It’s time – Shift the Rock (like Gough).

That classic Gough Whitlam campaign slogan “It’s Time”, is as relevant today in 2015 as it was the day his campaign launched in 1972.

The space for progressive political and economic change is once again widening, after having come under repeated attack by conservatives ever since Gough was dismissed via Double Dissolution in 1975.

At Progress, I attended a workshop called “Moving the Rock – Shifting Power for Sustained Change”, hosted by Sam La Rocca and Holly Hammond. Points raised in that workshop provided some of the key takeaways for me. Particularly, a strong reminder about the value and role of radicals. 

It’s about the intersection of what is ideal and what is ‘politically achievable’. Continue reading It’s time – Shift the Rock (like Gough).

Liberal Party policy setting is all wrong

AbetzUgh. The Liberal Party have screwed up the Australian Government’s policy setting again, as we who pay attention knew they would.

Palmer and his cohorts played along, happy to cut a tax which would save his business millions while costing the Australian public billions.

It’s appalling, and next (literally, tomorrow) they’ll be trying to roll back workplace rights for all Australian workers by essentially re-introducing the majority of their previous ‘WorkChoices’ policy.

There’s a pro-forma email to cross bench senators asking them not to support the changes, click here to see it.

Credit rating loss shows cuts not the answer

Western Australia lost it’s AAA credit rating at Moody’s today, the second agency to drop WA to the second highest credit standing Aa1.

This has primarily happened due to a structural budget deficit and growing debt under the Liberal Government here in WA.

The problem is less how we are spending tax, and more how we collect it.

Too many eggs in the one mining royalties basket was never a good idea, and nor are the many tax loop holes and subsidies for the ultra-rich. Our State Government is hamstrung in it’s revenue raising capacity because it gives up so much in subsidies.

For instances, Gina Rinehart receives over $4bn in tax breaks and subsidies per year.

Cutting funding to essential public services is not the answer to our governments budget woes, it’s short term thinking and bad economics.

Those services have multiplier effects, the people whose incomes they pay are working people, and spend their incomes quickly. This creates tax at point of sale then goes on to be spent by those it employs, with tax paid as income tax and business tax on profit too.

By the time this process is repeated a few times in the economy, each $1 of government spending in say schools or hospitals is likely to actually create tax income in the mid-term. The long term improvement of social outcomes also leads further tax generation.

If the Government are serious about balancing the budget, they need to start shovelling cash from the nearby truck that’s over-flowing with $100 bills, not shuffling budget papers and scraping out the last few coins from working peoples piggy banks.

 

 

 

You have no right to be a bigot. #100daysofblogging #Day65

David Pope CartoonToday the ‘right to be a bigot’, as the pompous George Brandis put it, was rebuffed by his own party.

The Liberal Party halted attempts to repeal Section 18 C of the Racial Discrimination Act, after a poll revealed more than 76% of Australian’s were opposed to the repeal.

It’s certainly a win for community campaigning, but to what extent is this a victory?

If we have to fight this hard to preserve the status quot on race issues, is our country really succeeding at all? Continue reading You have no right to be a bigot. #100daysofblogging #Day65

Australia needs to create more jobs. #100daysofblogging #Day61

Unemployment + Participation Rate in AustraliaThere are not enough jobs to go around in Australia, and that is a serious problem if you are one of the 740,000+ people looking for work.

While Liberal Party MP’s are always on about ‘getting people into jobs’,  this is proving to be nothing more than ‘political rhetoric’ under the current government.

You simply can not reduce unemployment without creating new jobs. Instead they use victim-blaming as a way to win votes, without actually doing anything to create jobs or reduce unemployment.

In fact it seems the Liberal Party do not understand how to create jobs.

You do not create jobs by withholding unemployment payments. You do not create jobs by forcing unemployed people people to apply for 40 jobs per month. You do not create jobs by forcing government control over spending by unemployed people.

You do not create jobs by forcing mature, highly qualified or skilled workers to take on unskilled roles that could be filled by younger, unskilled workers.

You do not create jobs by forcing unemployed people to work for below minimum wage in ‘work for the dole’ schemes, in fact they destroy jobs.

You create jobs through investment, particularly in innovation and infrastructure.  Continue reading Australia needs to create more jobs. #100daysofblogging #Day61