The Unshackled Waves Ep. 148 Tax Cuts vs Budget Repair, Live Animal Exports, Newstart and Marx’s Birthday

Australian Politics, Budget, Philosophy, Podcasts, Shows, Socialism, Taxes, Waves, Welfare

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The federal budget will be delivered tonight, issues related to it have dominated the news cycle. To preview it we were joined again by the Unshackled’s Political Editor Michael Smyth.

In Australia, we are apparently flush with cash again as the federal government is introducing $5-$10 a week tax cuts for people earning less $87,000 per year, people on low and middle incomes will be prioritized for tax relief. Infrastructure spending will be increased and we are also projected to reach surplus early in 2019-20. This is all thanks to an increase in revenue, however, this should be used to prioritise paying off the federal government debt which has accumulated to over $600 billion over the past decade. If there is another downtown we may never get the opportunity to pay it back.

Live animal exports have again been in the news after 60 Minutes aired footage last month of sheep in crammed conditions on board a ship bound for the Middle East. It has renewed calls for the practice to be banned, the federal government have commissioned a review and said they won’t engage in a kneejerk reaction like the Gillard Government did. Coalition Backbencher Sussan Ley will introduce private members bill to phase out live sheep exports which is now Labor policy.  We cannot destroy farmers’ livelihoods but there must be a balancing act between basic animal welfare and the meat trade.

In the budget, there is pressure to raise Newstart unemployment benefit from $40 to $50 a day. This is supported by unions, business, social welfare groups and Labor, the Greens want to be $75 a day. Victorian Liberal backbencher Julia Banks said she could live off $40 in an interview with the ABC. The argument for keeping it low is recipients receive other subsidies and supplements and it needs to discourage people from being on welfare. However public opinion is more sympathetic to people on Newstart than what the federal government may believe.

On May 5th it was Karl Marx’s 200th Birthday and it was celebrated by European newspapers and by the Socialist Alternative in Australia, a poll found 49% of the British public think his socialist ideas positive contribution. Of course, the legacy of his ideas is over 100 million dead last century, famine, terror and the destruction of culture and family. May Day was also commemorated by communists around the world including a riot in France while its President Emmanual Macron was visiting Australia.

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