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Communist Party of Australia Maritime Branch - June 1 2014

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23+456 &7"5 %8# #"9"7+
Remember the Coalitions pre-election promises of no cuts to education, health, or the ABC or SBS;
no forced redundancies in the public service; no change to pensions; restoration of accountability
and improved transparency; no increase in university fees; no increased taxes; etc. All torn up in its
first budget. But the deceit is not confined to broken policies. The spin that accompanied each
broken promise, each attack on pensioners, students, the unemployed, families, Indigenous
Australians, the public service, etc, is accompanied by neo-liberal mythology, outright lies and
deception in an attempt to justify them.
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The following aie a few of the lines which, with the
help of the Nuiuoch anu Faiifax meuia anu business
leaueis, have been solu to the woiking class in an
attempt to justify an all out attack on theii living
stanuaius anu basic human iights:
23+4: Theie is a "buuget emeigency"
!%9+: The buuget ueficit was 1.2 peicent of uBP in
2u12-1S uown fiom 1.7 peicent in 2u11-12. This is
one of the lowest in the woilu anu is also histoiically
veiy small. (Stephen Koukoulas, "Buuget emeigency.
Not if you look at Bockey's numbeis", Business
Spectatoi, 26-uS-2u14)
Likewise goveinment uebt (iesulting fiom
accumulateu ueficits) is one of the lowest at 1u.1
peicent in 2u12-1S. Accoiuing to the INF's Woilu
Economic 0utlook Batabase (2u1S) only six 0ECB
countiies have a lowei net uebt to uBP iatio than
Austialia. (uBP, the gioss uomestic piouuct is a
measuie of national income - wages, piofits, taxes,
etc)
The souice of the ueficit (anu hence uebt) is the
outcome of the eiosion of the tax base ovei almost
thiee uecaues of cumulative tax cuts. The coipoiate
iate has been ieuuceu fiom 46 cents in the uollai to
Su cents anu in the fiist AbbottBockey buuget is to
be ieuuceu to 28.S peicent. The tax take was only 21.6
peicent of uBP in 2u12-1S compaieu with spenuing of
24.S peicent in 2u12-1S, anu 2S.2 peicent of uBP in
2u11-12.
Austialia is fifth lowest taxing counties in the 0ECB.
:"9"7+: "Without action we face a uecaue of ueficits
anu uebt giowing to $667 billion by 2u2S-24 ...
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!%9+: This is a uiity piece of scaie-mongeiing, with
laige-sounuing figuies pulleu out of context (no
compaiison with uBP) that combine Laboi's futuie
estimates with the Coalition's hike in spenuing on
militaiy, etc. It fails to piopeily take into account uBP
giowth, inflation, etc, let alone what the money is
being spent on anu how it might benefit people. It
incluues futuie company tax cuts which ieuuce
income.
0nstateu, but implieu, in all of these statements, is the
notion that uebt is bau. Theie is no similai attack on
coipoiate uebt which in ielative teims is fai highei,
oi on uomestic uebt. The goveinment is not
suggesting people uo not boiiow to buy a home oi
that companies uo not boiiow to buy up public assets
when the goveinment piivatises them.
23+4: Spenuing on health, euucation anu social
secuiity aie unsustainable
!%9+: This claim has nothing to uo with balancing a
buuget. The claim is unfounueu. It is piopaganua,
uesigneu to covei up the goveinment as it uumps its
iesponsibilities foi social spenuing anu pushes aheau
with massive cuts to company tax iates.
This is a class question: whose inteiests uoes the
buuget seive - the big coipoiations anu iich oi the
woiking class. A goveinment seiving the inteiests of
the woiking class woulu say it is the tax cuts that aie
unsustainable. The inciease in the militaiy buuget
fiom just unuei $Su billion to $4u billion is
unsustainable as well as a thieat to iegional secuiity.
The fossil fuel iebate anu othei mining inuustiy
subsiuies of close to $14 billion aie unsustainable
financially anu enviionmentally. The piivate health
insuiance iebate, which subsiuises piivate hospitals
anu insuiance companies uiveits funus fiom unuei-

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funueu public hospitals.
What is "unsustainable" is uefineu by which siue you
aie on.
23+4: The size of goveinment has "expanueu
significantly"
!%9+: As the above figuies inuicate, goveinment has
not expanueu but shiunk in ieal teims compaieu with
the size of the economy. Such claims aie baseu on the
concept that "small goveinment" is goou, that "laige
goveinment" is some evil. "Small goveinment" is only
goou foi companies anu the iich seeking to avoiu
paying taxation, not foi the people.
The taxation system anu goveinment expenuituie aie
a key means of wealth uistiibution. "Small
goveinment" is a neo-libeial agenua to iob the
woiking class of its social wage - health seivices,
euucation, social secuiity, age pension, etc, - so that
company taxes can be ieuuceu anu eventually
abolisheu. The Communist Paity of Austialia suppoits
the expansion of the social wage with an inciease in
company tax iates anu in the maiginal iates of those
on high incomes.
0nuei a piogiessive tax system, eveiyone contiibutes
accoiuing to theii ability to pay, anu at vaiious stages
of theii lifetime they ieceive the seivices anu benefits
they neeu.
:"9"7+: "Each yeai, the goveinment spenus moie on
welfaie than we spenu on the euucation of oui
chiluien, the health of oui people oi the uefence of oui
nation".
!%9+: Is it such a ciime that the social secuiity
payments coveiing the age pension, unemployment
benefits, uisability pensions, family payments,
chilucaie suppoit, etc, auu up to moie than othei
inuiviuual items of expenuituie. No. They total
aiounu SS peicent of expenuituie.
Compaieu with the uBP, they consume appioximately
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8.S peicent of the total wealth piouuceu (2u12-1S)
figuies. Is that unieasonable. Is that unsustainable.
The amount is ielatively small anu shoulu be
incieaseu, not fuithei cut.
23+4: Theie is "wasteful spenuing"
!%9+: Not a single piece of eviuence is pioviueu to
suppoit this claim. Yeais of cuts mean eveiy cent is
stietcheu, eveiy public sectoi woikei is also
stietcheu beyonu theii limits. 0f couise the
goveinment may mean by wasteful, that it is a waste
of money spenuing anything on the unemployeu, the
sick, stuuents anu age pensioneis.
Theie is an element of tiuth in this claim; theie is
wasteful spenuing on the militaiy anu mining
inuustiy subsiuies.
;7": The buuget is "faii"
!%9+: Theie is a uiiect ielationship between how well
off someone is anu how much "heavy lifting" they uo.
The moie vulneiable someone is, the moie
uisauvantageu they aie, the biggei the cuts.
Theie is nothing faii about an unemployeu peison of
2S having no income foi six months. A single paient
on Newstait with an eight-yeai-olu chilu will lose $S4
a week. A chiluless couple eaining $S6u,uuu a yeai
will lose nothing. (See Petei Naitin, "Families on
benefits the biggest loseis, analysis of buuget shows",
Syuney Noining Beialu, 19-uS-2u14) foi moie
compaiisons.)
:"9"7+: "Boing nothing is not an option"
!%9+: What a loau of twauule. It is a meaningless
statement, uesigneu to ieinfoice the concept of an
emeigency anu to justify a biutal attack on people's
lives. Eveiy goveinment uoes something. The key
question is what they uo, what the options aie. "Small
goveinment" is one conseivative anu iegiessive
option. Theie aie a host of othei piogiessive options.
Authorised by the CPA Maritime Branch | 74 Buckingham St Surry Hills 2010 | e: cpamaritimebranch@gmail.com