Think about the list below. Will you be marching this weekend?
By Glenn Murray
The Abbott government:
- Has dropped two years of Gonski funding to public schools.
- Has cut funding to public hospitals by $50b.
- Wants to deny the dole to unemployed under-30s for 6 months (in every year they’re unemployed).
- Wants to increase university fees and interest rates on student loans (and reduce the income threshold at which students start repaying their loans).
- Is trying to introduce a Medicare co-payment that would hit the poor, disabled and elderly the most, and stop many people seeking medical care when they need it.
- Is trying to allow hospitals to charge for visits to emergency rooms by patients with ailments that only require a visit to a GP. Again, this would hit the poor, disabled and elderly the hardest.
- Is trying to increase the price of medicines on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme with a $5 fee. Again, this will impact the poor, disabled and elderly the hardest.
- Is trying to raise the pension age to 70 by 2035.
- Wants to relegate under-25s to Youth Allowance instead of Newstart (since when is a married 24-year old a ‘youth’?).
- Is waging an all-out war on the environment. It has denied climate change despite scientific consensus, repealed the carbon tax, abolished the Department of Climate Change, abolished the Climate Change Commission, defunded Australia’s 9 independent Environmental Defenders’ Offices, abolished the Water Commission, delayed the Cape York world heritage listing nomination, abolished the roles of Science Minister and Climate Change ministers, abolished the Biodiversity Fund, slashed the CSIRO’s funding, and denied landholders the right to stop coal seam gas miners accessing their land. It’s also trying to repeal the mining tax, defund the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, abolish the Clean Energy Fund, repeal the renewable energy target, delist 70,000 hectares of world-heritage forest, and it wants to withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol.)
- Gives big polluters $10b/year in tax handouts.
- Locks up asylum seekers indefinitely in inhumane conditions, when they’ve broken no laws and are simply fleeing persecution.
- Is breaching international law by turning back asylum seeker boats and imposing mandatory detention on asylum seekers. (We’re breaching: UN Refugee Convention, Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (CCPR), United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR), International Maritime Organization (IMO), Australia’s Criminal Code (Commonwealth).)
- Has completely ruined the National Broadband Network, and replaced it with a much inferior mish-mash of technologies.
- Reducing the Medicare rebate for various procedures, deferring the dental program, and axing the national partnership agreement on preventative health.
- Is trying to tighten the criteria for receiving and retaining a disability pension.
- Is trying to make multiple cuts to Aboriginal programs (despite the fact that Aborigines are still the most disadvantaged group in Australia).
- Is trying to cut to foreign aid (when we’re one of the richest countries in the world).
- Is trying to make cuts to the ABC & SBS (thus increasing the dominance of the Murdoch and Fairfax empires, which tend towards bias and misinformation).
- Lied about Australia’s economy, pretending we have a debt crisis, when in fact we have one of the best economies in the world.
- Lied about the impact of fuel tax increase, saying that poor people aren’t affected as much as the rich, when in fact, they’ll be affected more.
- Lied about cuts to health, education, the ABC. (Said they’d make none, but they cut them all.
- Lied about changes to pensions. Said there’d be none, but they’re trying to increase the pension age.
- Lied about Asylum seekers, saying they’re illegal, when in fact they’re not. They’re perfectly within their rights to seek protection from persecution by fleeing to Australia.
- Lied about the deficit left by Labor, saying Labor left a $123 deficit over the next 4 years. (Labor actually left a $54.6b deficit.)
- Lied about the impact of welfare on average Australians, saying the average working Australian works over one month full time each year just to pay for the welfare of another Australian. (60% of Australians get more from the system than they put in!)
- Suspended the Wage Connect program, despite it being proven to deliver good outcomes for unemployed people (ACOSS policy director Jacqueline Phillips said, ”nearly half the participants in Wage Connect were in paid employment at the end of the six-month program”, compared to the third who were still employed after a Work for the Dole payment).
- Cut funding from Operation Newstart, an early intervention program for vulnerable youths
- Axed funding to the Alcohol and Other Drugs Council of Australia.
- Abolished the National Housing Supply Council, which provided data and expert advice on housing demand, supply and affordability.
Remaining 26 reasons on the original article here with links to sources.