I have been writing for the AIMN for about fourteen months. Tony Abbott being elected Prime Minister made me realise it is all hands on deck to save this country and I have been trying ever since to inform myself and others of the truth.
During that time I have read so many good suggestions mingled with a lot of frustration. To all who have made suggestions and passed on things they have read, I thank you. I have learned a lot.
I can only hope that someone with more power than a middle-aged woman in jammies has been listening to you.
In the New Year I hope that Bill Shorten and the Labor Party will emerge with some ideas and commitments as to the direction in which they want this country to go.
Here is my list of things I would like to hear about from Labor.
A firm commitment to action on climate change
We have a government who sees our success in reducing emissions as a reason to lower our targets instead of a spur to increase our goals and speed up the inevitable adjustment to a sustainable energy future.
A commitment to defend Medicare
Consult with the health industry to come up with areas to make savings or use funding more effectively.
Consider raising the Medicare levy, consider voluntary euthanasia – also consider explaining that we CAN afford universal health care and make the case for it.
Investment in education
Commit to the original Gonski funding but don’t take money from the universities to pay for it. Education is an investment in our future. Take on board the suggestion for maths and science specialists in primary schools.
Consider reinstating the Commonwealth Employment Service. Currently, employment and recruitment agencies take a lot of money from employers while signing employees up to contracts that deprive them of entitlements. Eliminate the middle man, employ some public servants, and hook people up with worthwhile employment.
Provide some form of a job guarantee where, rather than working for the dole, unemployed people are paid the minimum wage to do worthwhile jobs in the community and environment.
Push the advantages of public transport for our cities and high speed rail linking our capital cities via regional areas.
Investment in research and innovation
Stop this ridiculous short term thinking that cutting funding to agencies like the CSIRO is a saving. We NEED ideas for the future and employment for our best and brightest. We also need agencies like the BoM keeping us informed about the science.
We need this for so many reasons. It MUST be done to put some integrity and trust back into the political system.
Is it too late to salvage the NBN? Can something be done about Telstra’s strangle hold?
We need a completely new approach where this discussion is put back into perspective. With over 60,000 people overstaying their tourist and student visas last year, the few asylum seekers who come by boat should hardly be considered a burden.
Change the debate to what Australia’s contribution to the global refugee crisis should be and stop paying poor countries to shoulder our responsibilities.
If we are to have any credibility, any decency, we must increase our Foreign Aid back to promised targets and beyond if we can afford it. We use a disproportionate amount of the world’s finite resources and we are not carrying our weight in paying for that by lifting others out of poverty and protecting them from human rights abuses.
It is unconscionable that 1 in 7 Australians live in poverty. Increasing Newstart and other welfare payments by $50 a week would go a long way to producing a demand driven boost to the economy whilst contributing to an easing of the health, educational and social disadvantage felt by so many Australians.
With over 100,000 Australians homeless, we need to do something urgently to help provide more affordable housing. An important aspect of Australia’s egalitarian past was home ownership. Current policies make this an unaffordable dream for most.
Forget expensive paid parental leave and rebates for nannies – work on providing quality affordable childcare for those of us who have no choice but to work.
I understand that it costs money to provide the society we all want so here is a list of places to find some:
Corporate tax avoidance
Superannuation tax concessions
Capital gains and negative gearing tax concessions
A financial transactions tax
Increased Medicare levy
Changes to the provisional tax rates
An improved mining tax
Fossil fuel subsidies
Politicians (past and present) entitlements
I hope you use the break to come up with a plan and come out fighting in 2015. This middle-aged woman in jammies needs some help.