20 October 2020

John Falzon: “Just below the surface of the tax-cut splash and the pious promises that the government’s focus is on jobs, we are seeing the architecture of a new austerity. It is evidenced by the government’s dogmatic resistance to lifting incomes, for wage-earners and social security recipients alike. It is also evidenced by the government’s equally dogmatic resistance to building up the public sector. Both of these trajectories are straight out of the neoliberal playbook written by Thatcher and Reagan, both of whom the federal Treasurer has expressed a genuine admiration for. Neither of these trajectories is passive. In both cases the government appears to be committed to playing an active role, in redistributing even greater wealth and power to its mates. … We are going to have to call bullshit when they tell us that austerity is good for us, that we can’t afford to fund a caring society because we have to pay down the debt; when they tell us that we are going to have to forego wage increases or superannuation guarantee increases or social security increases because now is not the time to be greedy… Rather than waiting for the jobs to come and the wealth to trickle down, we are going to need to collectively engage in the organisation of hope. And hope must be organised, if it is to translate into progressive social change.”