Simone White in Red Flag reports on the McClure welfare review and concludes it is all about welfare on the cheap. Here is part of what she says:
The McClure review of the welfare system, commissioned by the government and last week handed down to social services minister Scott Morrison, provides the architecture for a very lean and very mean welfare system. “A new system for better-employment and social outcomes” would more aptly be named, “Sink or swim: a guide to how you don’t deserve a life jacket”.
Labor’s tax avoidance crack down statement was the old pea and thimble trick. It wants to give the impression of doing something about big business tax avoidance (always a popular issue among ordinary workers) without really frightening the big business horses. Pathetic is the word that comes to mind.
Absolute rent has caused great debate and controversy among left wing writers. Is it actually two concepts – monopoly rent and absolute rent, or just absolute rent arising from the low level of say capital investment in agriculture?  I adopt David Harvey’s approach, of distinguishing between absolute rent and monopoly rent.  Others, like Faysil Yachir, argue that despite a very high OCC in the mining industry there can still be absolute rent because of monopoly. The two, as I have outlined above are different, but related, a matter which I hope becomes clearer when we work through the differences between State and Territory absolute rents such as royalties and Commonwealth monopoly rents in the form of rent taxes.
James Supple writes in the socialist magazine Solidarity about the ongoing and deep-seated problems in bourgeois politics in Australia. He says that underpinning the turmoil in parliamentary politics is the low level of class struggle. The greatest strength the working class majority has is in its industrial strength and in mass movements to fight for change outside of parliament. This is where real reforms, for land rights, equal pay, penalty rates and long service leave, have been won. That is why socialists put such emphasis on fanning the flames of struggle—this is where the hope for change lies.
I have written about the Australian Labor Party and its changing nature viewed through the Minerals Resource Rent Tax disaster. I argue basically that it is moving from a capitalist workers’ party to a capitalist party. Passant, J. (2014). The minerals resource rent tax: the Australian Labor Party and the continuity of change. Accounting Research […]
Alex McAuley in Red Flag discuses the attempts of the government and the bosses to further cut, or even abolish, penalty rates. This drive won’t go away despite the ongoing crises in the Abbott government seeing the Employment Minister, Senator Abetz, divorce the government from the Productivity Committee inquiry and from implementing any recommendations about either penalty rates or the minimum wage before or after the 2016 election. They know as well as anyone that embracing cuts to the minimum wage and penalty rates would destroy completely their very slim chances of re-election. If, god forbid, they were re-elected they could then change their minds and implement the recommendations to cut the minimum wage and get rid of penalty rates. A government saying one thing before an election and doing something different after. Hard to believe eh?
Given that the AFP is investigating whether Gillian Triggs was asked to resign and if an inducement was offered to get her to do so, isn’t Tony Abbott’s categorical and unequivocal statement that ‘she was not asked to resign and no inducement has been offered’ itself possibly an attempt to influence and perhaps pervert the course of the investigation? Will he too be investigated?
Gillian Triggs was quite right to point out the abuse of asylum seeker children that went on under Labor and is going on under the Liberals. That should be our focus instead of the circus about so-called political partisanship that the Abbott government is using to hide its abuse of children. There is an alternative to brutalising kids. Bring them and all the other asylum seekers to Australia for release into the community.
The Australian government’s attacks on refugees have operated as a distraction while union rights, jobs and hard-won conditions and wages are under attack. Unions have always been at the forefront of campaigns for social justice, and they play a vital role in the fight for refugee rights. Please join us for the launch of Unionists for Refugees at a public meeting with ACTU President Ged Kearney from 6.30pm, Tuesday 3 March at the Belconnen Labor Club (Fred Daly Room), Chandler St, Belconnen.