Editorial from latest issue of The Socialist
The Howard and the Liberals fought the election on the scare tactic that Labor would raise interest rates. Well within a few months of the Liberal victory interest rates have risen and Australian families have to foot the bill of an average of $80 a month with a further rise predicted in the next six months or so.
Interest rises serve to fill the coffers of the already super rich banks and to control prices and wages.
Socialists campaign for zero interest rates since the banks would be owned and controlled by the people.
Howard has warned of more economic hardship to come with a possible slump in the housing market with the spin off of an ?inevitable? more generalised slum in the economy. So workers have little to look forward to with the new Liberal Government. They certainly won?t bask in the recent news that six Australians have made the latest Forbes list of billionaires. Kerry Packer remains Australian richest person with $A6.3 billion ($US5 billion) but thatonly gets him to 94th place globally. Australian-born Rupert Murdoch is 49th on the list with a fortune of $US7.8 billion ($9.8 billion), but is listed as a US citizen and resident.
Australians remember just a few years ago some of these individuals bragging on TV that they pay $5 dollars a year in tax and that it is every Australian?s right to try to avoid paying tax! Gates still tops the list with ($US46.6 billion).
All of the world?s billionaires have increased their wealth while most Australian families have suffered declining incomes along with families from other so called AdvancedCapitalist Countries (ACC). In non ACC countries families are often living on just a few dollars a day.
What socialists and increasingly most working and middle class people are asking is what is advanced about this growing wealth divide? You would think the capitalists would be content with this inequality, not so, not with capitalist economics, the drive for more profit and impoverishing of ordinary families will continue.
On July 1st the Liberals will take control of the upper house, the Senate, meaning they will have control of both houses. Howard has promised more Industrial Relations ?reform?. Reform means giving the bosses the right to sack, on the spot, with out compensation, workers where companies employ 20 or less workers. This is just the start!
The Australian Council of Trade Unions [ACTU] is complaining these reforms will impoverish Australian families. Complaining will do nothing.
Victorian trade unions have called for industrial action on the 30th June, the day before the Liberals take control of the senate to warn Howard not to go ahead with the IR reforms.
This should be an Australian wide 24 hour general strike.
Socialists and activists in the movement will now be campaigning for this action as a warning shot to the capitalists we will not accept these vicious attacks.
There are storms ahead in Australia.