economy


Refugee advocates defaced a Liberal campaign billboard in April. Now Abbott is literally trying to "disappear" the boats.

“We'll pretend we've stopped the boats and the conditions under which we pretend they've stopped,” seems to be the motto of Prime Minister Tony Abbott's government.

The fight to defend public education is shaping up to be a key campaign against the cutback agenda of the Colin Barnett government in Western Australia. Thousands of teachers and education assistants rallied outside state parliament on September 3 in two separate mobilisations and further industrial action is planned.

The government claimed it has not cut education funding. However, the central issue is not about overall funding but the cuts to staffing levels. In August, the government announced they were planning to cut 500 education assistants and other support workers.

The proposed fate of Istanbul’s Gezi Park has much in common with the current re-development plans for Barangaroo in Sydney’s East Darling Harbour. Sydneysiders concerned about the Crown/Lend Lease takeover bid can draw inspiration from the Gezi Park occupiers and send a clear message of defiance to James Packer’s fawning peons in the Barry O’Farrell government.

All over the world, the privatisation of public space is growing. As Anna Minton, leading policy analyst and author of Ground Control, has pointed out in connection with the situation in Britain.

Western Australian Liberal Premier Colin Barnett admitted on August 21 that his government faced a tough start to its second term. This followed fee rises and controversial attacks on the public sector in the August 8 state budget, which provoked a backlash including an August 30 decision by school teachers to plan an industrial campaign.

Tony Abbott has promised a 1.5% cut in the company tax rate if the Liberal-National Coalition wins the September 7 election. It will cost about $2.5 billion a year and it is exactly the opposite of what Australian society needs.

Big business needs to pay more, not less, tax.

I want to start by acknowledging that we’re meeting here today on stolen Aboriginal land, the land of the Jagera and Turrbal people, and that their sovereignty over this land was never ceded, and that it always was, and always will be Aboriginal land.

We all know that Australia has experienced an unprecedented mining boom over the past decade. This boom is slowing now, but it is still producing huge wealth. 

Over the last decade, profits of the mining companies have gone up by 400%. The big mining corporations now make almost a quarter of all profits in this country. 

“I have never believed in class warfare,’’ declared Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in his speech to the National Press Club in Canberra on July 11.

Has St Kevin found the solution to the class divisions that have plagued human society for thousands of years?

I say “St Kevin” because he appears to have produced a more spectacular miracle than any performed by Pope John Paul II, who the Vatican is about to make a saint.

Fremantle city councillor and Socialist Alliance candidate for Fremantle, Sam Wainwright, spoke at a GetUp forum in Perth on June 14.

***

Last week I passed a gathering outside a fundraiser for Julia Gillard at Victoria Hall in Fremantle. One of the chants initiated by the single parents action group was: “Pension cuts, no way. Make the mining bosses pay.”

Some environment NGOs have been quick to say that Australia’s carbon price has sharply cut carbon emissions in its first year. The claims not only contradict the evidence, but are positively deceptive: an exercise to cast a deeply flawed policy as a serious response to climate change.

As the global financial crisis unfolded in October 2008, part of the Australian government’s response was to provide unlimited guarantees of bank deposits and wholesale funding. One result was that the big four banks got bigger while little was said of the $13.8 trillion in off-balance-sheet derivatives to which they were exposed.

Derivatives operate in a global over-the-counter (OTC) market that is almost totally unregulated.

Pages

Subscribe to economy