Contributed by Joe Montero
Josh Frydenberg delivers the 2020 budget tomorrow. Following tradition, most of it has been leaked out the media during the last couple of weeks. Don’t expect any real surprises. Expect some spin and a lot of pain.
Australia will be told how much everyone is getting through the tax cut and how this will fix the economy. Few are going to buy it. Even conservative economists are questioning the giving of handouts to some, while the economy needs a stimulus boost.
An Essential Poll just released showed 51 percent of respondents believe the tax cuts are for the rich and only 15 percent that they will get any benefit.
There will be more Australians who do not just to just sit down and rake it, and this is giving rise to a movement to find ways to undermine the government’s intentions through community information, organising, and working towards an alternative.
It has given rise to Living Incomes For Everyone (LIFE), which was launched in July this year., and linked 80 organisations and many individuals, in a campaign for income justice and to nurture a broad grass roots movement.
LIFE, will respond to the budget at a “Defy Austerity: Challenge the Budget online event (Wednesday 7 October 8 pm).
Economists Alison Pennington and Tony Evens will be special guests. Victorian Trades Hall Secretary Luke Hilikari, Liz Temple from the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU), Jane Timbrel from For Go For Pensioners, and a representative of the Community and a voice from young unemployed Australians will make further contributions.
According to The Australia Institute, 50 percent of the tax cut will go to the top 10 percent of income earners, and they will get most of the back pay to last June, plus a further tax cut in 2024.
Just 3 to 4 percent will go the lower half of wage earners.
The will tax cut will around $27 billion for the two years, according to The Parliamentary Budget Office. This is money that will not be available to maintain even the current level of government services.
Economists have pointed out that because most to the tax cuts are going to the wealthiest, as large part will not be used for consumption. This is not what Australia needs, at a time of a shrinking market relative to output capacity.
Meanwhile, the government deficit will hit a record $210 billion and official debt will be more than $1 trillion.
No answer has been given so far, on who is going to pay the bill, and the budget is not likely to provide an honest answer either.
We know that in part this is going to be through the ending of the JobSeeker supplement by the end of this year and KobKeeper as we know it, by March next year.
We know that pensions are going to be kept below a poverty level. A tiny rise now is not going to change this, when they have been kept down for years, and access to health. aged care and other needs have deteriorated and become more expensive.
We know that nothing is going to be done to reduce insecure and low paid work. Every indication points towards increasing it, through the government’s intended industrial relations changes impsing grater flexibility in the labour market.
We know that climate policy is going backwards. The lilt to the so-called fossil fuel led recovery will not lead to the creation of lots of jobs, and it undermines alternatives that would do much more and work towards a sustainable future.
Although this won’t be mentioned in the budget either, expect greater austerity next year, as Morrison government begins a new wave of spending cuts.
A big part of the cost will be put on the shoulders of those with the lowest incomes, and those on normal incomes will lose out as well.
The promise of a $1.2 billion apprenticeship scheme, of a Covid-19 vaccine sometime next year, a $100 million pledge for roadworks, talk of recovering Australia’s manufacturing industry, are thin in substance and heavy on the spin.
Expect more spin at the time of the budget release.
This is not a policy for economic recovery. The proper term is corruption, designed to reword the government’s big end of town backers.