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.
federal budget 2014
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.
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.
When Treasurer Joe Hockey addressed the Sydney Institute on June 11, he complained that it is not fair that more than $6000 a head will be spent by the government on welfare this year. He said this means "the average working Australian, be they a cleaner, a plumber or a teacher, is working over one month full time each year just to pay for the welfare of another Australian."
Labor stood by its "longstanding principles" along with the Greens and refused to block the first of the supply bills in both the House of Representatives and the Senate last week. Only Andrew Wilkie and Clive Palmer voted against these bills in the House of Representatives. There were no votes against the bills in the Senate.
Greens leader Christine Milne is challenging Prime Minister Tony Abbott to call a double dissolution election this year over the passage of a renewable energy bill. Milne said: “The Greens are ready for an election over the prime minister's global warming denial and his brutal budget.”