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Dancing to death at the end of a rope: Labor’s Budget fails the most vulnerable

Written by: Nick G. on 10 May 2023


Photo: Fernando Goncalves

When a person strangling to death on the end of a hangman’s rope is told that, rather than being suspended 3 feet above the floor, they will be lowered to within 2 feet of the floor, it would be somewhat presumptuous to expect gratitude from the victim – or to praise the compassion of the executioner.

But that is exactly how Labor has cruelly taunted the “most vulnerable”, as it self-righteously refers to people in poverty.

It expects to be greeted with applause because it has given JobSeeker recipients an extra $2.86 per day, leaving them still deep in poverty, still gasping for breath on the end of a rope that is said to “leave no-one behind”. At $52 a day, JobSeeker will still be $35 a day ($250 a week) below the Henderson poverty-line

Far above the reality of poverty, Labor keeps alive the disgusting welfare for the rich Stage 3 tax cuts. Living well beyond the reach of poverty, not having to scrimp and save as rents rise, not having to house the family in the car when made homeless, those on an annual income of $200,000 will be gifted an extra $24.66 per day from July 2024. 

Well may we thank Labor for raising the age of children from 8 to 14 for the sole parent Parenting Payment – it was Julia Gillard’s Labor Government that reduced it in the first place.  And why so meanly only restore it to the age of 14 when most young people remain dependent on their parent until the end of the years of compulsory schooling? Would it have hurt to extend it another two years?

The Anti-Poverty Network in SA released a press statement yesterday that perfectly expressed the anger over the Budget: It was headed “We Demanded Bread, We Received Crumbs: Federal Labor’s Pathetic Budget Betrays People In Poverty”.

Labor knows that its so-called “surplus” budget will go straight into deficit in coming years. It has committed to its US masters that it will proceed with the AUKUS expenditure of $368 billion (plus blow-outs) to purchase attack submarines pointed by the US at its imperialist rival, China.

Capitalism is a system in which the greatest imaginable cleavages between classes are produced by the marketplace in which labour power is sold for wages. And for those unable to sell their labour power, the generosity of the rich ensures the most abject poverty, justified by a blame-the-victim mentality kept alive in the monopoly media and the paid opinion-makers, the “influencers” of think tanks and academia.

Capitalism is a system that requires two types of party for its maintenance and administration. One openly works for the rich, the other is kept in reserve because its professed concerns for “all Australians” is a necessary deception when the former starts to stink. 

Both are parties of capitalism. Both are parties which carry out the directives of the US imperialists who dominate the economy and all the agendas that suit their purposes.

We support all actions called to protest against Labor’s “leaving the poor behind” Budget.

Lift JobSeeker and all Centrelink payments above the poverty-line!



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