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Australia’s military spending increases as austerity measures imposed on the people

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Ned K.
In the Australian newspaper on Wednesday 2 September, the paper's Economics Editor David Uren wrote an article headed "Military Spending A Positive Push For GDP" in which he quoted various financial sources to show that purchases of military equipment and spending on Australian military forces in the March to June quarter this year jumped 42% to $2.7 billion while other military spending rose 4.9% to $6 billion!

The article said this rapid increase on the military occurred when the overall economic growth for the same period was 0.3% to 0.5%.

The big imperial bank Citigroup said the increase in military expenditure was related to the "Middle East conflict and the timing of payments for major military equipment purchases, which could include Air Warfare Destroyers." Combine this assessment with the Abbott Government desire to send ground troops to the Middle East, the increasing dependency of military equipment such as submarines as the core of manufacturing industry (what is left of it) in Australia and the growth industry of US military presence in Australia.

Are people in Australia, many of whom come from war torn countries, justified if they reach the conclusion that the economy here is becoming a smaller version of the US military industrial complex?

How must the 17,000 public service workers feel across Australia whose jobs have disappeared since the Abbott Government administered capitalism in Australia?

How must Child Care workers feel when they see $2.7 billion spent on military by a government which withdrew funding from their sector?

How must relatives of dementia sufferers feel when they see the 42% increase in military spending at the same time as the aged care Dementia Supplement of $16 per resident per day was scrapped?

How justified were Parliament House cleaners in Canberra taking action last month and refusing to clean toilets for a week in protest at the Abbott Government scrapping fair procurement guidelines and denying them a living wage?

The contrast of increased expenditure on military or war preparation and slash and burn of jobs and services for the people is much more extensive than these few examples above. People want to see an increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) based on improvements to quality of life and living standards, government expenditure for people's needs, not for profiteering military merchants of death.

While a major focus by union members with the so-called "free trade agreements" is justifiably about job security and opportunity, the question has to be asked, “Will the Free Trade Agreements with China, the USA and other countries intensify the rivalry between big powers in the Asia - Oceania region and thereby increase the tendency towards militarization of the Australian economy and the danger of drawing Australia in to another imperialist war?"


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