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John Passant

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May 2014



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Australia’s Budget: the rich get the gravy, the poor get the blame

This was a Budget of the rich, by the rich, for the rich. It was about redistributing wealth from the poor and the working class to the rich and capital.

But don’t just take my word for it.

The National Centre for Social and Economic Modeling (NATSEM) at the University of Canberra, in work it did for the Labor Party,  has made the same point, backed up by impressive analysis.

According to Daniel Hurst in The Guardian

[Ben] Phillips [from NATSEM] said lower income earners did the heavy lifting, whereas higher income earners were left with barely any change or an improvement in their financial position in 2017-18 due to the carbon price abolition. The three-year deficit levy on income above $180,000 a year is due to expire at the end of June 2017.

Phillips told the ABC:

It is “not fair at all”. We’d estimate around 1.2 million families that would be on average around $3,000 a year worse off by 2017-18, whereas the top income groups – so the top 20 per cent of households – would have either no impact or a very small positive impact.

Michelle Grattan in the Conversation gives this example from Phillips:

He said the modelling’s major finding was that the budget’s pain was felt most strongly by low income families – those with children and particularly single parents.

A single parent in 2014-15 would lose about $1800 up to a wage of $60,000, mainly through losing the school kids bonus and having reductions in family payments if their youngest child had turned six. There was a similar hit for couples with children.

By 2017-18 the full impact of losing Family Tax Benefit B, other changes to family payments, and no school kids bonus combined to hit these families by $4000 for very low income people and more than $6000 for families with incomes around $50-60,000.

The NATSEM Table shows the detail of the impacts on the poor and workers and it can be found in the Daniel Hurst article in the Guardian.

Is is not only NATSEM making the point that this is a Budget of unfairness and upwards redistribution.

According to Daniel Hurst in another Guardian article:

A single, unemployed 23-year-old faces an 18% cut in disposable income in 2016-17 as a result of the budget, the largest proportional reduction of the 13 household types analysed by the Crawford school of public policy at the Australian National University.

Later on the two researchers say:

Our conclusion is that the budget proposals mean that the budget pain is not being evenly shared but will be heaviest for many working-age people at the lowest income levels.

This gross inequity and inequality is not an aberration. It is the logic of capitalism as the global crisis of falling profit rates hits China and Australia. If that happens, then the current pre-emptive cuts will look like a teddy bears’ picnic.

The anger among workers and others against the Budget is palpable. Waiting 2 years for a new election won’t protect the poor, pensioners, the sick, the disabled, the unemployed and workers. Electing neoliberal Labor certainly won’t.

Strikes can stop Abbott and Hockey now and prevent a possible apocalypse of attacks in a few years. Stop work to stop the bosses’ Budget.



Pingback from Australia’s Budget: the rich get the gravy, the poor get the blame | OzHouse
Time May 20, 2014 at 10:11 pm

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