China News Agency, Sydney, April 9 (Australian Financial Review) reported on the 9th that nearly 60% of Australians opposed paying for the “AUKUS” agreement through tax increases. Australia’s plan to buy nuclear-powered submarines is estimated to cost A$368 billion over the next 30 years.
The report quoted a survey by the Australian Institute showing that only 34% of respondents supported cutting other items in the annual defense budget of 48 billion Australian dollars, while 18% believed that other government items should be cut. Fifteen percent favored increasing the deficit, 11 percent favored tax increases, and 22 percent said they had no opinion.
Asked whether taxes should be raised to pay for subs, 59 percent opposed it, with just 28 percent in favor.
Allan Behm, director of international and security affairs at the Australian Institute, said that while the Australian government was decisive in announcing the AUKUS submarine program, it was unclear how Australia would undertake the 30-year, A$368 billion project. There is widespread confusion among Australians about how to pay these fees. Few people want to increase taxes to achieve their goals. The government has a lot of work to do to convince voters that nuclear-powered submarines are worth the money.
Allan Patience, a principal researcher in political science at the University of Melbourne, recently published a review article on the Pearls & Irritations website, saying that the “AUKUS” agreement may cause Australia to lose its national sovereignty and become a subsidiary ally of the United States.