Australians have been shocked and angered by the federal government’s vicious budget. In only a few days thousands poured onto the streets to demonstrate their determination to tear down this budget and the government that lied its way to power in order to implement austerity attacks on the people.
On behalf of the “Big Business” Council of Australia, the foreign and local corporate monopolies, the banks and mining corporations, the government stepped up its brutal ‘class war’ attacks on the working class, the poor, the aged, the youth, the sick, people with disabilities, Indigenous Australians, in fact anyone except a handful of parasitic corporations and banks bloated with the stolen mega profits created by the labour power of workers.
Cut to the bone
Public anger and disgust are spreading as more hidden details of the budget are exposed.
The people are incensed at the blatant lies they were fed prior to and during the election campaign.
The Australian people are appalled by the extent and savagery of the cuts to health, education, social welfare benefits and government jobs, by the attack on young people already struggling to find jobs, by the plan to increase the retirement age, by cuts to Indigenous services and environmental programs, by the brazen attack on people with disabilities and the outrageous medical co-payment scheme and increases in the cost of medicines and medical tests; all measures that will inflict more hardship, poverty and suffering.
These attacks are only a prelude to more coming from the Commission of Audit: extending the GST, abolishing the minimum wage, individual workplace agreements, pushing down wages and conditions, scrapping penalties, eliminating job security, crushing unions, deregulating the labour market and financial institutions even further, more privatisation.
This is an attack by international monopoly capital that is beset by a major economic crisis not seen on a global scale since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
The winners in the budget
This budget unashamedly declares its complete service to interests of the big end of town. The Abbott government has taken its cue from the big business Commission of Audit to move more public funds from public health, education, and people’s services and spend more on infrastructure that facilitates the profiteering by mining and construction corporations – roads, ports and railways, for the transport of freight.
Simultaneously, preparations are made to crush the people’s resistance to the savage austerity. Hard won democratic and workers’ rights are systematically taken away.
These attacks, together with the lies and deception that preceded them, will not be forgotten or forgiven by the Australian people. The Coalition government will pay, and there is some chance that their budget measures will be bogged down in parliament and that they may even be kicked out if a double dissolution election is held later in the year.
While Labor and the Greens may hope things go this way, it will not prevent further attacks on the people.
This is because the unelected architects of Abbott’s budget will still be there – the corporate monopolies in the “Big Business” Council of Australia who fashioned the razor-gang Commission of Audit, the big business apologists in the Productivity Commission, and the mass media barons who beat the drum of globalisation, de-regulation, privatisation and union-bashing.
This gang want further attacks on wages, penalties and working conditions. They endorse the US-sponsored TPP trade deal that will destroy any vestige of economic independence and further increase the cost of living for the people, destroy jobs and public services.
They support the US military ‘pivot’ that threatens to drag Australia into a disastrous war with China.
They pull the strings while Abbott and Hockey are their puppets.
No choice but struggle
For the people’s movement to grow and be really effective, ultimately it will need to take on the puppet-masters, it needs to be broad-based and capable of drawing in all sections of the people.
It must not be claimed or dominated by any particular group but must embrace as many as possible around the common goal of smashing this evil budget and take the next step of demanding and fighting for a decent life for the working people.
As Vanguard stated in back in February, “Waiting for a Labor government is no good. Working people will have to make a stand. They will have to find ways to get conversations going in their workplaces and communities, to get people organised to protest and to put demands on the government and the big business bosses. Demands not just to “back off”, but to “get out of our way”.