Up to 2000 waterfront workers at DP World container terminals across Australia have gone on strike to oppose the multinational company’s attacks on working conditions.
The Coalition’s budget has ensured that its neoliberal agenda remains in intact. It has deepened cuts to social spending while given tax breaks to high income earners and greedy corporations.
The wealthy and corporations got a visit from Santa Claus, but the rest of us got Scrooged again on Budget night.
A windfall in tax income — derived in part from higher than expected royalties and corporate taxes in the mining sector, owing to higher prices for iron ore, coal and oil — provided ideal conditions for the government’s pre-election budget.
There was never a chance that Treasurer Scott Morrison would use this windfall to boost social spending — that just wouldn’t accord with the Malcolm Turnbull government’s “trickle down” economics.
Company profits have skyrocketed, while real wages have fallen. This is the harsh reality of the class war being pursued by Australia’s big-business rulers, as underlined by the latest Bureau of Statistics figures released on February 27.
In the last three months of last year, profits surged by a massive 20%, while wages fell by 0.5%. Over 2016, profits were up 26%, while wages grew by a mere 1%, less than the inflation rate of 1.5% — effectively a wage cut.