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Christmas: It’s all class…

Written by: Nick G. on 27 December 2023


(Source: favim)

The gorging on products that is celebrated in the commercialised “holy” day of Christmas has seen more families than ever disadvantaged as a result of the current cost of living crisis.

Charities had struggled to keep up with the distribution of toys to families that could not afford them. And a new demographic has appeared at food distribution centres.

There was a person interviewed on the radio from Foodbank who said that half of those seeking food were employed, and a third had mortgages. That is, it is no longer the homeless who are seeking assistance, but people in the ranks of the working class who are finding, in the current crisis, that they really can’t make ends meet. 

Foodbank’s 2023 Hunger Report is pretty self-explanatory and provides the data underlying the observations made in the radio interview.

Regional centres are experiencing the same problems as the big cities. Mount Gambier Foodbank reported that where it usually provided food to 30-40 families a day, in the week before Christmas the numbers had shot up to around 100 families a day.

Part of the problem has been rising interest rates. The CEOs of the big four banks told a parliamentary enquiry in July that the 4% increase in rates over 14 months had not pushed customers over the “mortgage cliff”. 

The changing face of those seeking help from charities gives the lie to the big banks. People may be making mortgage payments, but they are giving up a lot to do so: skipping meals, taking kids out of sport because the club fees and club uniforms cost so much, not purchasing household goods or toys for Christmas, etc.  

Capitalism is a terrible system. It impoverishes and drives into despair the most vulnerable sections of one class, while increasing the wealth and luxury of another. Four months ago, the Guardian reported that the typical CEO in Australia now earns 55 times that of the average wage worker. 

There is no justification for this growing gap between the rich and the poor. While it fluctuates somewhat over time, it never goes away, and never will, so long as we allow capitalism to survive.

And the Australian Tax Office has just reported that more than 800 of the biggest companies in Australia paid no tax.

This gives the lie to government claims that it is chasing the big multinationals and forcing them to pay the taxes owing on their Australian revenues.

Make 2024 a year of heightened struggle against imperialism, and for an independent and socialist Australia.


PS: A reader has contacted us suggesting that we highlight this link to the contact addresses for charities seeking food donations. If you open the link, click on “Australia” on the right-hand side for Australian charities. We also recommend this article from 2021: Charity, hand in hand with the military, strengthens capitalism’s grip on Australia. 



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