federal budget 2014

The budget is approaching and it seems we are a bit short on cash. This isn't surprising really, seeing as we’re stumping up about $12 billion for a bunch of new fighter jets with such serious flaws they are expected to cost a further $12 billion in repairs and maintenance.

Plus we appear to be overrun by marauding hordes of free-loading pensioners clogging up doctors’ waiting rooms and bankrupting the economy with their subsidised medicines. The solution seems obvious to me: we should kill two birds with one stone and save some cash by burning these old people as jet fuel.

Tens of thousands marched against Abbott government in six cities around Australia on May 18. The march in Sydney was bigger than the March In March demonstration. Peter Boyle, who took the photos below, estimates it was about 15,000-strong. He said: "It stretched more than two and half times the distance between Central Station and Victoria Park (where it ended). The recent horror budget angered many and the crowd overwhelmingly demanded that the opposition parties block the budget in the Senate -- where they have the numbers until July."

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.

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.

Tens of thousands marched against Abbott government in six cities around Australia on May 18. In Perth, Alex Bainbridge reports more than 2000 people took part. The photos below are by Bainbridge.

See photos of the Sydney March in May and the Melbourne "Bust the budget' protest.

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.

I am one of the organisers for the March in March and March in May and a social justice advocate.

The leaflet for the Sydney Institute dinner [held on April 28] declares that the honourable Tony Abbott has had a “long and distinguished political career”. I disagree with this statement, and from here on will refer to our prime minister as the dishonourable Tony Abbott.

Since taking office in September last year, the dishonourable Tony Abbott and his government have worked hard to undermine the needs and rights of Australians, giving us plenty to get worked up about.

Tens of thousands marched against Abbott government in six cities around Australia on May 18. Despite having been called only four days before, thousands took to the streets in Melbourne to take part in the 'Bust the budget' march. The photos below are by Ali Bakhtiarvandi and Tony Iltis.

See also photos from the Sydney and Perth March in May demonstrations.

Photos by Ali Bakhtiarvandi:

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.

As we brace for the Coalition government's first budget — with its foreshadowed cuts to Medicare, education, welfare and public service jobs — the salt in these wounds was Prime Minister Tony Abbott's announcement that his government plans to buy 58 F35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter war planes for $12.5 billion.


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