Saturday, November 9, 2013

True to his word

The Tony Abbott led coalition has been in government for nearly two months now. It has been a period of bad news for many people as the new government has quickly set about doing what it said it would do: saving money by cutting spending. Jobs, benefits and bonuses...slashed.

There is a certain amount of hysteria coming from opponents of the government. I am one of those opponents but I am not surprised, and therefore not emotionally disturbed. Coalition governments don't spend, Labour governments do. We alternate between the two, with each usually lasting two to three terms, and this guarantees balance.

It's early days yet, too soon to declare disaster, but those whose jobs will be lost in the public service, including nearly a quarter of the workforce at Australia's premier scientific research organisation, will be less sanguine. Likewise, welfare recipients who will be soon forced to spend around 70% of their benefits on essentials. Proposed pay rises for very poorly paid aged care workers have been scrapped, more privatisation is planned, as are further attacks on employment conditions, and I could go on and on and on.

As I said, it's too early to see the full impact of the government's austerity program, but one thing is for sure: people will be hurt financially because in my view, Coalition governments care much more about the budget bottom line than they do about people.

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