federal budget

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.

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.

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.

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.”

The Commission of Audit report is a declaration of open class war by the corporate ruling class against Australia's working people and the poor.

Released symbolically on May 1, the international workers' day, it is a clear challenge to the labour movement and social organisations.

If its 86 recommendations are implemented, it would be a wholesale destruction of the welfare state, hard fought for over a century or more by working people, and a huge victory for big business in shifting wealth from the poor to the rich.

About thirty scientists, engineers, mathematicians, PhD students and science advocates took to the steps of Sydney Town Hall on May 3 in defence of Australia’s research sector.

The “Rally for Research” was organised by the Future Party to oppose the Coalition government’s plans to reduce the Australian Research Council’s funding by $133 million as well as cut up to 700 jobs from the CSIRO and 100 from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The rally also called for the government to reinstate the position of science minister.

The federal Commission of Audit's proposal to cut the minimum wage would create an underclass of US-style "working poor" in this country, the Australian Council of Trade Unions says.

The ACTU said on May 5: "The plan to aggressively drive down the minimum wage would see its real value fall to its 1998 level of $12 an hour.”

"The Abbott government's proposed $7 co-payment for visits to the doctor, and for other medical services, will effectively destroy Medicare as a universal, bulk-billed health service for the community," Erima Dall, spokesperson for the Sydney Save Medicare Committee said on May 14.

"The government is also opening the way for the states to charge an up-front fee for previously free treatment at public hospitals, in the expectation that people will be forced to turn to the emergency departments because of the GP co-payment. 

Unions have slammed many aspects of the Coalition budget, released on May 13. Below, leaders of the Australian Council of Trade Unions and the Community and Public Sector Union respond.



"The Abbott government's assault on welfare, Medicare, education and the public sector represents the end of the fair go and the biggest attack on the social wage this country has ever seen.

Radical changes to university and TAFE education were announced in the federal budget on May 13.

These changes include removing the cap on university fees and changes to welfare payments. People under 25 are no longer eligible for the Newstart allowance.

Treasurer Joe Hockey said the theme of the budget was "contribution and building" and "sharing the pain", but it will make it even tougher for struggling families.


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