By LEN COOPER
Chairperson, ILPS Australia
The Abbott Government is in the process of making wholesale attacks on the living standards, and social welfare rights of the people, and on the fundamental rights of the people to high quality health care, education, and a clean, healthy environment.
The Federal Government is also preparing for a new round of anti-democratic actions against the Australian peoples unions in the vain hope that a weakened union movement will make it easier for the government and employers to cut wages, to cut higher rates of pay for working unsociable hours(penalty rates), and move against workers’ rights at work.
The Abbott Government was elected because it deceived the people in the 2013 elections. It kept its intentions a secret from the Australian people and it in fact lied over and over again about its real intentions.
It was assisted in this deception by, in particular, the Murdoch media empire which is continuing desperately to support and prop up a chronically unpopular Government, a government which is growing more unpopular every day. The Murdoch media empire in particular has its pages, screens and air waves filled with every extreme right-wing commentator and “shock jock” it can get its hands on try to continue to support the unsupportable.
The Australian people are in the process of dealing with these harsh attacks organised on behalf of the major employer groups, large corporations, right wing think tanks and the capitalist media. The mass mobilisation of the people in opposition to these brutal attacks, is only just beginning, but is already reaching impressive levels across Australia.
These attacks on the people in Australia, cannot just be seen in the context of an extreme right wing government acting to faithfully represent its rich and powerful masters, although it is that. It has to also be seen in the context of the ongoing and deepening crisis of global capitalism.
The global depression continues and is being made worse due to the big international powers remaining absolutely committed to “neo-liberal” economic policies and programmes.
“Neo-liberal” economic policies and programmes are leading to the concentration of capital into fewer hands at the expense of the people, due to intensified exploitation of working people, the deregulation of investment, trade and finance, the privatisation of public assets, and the deregulation of social anti-environmental protections.
Rising unemployment and prolonged economic stagnation are the result of the crisis of overproduction and the result of financial deregulation. The economic and financial crisis is further aggravated by the so-called quantitative easing or wanton printing of money by the US Government to cover its public deficits. Industrial capitalist countries generally have adopted austerity measures in a vain attempt to reduce their public deficits and debts. Thus they pass the burden of the crisis to the people and aggravate the crisis of the entire economy.
The imperialist powers step-up war production and launch wars of aggression. They consider these as stimulus to economic growth, while they consider spending for social services as counterproductive. Maintaining military superiority through more advanced weaponry, the deployment of military forces and wars of aggression are aimed at protecting and promoting the foreign investments and “spheres of influence” of imperialism.
The major powers in the world try to use racism, chauvinism, religious bigotry, fascist movements, and warmongering to try to deflect people’s attention from the real causes of the crisis and to divide and prevent united action by the 99% of the population against the policies and exploitative actions of the minority 1%.
The policies and programmes of the 1% have an even more terrible impact on the people in the third world countries, who suffer super exploitation. People in the third world are resisting also, and in some parts of the world this resistance takes the form of armed struggle for democracy and liberation.
The Abbott Government is attempting to more vigorously implement the neo-liberal policies of global capitalism and push the impacts of the global economic crisis onto the backs of the people and assist capital in its drive for greater and greater profits.
In the hope of getting away with these brutal attacks the Federal Government is trying to manufacture a so called “budget crisis” as a smoke screen.
There is no government budget crisis. This is a sham. The only budget crises are in the budgets of working people trying to make ends meet. Abbott’s budget will make this much worse.
Australia’s debt levels are historically low by international and national standards. Australia is a low debt country and there are only a handful of countries in the world with a lower debt to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio.
Australia is not a high taxing country in relative terms. Australia is the fourth lowest taxed country in the OECD.
The argument that Australian Governments are high spending Governments is not supported by evidence. Since the Hawke Government days government spending has tended to be around the 25% of GDP.
Australia’s budget deficit is small by international standards. Australia has the sixth lowest deficit and is much lower than those of the USA, Britain, Canada and most of Europe.
The Abbott Government and its backers are engaged in a programme of lies and deception and must be condemned and exposed.
We must demand that the people’s needs are met properly, and that the funds for people’s needs be raised by taxing the big banks, the mining and minerals corporations, the large polluters, and the other very wealthy investors and corporations.
The people’s organisations must unite and cooperate in the struggle for their common purpose of defending the poor, the elderly, the sick, the young and the vulnerable, and defending the rights and living standards of working people, of the 99%, everywhere.
This dishonest, deceptive and anti-people government must be defeated and any opposition hoping to replace the Abbott Government must also be put on notice.
Chairperson, ILPS Australia
61 Strathnaver Avenue
Strathmore Victoria 3042, Australia
p. +61 3 9330 2668