Socialist Alliance: For the millions not the billionaires!

People & planet before profit

We've witnessed the biggest public bailout of the capitalist system in history! Trillions of public money has been shelled out to bail out banks and a growing list of bankrupt governments - with Greece the most recent.

In Australia, we have yet to suffer as much pain from the global economic crisis, but already many workers have lost their jobs or suffered cut in hours and conditions. Families are shouldering historic mortgage debt or rising rents. Further, the crisis is not over and could still ravage this country.

But the corporate rich are carrying on as before, with the same speculative, profit-gouging ways that brought on the crisis in the first place.

FACT: The 11 Australians who made the Forbes 1000 richest list for 2010 have a total net wealth of $25.7 billion-more than the net wealth of the country's 800,000 poorest households. Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

With commandeered working people's savings (total Australian superannuation exceeds $800 billion), they continue their dangerous gambling at our expense. The corporations also insist on their right to dodge taxes, even though they are now paying a lower effective tax rate than most workers.

FACT: BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto pay just 13%, while most workers pay 30% or more in effective tax rate. Source: Federal Treasury. Between 2005 and 2008, more than 40% of big businesses paid no income tax. Source: Australian Tax Office.

Loyally served by Labor and Liberal-National governments, the billionaires dictate that oceans of money continue to be spent on corporate welfare, imperial wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and who knows where next, even as 100,000 people sleep in the street each night and Indigenous communities suffer shocking conditions and racism.

Climate science tells us that to address the climate emergency seriously we must shift to 100% renewable energy by 2020, but the "economic conservative" Labor government refuses to make the urgently needed investment. Burning social needs - in housing, education, and child and aged care - are likewise neglected.

FACT: Globally, observed CO2 emissions, temperature and sea levels are rising faster than expected. Australia is likely to become warmer, with uncertain rainfall changes in the north, and less rainfall and more droughts in the south. Heat waves and heavy rain events are likely to become more frequent worldwide, with less snow, more fires, more heavy rainfall events and more intense cyclones. Source: CSIRO.

A group of scientists, economists and engineers working voluntarily for the Zero Carbon Australia 2020 project has calculated that an investment of less than 3.5% of GDP, or approximately $39 billion, for the next ten years can fund the transition to 100% renewable energy. The economy can afford this investment, which would help make Australia a just, equitable and sustainable society. For example, each year, the Australian government spends more than 3.5% of GDP on waging and preparing for war, subsidising polluting industry and funding privileged private schools.

FACT: Profit share of total income in Australia has increased from 16.9% to 27.7% since 1974-75 while wage share has decreased from 62.7% to 54%. In today's dollars, $2.2 trillion dollars has been shifted to profits! Source: ABS.

Venezuela's socialist President Hugo Chávez spoke the truth about the clash between corporate and social priorities at the failed Copenhagen Climate Summit last year: "If the environment were a bank, it would already have been saved."

The Socialist Alliance campaigns for a complete change of priorities in Australian politics: It's time to put people and planet before profit. Our common future depends on it.

Socialist Alliance Candidates

CLICK HERE for details of the Socialist Alliance's candidates in the 2010 Federal Election