Workers to pay for AUKUS nuclear subs

April 21, 2023
Protester holds sign reading 'Stop the war machine: Save our planet!'
The working class across Australia will pay for the United States’ military and economic ambitions in the Pacific region. Original photo: Ray Acheson

It is disappointing, to say the least, to see Labor moving more to the right and implementing neoliberal policies, such as the AUKUS submarine deal proposed by the Coalition government.

Labor has just abolished the low and middle income tax offset (part of the Coalition’s three-stage income tax cuts) and, with a $368 billion submarine bill to fund, this will be just the tip of the iceberg of the spending cuts to hit working people.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Treasurer Jim Chalmers are holding firm to the Coalition’s $254 billion Stage 3 tax cuts for the rich, scheduled for next year.

This means that even more funding will be cut from already stretched health, aged care, education and welfare services.

The AUKUS submarine deal includes Canberra buying three Virginia-class submarines, designed to carry cruise missiles that can be fitted with a nuclear warhead.

This means that Australia will likely to break its commitment to the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty, which formalises a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the South Pacific, and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which it signed 50 years ago.

Pacific Island leaders have mostly opposed the AUKUS agreement, wanting to keep the region nuclear free.

The working class across Australia will pay for the United States’ military and economic ambitions in the region, which could well become a war against China, supposedly over Taiwan.

Labor is continuing their decades-old tradition of being more liberal than the Liberals, and turning their backs on the very people they should be standing up for.

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