When voters celebrated the end of the John Howard years, many hoped the Rudd Labor government would usher in a new day of social inclusion, justice and fairness. The 2010/11 budget, delivered by treasurer Wayne Swan on May 11, dashes these hopes and shows the need to build a pro-people alternative to both Howard's Liberals and Rudd's Labor. Before the budget release, the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) urged the government to increase payments to the more than 600,000 Australians currently unemployed.
Much of the public discussion on Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s proposed tax reforms — made in response to the Henry tax review — has centred on the projected 40% tax on “super-profits” in the mining industry. Most people probably agree that the big mining multinationals could afford to contribute a lot more to the public purse.