As is always the case, there was plenty of money for corporate welfare and war but peanuts for social justice and the environment in this year's budget, write Peter Boyle.
The recent federal budget announced a terrible new policy — drug testing 5000 new recipients of Youth Allowance or Newstart. The drugs tested for will be cannabis, methamphetamine and MDMA.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has defended the policy as "aimed at stabilising the lives of people with alcohol and drug abuse problems by encouraging them to participate in treatment as part of their Job Plan". At the same time, people with diagnosed substance abuse disorders have been excluded from disability benefits.
Complaints by conservative commentators that Treasurer Scott Morrison and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull have delivered a “Labor budget” show how low expectations are that any federal government in Australia will deliver a budget aiming to advance genuine social justice in this country.
It is just as well we are so alert these days to “fake news”, otherwise some might actually believe media claims the federal government has delivered a “left-leaning” budget.
Green Left Weekly will be live-blogging the Bust the Budget rallies today. We'll being updating this blog with news, photos and video from rallies all over the country throughout the day.