional money circulating through the economy would be fed back to the government in goods and services tax (GST), he said, and the extra demand would create jobs, more investment and exports for Australia.
These policies, he said, would help address Australia's crisis of confidence.
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"It's not so much the surplus or deficit [that's the problem]. It's the demand factor. We've got to get demand out there because people are frightened. There's no confidence in the community," he said.
Palmer also plans to increase the aged pension by 20 percent, and inject $80 billion into health and $20 billion into education.
Recent opinion polls show the opposition Coalition party is most likely to win the election.
—By CNBC's Katie Holliday: Follow her on Twitter @hollidaykatie