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Tag: Labor Government

Labor’s Policy Drift

20 April 2024

Albanese won the Federal election 2 years ago, but he has been very disappointing.

Australia wanted real change after a decade of Liberals doing nothing except giving money to their mates, offending China and pursuing the dubious AUKUS strategy, (a $360 billion photo op for Scott Morrison).

Labor was very dejected after a bold policy platform from Bill Shorten fell to a characteristic Liberal scare campaign from Scott Morrison in the 2019 Federal election, so they pursued a ‘small target’ strategy (i.e. minimal policies) in the 2022 election.

But when they won the 2022 election, they have still been scared to do anything, behaving like Liberal-lite, as if they are still scared of any Liberal criticism.  It seems that they believe that negative political campaigning is so much more successful than actual policies that they are best served by giving the Liberal little to criticise, i.e doing very little. The Liberals are ruling from beyond the grave.

Labor did not undo the Liberal follies of the AUKUS pact, the kow-towing to the US with their bases here and silly behaviour in the South China sea. (How would the US feel if China took a few aircraft carriers for trips around the Caribbean just to emphasise freedom of navigation?) They even kept the Stage 3 tax cuts, which were a desperate Liberal measure; a future promise to win a present election. Labor promised no tax increases, so Medicare remains doomed, and the long-term privatisation contracts that the Liberal installed in Centrelink remain, with our welfare system behaving like a suspicious private insurer as jobs and job security become more tenuous.  They were petty with the Teals, taking their staff when they should have supported them both because they are more aligned to Labor in many policy areas, and because they are all from Liberal seats and it is in Labor’s interest that the Teals have them rather than the Liberals.

Now we have dubious rumblings about subsidies to Australian manufacturing with lots of patriotic tub-thumping.

My own view is that Albanese is quite safe in his job until at least after the 2025 election, but Labor may lose seats to Greens or independents if he does not do more of what is needed.

Dutton plays to his base while Albanese neglects his

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A Robodebt Re-Run? Labor bound by Pre-election contracts?

22 July 2022

It seems that the Liberals are ruling beyond the election, by letting long-term private Centrelink contracts that Labor must honour.  With the public service effectively dismantled, all work is done by private contractors, and doing tasks defined in a highly ideological framework.  Even if the contracts were rescinded, with whatever penalty clauses the Libs and their contractors had agreed on, the Labor party has insufficient public administration staff capable to do the job of paying people in the short term.  So they default to the Liberal contract.

This is about managing Centrelink’s Jobseeker program and ‘debt recovery program’.  We have seen how the Liberals used Tax Office records in the Robodebt scandal, with totally unsubstantiated financial demands, then enforced by garnisheeing payments leading to suicides.  Behind this sort of activity is a philosophy that those on welfare have only themselves to blame and need to be forced back to work, even when it is obvious that there are fewer jobs than job seekers, so that all that will change is who gets what jobs there are.  Labor has to change the philosophy to a more realistic one, then have a serious plan to help those who cannot get jobs. Everyone knows that technology is replacing people in many areas, and jobs are moved offshore in manufacturing or services such as call centres because it is cheaper.

The fact that Labor was dependent on contractors chosen by the Liberals is another feature of privatisation that must be reversed. The Public Service must be rebuilt, and staff given guarantees of long-term employment- like they used to have.  They must do their job helping people without the cost constraints of false bonuses that reward them for doing the easy tasks and leaving the hard ones.

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