To Coalition MPs,
I am writing to express my grave concern with the direction this government is taking and my disgust with the obvious manipulative barrage of misinformation.
I understand that Mr Abbott told you not to worry about voter backlash from the Budget because “we have a strategy”. If I believed that meant a strategy for making this a better place for all Australians then I may feel somewhat reassured. Sadly, it is apparent that this actually meant yet another advertising campaign of slogans like “earn or learn” and “heavy lifting”. “The rising tide which will lift all boats” surged in for the wealthy while an increasing number of the poor had their heads pushed further underwater.
Mr Hockey said, with trembling lip, that tough decisions had to be made because he would not saddle his children with our debt. He has conceded that we are not in crisis yet but that action must be taken to forestall future problems.
Why does this same argument not apply to action on climate change? Billions have been cut from your own Direct Action Plan, climate change advisory bodies have been disbanded, funding to the CSIRO, the Bureau of Meteorology, and other research groups has been slashed. Environmental protections have been wound back, power of approval has been given to the states despite the corruption that this perpetuates, and renewable energy has been abandoned in favour of more coal mines.
How will you explain to your grandchildren that you didn’t think the Great Barrier Reef and the Tasmanian forests were worth fighting to preserve? What will you say to the children of rural Australians who must abandon their farms because the water table is depleted or polluted, or a creek has been diverted to mine the coal underneath, or drought is now a constant state, or that 100 year floods happen every 5 years now and cyclones are far more intense?
Instead we play ridiculous word games about the difference between a levy and a tax and a core and non-core promise to divert our attention from the fact that the government is asking those least able in our society to finance big business to increase profits to their shareholders. Why are levies ok to fund Coalition policies but a temporary fixed price on carbon is not?
This is a world far removed from most Australians. The last election was supposed to be a “referendum on the carbon tax” because it was driving up the cost of living for families and pensioners. You promised to save us $550 a year. You didn’t tell us that to save $550 a year we would not only abandon action on climate change, we would lose free health and billions in funding to education. On top of that we will be asked to contribute several thousand with the poorest losing the most. Instead of lowering our cost of living, we are now funding lowering your deficit.
If a young person can’t find a job or a suitable course, how do they survive for the 6 months of the year when they receive no income support?
Ever since MYEFO was published in December, you have been saying that Labor left us with a debt of $667 billion and deficits of $123 billion. Sometimes you add “unless we make changes”. This is a blatant lie. That is the projected debt for ten years’ time under Coalition policies. It includes Coalition spending decisions and Coalition cuts to revenue. This figure cannot be attributed to Labor in any way and it is fraudulent misrepresentation to do so. Why are you, 8 months into your term in office, wasting money on a glossy brochure called “Labor’s mess” full of such propaganda?
You have made your “strategy” obvious with this Budget. You were prepared to promise anything to get into office and you have no hesitation in breaking those commitments. Your focus is on the failed theory of “trickle down” economics whilst ignoring all warnings about the danger of growing poverty and income inequality. You regard the sick, disabled, unemployed, elderly, indigenous people and students as a burden that you want to shed so you can subsidise mining companies and build roads.
We cannot afford your fighter jets and your Paid Parental Leave scheme and your increased defence spending. We cannot afford your school chaplaincy programme and marriage counselling vouchers for newlyweds. We cannot afford to have our Navy patrolling to turn back asylum seekers and billions to security firms for off-shore processing. We cannot afford your tax concessions and rebates for the wealthy and your subsidies to mining companies and private health insurers.
You view things from your place in society but cannot even imagine the real world that the rest of us live in. You do not know the daily struggle and you obviously don’t care. Your priorities do not reflect those of the community. You must change your direction. You cannot sell us out like this.
My heart weeps for my country and for our children.
Note: It is important that we contact members of parliament whether by email or phone call or visit to their office or letter. Speak about what concerns you. Feel free to use or adapt this to forward on if you wish. We must keep the pressure on to all MPs to come up with a better plan than this. Senators need our support to stand up to them. I would encourage you all to become part of the Independent Media Party. We may not be a political party (yet) but we can certainly hold our politicians to account and make our feelings heard loud and clear. The people who get their news from the independent media are far better informed than the general voting public. Let’s use that knowledge to save our country.