Prime Minister Abbott’s Commission of Audit report is a bloody disaster for ordinary Australians. And no wonder given that, according to SMH Economics Editor Ross Gittins, that it was “effectively handed over to one business lobby group … composed of the most highly paid chief executives in the country.”1
The result is nothing less than the end of the fair go for all Australians:
- A new $15 “Sick Tax” to see our GP and fees to visit public hospitals
- Slashing the minimum wage by $130 per week for low-income earners
- Increasing the pension age to 70 and including the family home in means testing
- Killing off or clawing back family tax benefits relied on by the vast majority of Australian families
- Increasing students’ share of university fees by 34%
When billionaire-backed lobbyists disguised as independent experts get the ear of the media and those in power, we need to speak out even more strongly for ordinary Australians. So to fight back, we’re partnering with the Australia Institute — a leading progressive policy voice — to put everyday Australians back at the heart of this year’s budget.
The Australia Institute knows how to get progressive values and policies front and centre in the public debate, and we know how to fight for them online and in the streets. But this important partnership can’t go forward without your help.
Click here to chip in to advance our people-centred vision of Australia against a radically conservative agenda: www.getup.org.au/fight-the-radical-conservative-agenda
The Australia Institute has been the policy muscle behind some of GetUp’s most powerful campaigns. For just one of their reports on Tasmanian forestry, they generated over 820 media stories, seen by more than 1 million people.
Our fight back against the conservative agenda starts right away, with the release of the Australian Institute report “Auditing the Auditors: The People’s Commission of Audit.” It will expose the horribly one-sided Commission of Audit report for what it is: the dismantling of “the lucky country” that Australians know, love, and have built together for the past 50 years.
And with your help, the fight will continue in the months ahead with cut-through ads, polling, and election-changing grassroots networking – the very tactics that have made the GetUp movement such an effective force for change. We’ll even carry the fight right through to the next election, with our biggest campaign effort ever, holding our politicians’ feet to the fire on Medicare, family benefits, school fees and all the things that our movement stands for.
Chip in to join the thousands of other Australians who refuse to let vested interests decide the future of Australian families.
Mr Abbott promised the budget pain would be “fair” and “equitable.” But glancing at the 15 key areas identified by the Commission for cuts, see if you can spot many that hit the big end of town:
- “The aged pension, Medicare benefits, hospitals, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, carers’ payments, aged care, the Disability Support Pension, childcare and paid parental leave, family tax benefits, job seeker payments, school funding, higher education, defence and foreign aid.”2
Mining magnates, media moguls, and carbon polluters don’t make it anywhere in the top 15. So when we put it to Australians that we now have a choice — between a tax on multinational mining companies or ending Medicare as we know it — we’ll drive a narrative based on a fair go for ordinary Australians instead of a free pass for polluters and big business.
But bringing that vision to Australians, while battling well-funded right-wing propaganda, will take both great policy work and powerful campaigning. And this may comes as a shock, but the last time Rupert Murdoch or Gina Rinehart turned up at a GetUp fundraiser was never. Thankfully, we’ve got something better: a community of hundreds of thousands of fellow Australians standing up for themselves and each other.
Chip in and join the thousands of other Australians who refuse to hand our country over to big business: www.getup.org.au/fight-the-radical-conservative-agenda
Thank you, always, for all that you do,
Mark, for the GetUp team
PS – Through grassroots campaigning, cutting edge political advertising and High Court advocacy, GetUp has literally been able to change the course of elections. Adding more policy muscle to our campaigning will only increase the influence of GetUp members in the media and the halls of Parliament. But if we can’t raise new funds, the Australia Institute may have to pull back on some of this important work, which would leave us unarmed against the business-backed think tanks and lobbyists. You can make all the difference by chipping in: www.getup.org.au/fight-the-radical-conservative-agenda
PPS – Below is a long sample list of some of the media coverage the Australia Institute has been able to generate for progressive policies:
- ABC 24 News (Richard Denniss), Commission of Audit
- ABC 24 News (Matt Grudnoff), Commission of Audit
- ABC The Drum (Ben Oquist), Commission of Audit
- Radio National Breakfast (Richard Denniss), Commission of Audit: bracket creep
- Radio Adelaide (Matt Grudnoff), How might the budget affect you?
- The Sydney Morning Herald, Super and tax: striking a balance
- The Guardian, Tony Abbott’s duplicity in proposing a ‘temporary debt levy’ is astounding
- Australian Financial Review (AFR), Target super tax concessions, not pensioners
- Wealth Professional, Slash superannuation tax concessions
- WA today, Happy to pay the price to protect age pension
- The Sydney Morning Herald, It’s super tax concessions, not pensions that are killing the budget
- The Drum, Pension plans won’t win many fans
- ABC ‘AM’, Superannuation tax breaks described by Australia Institute as the Hindenburg of the federal budget
- Crikey, A fairer way to provide pensions (and save the government money)
- Michael Pascoe Yahoo!7, Boost pensions to save on aged costs – no, seriously
- ABC News, Super tax breaks for the rich while average Australian forced to work longer
- The Canberra Times, Coalition’s cacophony of sound leads to discordant mess
- Background Briefing (Richard Denniss), The price of power
- The Project (Richard Denniss), Free trade deal with Japan
- Wake Up (Richard Denniss), Expensive Energy
- The Canberra Times, Nothing free about Tony Abbott’s free trade agreements
- The Drum, Want a case for regulation? Look at CSG
- The Canberra Times, Goodies and baddies lost in Tasmanian logjam, PM Tony Abbott will find
- The Conversation, Three myths the coal seam gas industry wants you to believe
 Commission of Audit: Be afraid, but only mildly so, Sydney Morning Herald, 1 May 2014
 Pensioners, health, family payments face cuts under Abbott Government’s Commission of Audit report, Sydney Morning Herald, 1 May 2014