above: Scott Morrison will likely bring down an Austerity Federal Budget in May ; But he is taking a harder line on Superannuation Concessions than Labor. Labor needs to 'up the Ante' on Superannuation Concessions to maintain as much credibility as it can on Distributive Justice.
The following letters have been written over the past month ; Most have not been published (except here). But I hope that here (at my blogs) they will promote reflection and debate. This time we’re looking at the following:
Andrew Bolt (Herald-Sun, 21/3) condemns “leftists” and “socialists” for the trashing of Liberal MP Cory Bernadi’s office. And indeed the tactics of those people were questionable at best. In a picket line there is a clear physical objective – which can interfere with the profits of a private business – and thus deliver leverage to workers over wages and conditions. Similarly boycotts of the goods of a country or a specific company can achieve leverage in a comparable way. But the protestors against Bernadi achieved no leverage over government policy through their actions. And while Andrew Bolt often agitates for free speech, he appears to have nothing to say about Mike Baird’s repressive anti-protest laws. The problem with mistaken protest strategies can be that they play into the hands of the illiberal forces (ironically in the Liberal Party) who are now threatening our civil liberties. A truly liberal and democratic society not only supports free speech – but also defends the right to protest, and even the right to engage in civil disobedience. Those rights are now under threat – and whereas Bernadi abhors ‘Leftist totalitarians’ the real threat to our rights comes from within his own party.
Negative Gearing Changes Just the First Step in Restoring the Australian Dream
Sarah Russell (The Age, ‘We’re ignoring the needs of our ageing population’, 17/4) draws attention to the under-funding of Aged Care : quality of training, staff pay, conditions, morale, and numbers of staff on premises. The result is poor service regarding turning in beds, assistance with eating, dressing and showering. But the problems with Aged Care and Rights go deeper. Those in residential care often simply don’t have anything to do but stare at TV and walls all day. Similarly those ‘ageing in place’ (at home) can be lonely, socially isolated, and bereft of meaning in life. Hence appallingly high levels of suicide amongst the aged. (especially men) A common response is for policy makers to throw their hands in the air at ‘the ageing of our population’. But the current Aged Care budget is $17 billion out of a $1.6 Billion economy – or approximately one per cent. An indexed annual $5 billion/year boost could make a big difference: providing programs for social engagement, purpose, entertainment and mental stimulation, moving away from ‘user pays’, increasing pensions, and providing skilled staff numbers which are desperately needed. – We need an ongoing campaign to make this a top priority in the upcoming Federal election.