Magazine of Socialist Action in Australia

COVID-19 crisis: What Socialist Action fights for

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Healthcare for all

-An end to all funding cuts, closures and privatisations in healthcare.

-For huge investment into pubic healthcare to significantly increase capacity and prepare for future shocks.

-For mass COVID-19 public testing, and an expansion of the work to trace infections. Free accommodation and care for all those needing isolation.

-Personal protective equipment for all health workers. Requisition necessary resources from private companies.

-Fund extra cleaning and sanitation of public places. For free hand sanitiser stations in busy areas.

-End public subsidies to private healthcare and insurance providers. Bring for-profit healthcare into public hands so that the resources can be utilised for the public good.

-Make all healthcare, including dental and mental healthcare free.

Work or a living income

-No job losses or pay cuts because of the COVID-19 crisis.

-Extra paid leave, or a living wage subsidy, for all workers while workplaces are closed. This must include casuals, those on temporary visas and the self-employed.

-For all non-essential work to end. No compulsion for anyone to endanger their health. For workers themselves to decide what work is essential and when to return to work.

-Double-time hazard pay and personal protective equipment for all those continuing to work.

-Introduce shorter working hours with full pay to share out available work. For all changes to workplace practices to be agreed locally by workers and their unions.

-Employers should use the profits they’ve made to cover the costs. Those who claim they can’t pay should open their books and show us where the profits have gone.

-Cheap loans and support for small business given on the basis of proven need. Bring big companies threatening layoffs and pay cuts into public hands.

Welfare and social support

-A living wage subsidy of at least $1000 per week for all those unable to work. This must include the unemployed, students, people with disabilities and the elderly.

-An end to the demonisation of the unemployed. No to ‘mutual obligations’ or having to prove you’re looking for jobs that don’t exist.

-Food packages and the free delivery of goods for all who need it. This will help facilitate physical distancing and ensure that no one goes without.

-Introduce price controls on basic goods to stop price gouging and profiteering.

-Freeze payments on all high interest loans like credit cards with no penalty. No one should go into debt to pay for the basics.

-Free and unlimited mental health support for all those who want it.

Free education and care

-Close all schools, TAFEs and universities to help stop the spread of infections. Teachers and students should not be put at risk.

-Free ongoing care for all students who are unable to stay at home. All care and education facilities must be clean and adhere to physical distancing requirements.

-Expand resources for online education. Supply every student with a free laptop and make fast internet connections free and available to all.

-Refund all fees and course costs for the 2020 year. Give students appropriate extensions for work and exams where required.

-All changes to education practices should be agreed locally by students, teachers and their unions.

-Abolish all student debt and make education free for all from childcare to higher education.

Safe and secure housing

-Requisition empty properties from speculators to house the homeless, those living in overcrowded conditions, and all those who need refuge such as victims of domestic violence.

-Waive all rent, mortgage and utility payments for the duration of the pandemic. For no debts or fines to to be accrued during this time.

-Make evictions and mortgage foreclosures illegal in every state. No adverse rental history reports or credit ratings.

-Expand public housing stock to wipe out the waiting lists and make affordable housing accessible to all. End the rule of private landlords.

-Build campaigns of tenants and mortgage holders to fight for housing to be seen as a human right. Prepare for pickets and occupations to stop evictions in the event they are carried out.

Democracy and rights

-For health experts, in conjunction with workplace and local committees, to decide on recommendations for social distancing. Remove the profit motive from decision making.

-For mass education campaigns – not repressive laws – to promote physical distancing and hygiene etiquette.

-No restrictions on democratic rights including the right to strike and protest.

-Full work and welfare rights for all those currently in Australia, including migrants and refugees. No forced deportations.

-Free all refugees from detention centres and hotels, and release all prisoners detained for minor or economic crimes.

-No to excessive police and military powers. Use the resources of the military for cleaning and sanitary services rather than repression.

A workers bail out

-Reverse plans to lower corporate tax rates and taxes on high income earners.

-No handouts to big business and the rich with coffers full of cash. Taxpayer money should be used to directly benefit workers and the vulnerable.

-Crack down on big business tax cheats. Tighten the loopholes and increase taxes on those who can afford to pay.

-Use the mega profits and cash horded over the years by big business to pay for the pandemic measures we need.

-No to the winding back of extra funding to healthcare, housing, welfare, education and care. Defend and extend living conditions beyond the pandemic.

-For a trade union-led campaign to stop the rich sending the bill for the pandemic to the poor and working class.

Struggle for socialism

-For solidarity and unity between workers, the unemployed, students and the poor, both within Australia and across the world.

-End racism, nationalism, sexism, ageism and homophobia. We won’t let the top 1% divide us for the sake of profits!

-Put an end to the anarchy of the capitalist market. Organise production for human need not profit.

-Bring the key parts of the economy into public ownership, starting with the big pharmaceutical companies, medical suppliers, the banks and major utilities.

-Run society in a democratic way where decisions are made by the workers, consumers and communities they effect.

-For a sustainable plan of production that caters for human health and well-being, as well as the long-term needs of the climate and environment.

-For a democratic socialist world free of exploitation, oppression, war and poverty.


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