federal budget

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.

Sometimes there are things that appear in the media that just make you shake your head in disbelief. Take for example the tale of Duncan Storrar, the man on ABC's Q&A who dared to ask why the budget was looking after higher income earners while ignoring those on the lower end of the scale. For his trouble, Storrar was mercilessly attacked by sections of the media for everything from his tax record to his criminal history — all because he publicly dared to question the economic orthodoxy of the federal budget.
Treasurer Scott Morrison presented his proposed budget for 2016-2017 on May 3, but what does the budget mean for young people today? How does it address higher education and growing youth unemployment? From April 1 next year, job seekers under 25 who are receiving welfare payments such as Newstart and have been looking for a job for at least six months, will be able to participate in intensive pre-employment skills training within five months of registering with jobactive.
The Daily Telegraph exposed the latest example of political correctness gone mad by revealing in a March 30 front page exclusive that the University of New South Wales is teaching students that Australia was “invaded” by Britain and was not actually “discovered” by Captain James Cook.
I guess there were some people who thought that the leopard Tony Abbott may have changed his spots after his look-we've-changed 2015 federal budget. The polls certainly suggest this. As William Bowie wrote in his Poll Bludger column in Crikey.com: “A flurry of post-budget opinion polls adds up to a solid increase in the Coalition’s standing, with Tony Abbott’s personal standing now rivalling his least-bad results since his short-lived post-election honeymoon.”
I often wish this government would cut the crap and just admit it governs for the rich and is determined to shift as much wealth as possible into their hands. We'd be saved their mind-boggling attempts at “logic”. Like their argument that we have a budget emergency, so we must absolutely take action now or our children and our children's children and our children's children's children will all die horrific deaths from starvation, so that is why we must abolish the mining tax.
Save Medicare Sydney, a campaign group committed to defending universal public health care, is calling on the Australian Medical Association (AMA) and the Palmer United Party to reject any compromise over the federal government's proposed $7 GP co-payment. The AMA released an alternative plan on August 21. It proposed a $6.15 co-payment, excluding concession card holders and children.
The gains of the first and second waves of the women’s liberation movement were groundbreaking. Yet in Australia today, 14% of women live below the poverty line. Why? The answer is that since the 1970s, and as part of the overall neoliberal offensive, Labor and Coalition governments have both presided over cuts to funding of women’s services, attacks on child care, education, health, and aged and disability care. New threats are also being posed to women’s reproductive rights.
I must admit I didn’t really want to. I was tired and the footy was on TV at the same time. I had already been at church in the morning — surely I had fulfilled my obligations? But somehow this day was different. I knew I had to go and march. I had to stand up for the things I believe in, the things that I see this government seeking to take away from those who need it most. Mostly I had to march because my memories compelled me.
Not a week, nor even a day, goes by without a new outrage from the Tony Abbott government. One recent outrage was when Abbott declared that Australia was “unsettled” before the British invasion — taking us back to the days of terra nullius. This stand, alongside plans to quarantine how young people spend welfare payments while earmarking billions of dollars for unneeded (and technically dubious) fighter jets, indicates the character of the Abbott government.
More than 45,000 people rallied against the federal budget in cities around the country on July 6, with sizeable crowds in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. The “Bust the Budget” Sydney rally was organised by Unions NSW. Union flags were prominent in the crowd, which reached more than 10,000, making it one of the bigger union mobilisations in recent times.
Green Left Weekly will be liveblogging 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. *** Updated 4.20pm. Over on the west coast, the Bust the Budget rally in Perth has begun after having to change location due to bad weather. Hundreds have braved the rain to hear from speakers in the Murray Street mall.
Welfare groups have expressed anger at changes to welfare for people with disabilities, which the federal government released in a draft report on June 29. The McClure report proposes far-reaching changes to the welfare system and cuts the number of welfare payments to just four; a working age payment, disability support, child support and the age pension. There are 830,000 recipients on the Disability Support Pension (DSP). Social services minister Kevin Andrews has suggested only people with a permanent disability would be eligible for the DSP.
LIFE FOR MOST AUSTRALIANS IS GETTING HARDER, WHILE POLITICIANS SERVE THE WEALTHY. BUT PUBLIC BACKLASH IS BREWING INTO A MOVEMENT TO CHALLENGE THIS SYSTEM, WRITES SUSAN PRICE. In handing down its first budget, the Coalition government echoed its National Commission of Audit, warning that a “business as usual” scenario for public spending on welfare, pensions, public services, health and education is “unsustainable”, even “irresponsible” in Australia today.

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