Last Tuesday the Government released the Federal Budget. The Turnbull Government’s budget does the bidding of big business and wealthy while leaving young people behind to face worsening employment, poverty and homelessness.
The budget is nothing more than a short-term political strategy to suit the election cycle, and young people are left out as they are not a prime Liberal voter base. This has been a baby boomer budget which has locked young people out of Australia’s future.
As Sally McManus from the ACTU points out, “buried in the budget papers is a plan to have people on $41,000 a year in the same tax bracket as people earning $200,000 from 2024.” ScoMo’s tax cuts will drastically reduce the progressive nature of our income tax system, which will increase inequality. The tax cuts will flow overwhelmingly to high-income earners with more than 60 percent going to the top 20 percent and 40 percent going to the top 10 percent of taxpayers.
Let’s not be fooled. The reality of “small government” is fewer vital services. The budget fails to properly finance a needs-based program for our schools, universities, NDIS and other forms of social security.
We are facing a student poverty crisis. This generation will be the first priced out of the housing market, underemployment is rife and we’ve seen low wage growth for decades. 11,000 students are homeless and two thirds of students live below the poverty line.
Meanwhile, retail workers earning $600 per week have lost up to $80 per week due to the cuts to Sunday penalty rates. Scott Morrison’s $3.76 per week tax cut to those same workers does nothing to address the structural issues around inequality and stagnating wages.
The Government has been decimating our education for years by cutting billions in funding and increasing our fees. Right now the Liberals are planning to pass legislation that will condemn low-income graduates to pay back their student loans barely earning above minimum wage. They are seeking further budget repairs from those who can least afford it.
Next Tuesday the Education Action Group (EAG) will be having a speak out and stall on Eastern Avenue to talk to students about how the budget affects you! See you there!
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Disability & Carer Officers
Robin Eames, Mollie Galvin, and Ren Rennie
The Disabilities Collective and Caregivers Network would like to express our love and grief for the autistic victims of the Margaret River murders.
In the past five years, over 550 people with disabilities have been murdered by family members or caregivers. The numbers are likely far higher than what is reported publicly. Disabled people experience disproportionate levels of violence compared to the rest of the population. When disabled people are murdered by their parents, children, spouses, or caregivers, the media coverage often sympathises with the murderer rather than the victim. We are already seeing this pattern repeated in the coverage of the Margaret River shootings.
Disabled victims are framed as burdens and dehumanised. The media explains the murders as arising out of caregiver stress or the hardship or difficulty of having a disabled family member. This does a massive disservice to both disabled people and caregivers. The vast majority of caregivers are not violent, and would never see murder as a logical solution to a lack of provision of disability support services. From what we know, Katrina Miles was a loving mother who did not consider her children to be a burden.
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network has developed an anti-filicide resource, which may be viewed here: autisticadvocacy.org/projects/community/mourning/anti-filicide/, and a memorial with the names of the dead, here: disability-memorial.org/
On March 1st every year, disability communities around the world come together to mourn and speak the names of our dead. We will have more names to add to the list next year: Take, 13, Rylan, 11, Arye, 10, and Kadyn, 8.