Housing

Prime minister Tony Abbott chalked up his first budget win on June 17 when the 2% “levy” on high income earners passed both houses of parliament.

The February 5 announcement that the Victorian Socialists — an alliance of socialist groups, including the Socialist Alliance — will contest the upper house in the upcoming Victorian elections flags a new, exciting opening for the left and progressive movements.

The Socialist Alliance will be running three Hunter-based candidates in the March 23 NSW state elections.

The turnout and energy at the March in May rallies on May 18 proved that people are not going to take this budget lying down.

Complaints by conservative commentators that Treasurer Scott Morrison and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull have delivered a “Labor budget” show how low expectations are that any federal government in Australia will deliver a budget aiming to advance genuine social justice in this country.

The Socialist Alliance will contest the 2019 NSW State Election to put people in control of planning and to build community resistance to corporate greed.

Australia is a wealthy nation built on stolen Aboriginal land and resources. But Aboriginal people score lowest in health, education, employment and housing.

As parliament wound up for the year, the Coalition government was desperate to salvage a symbolic “win” in the Senate to save some face. It was reeling from the defeat of the one-term Liberal government in Victoria, which was seen as a vote against Prime Minister Tony Abbott in the second most populous state in Australia.

A motion moved by Socialist Alliance councillor Sam Wainwright resulted in Fremantle Council becoming the 11th local government to support an increase in the Newstart allowance.

It is now two and a half months since budget night. Remember Treasurer Joe Hockey and Mathias Corman smoking cigars, satisfied and smug after doing a job on Australian workers, pensioners and the poor?

Moreland City Council has joined 10 South Australian local councils calling for an increase in the Newstart Allowance thanks to a motion from Sue Bolton.

Far from being too radical, Labor’s shift to the left was too little too late, incomplete and sometimes more rhetoric than substance.