A deal has been struck between Israel and Hamas which could see a four day pause in fighting while a limited prisoner swap takes place and some aid is allowed into Gaza.
Ten thousand people took to the streets of Melbourne last weekend to protest Israel’s attack on Gaza, which has already killed more than 2,400 people—including 800 children.
As Israel carpet bombs and starves the population of Gaza, and prepares for a ground invasion that could unleash an unprecedented slaughter of civilians, governments in the West are whipping up a frenzied repression of Palestine supporters.
It is all but certain that Labor will proceed with the Liberal Party’s Stage 3 tax cuts. The cuts, which take effect in July 2024, are an enormous handout to the rich, and are forecast to cost $313 billion over ten years. Of that amount, around two-thirds will go to people earning more than $150,000 per year. The lowest 60 percent of income earners will receive just $25.2 billion over the decade.
Treasurer Jim Chalmers reiterated that he “cherishes” the independence of the Reserve Bank of Australia, in the wake of its twelfth interest rate rise since Governor Philip Lowe initiated monetary tightening last year. As economics writer Alan Kohler says, “Politicians, both government and opposition, refer so often to the ‘independent’ Reserve Bank as a talisman against being blamed for what it does, that its initials should change to the IRBA”.
Real wages in Australia continue to fall and are now down 7 percent in two years. This is the biggest fall in real wages ever recorded. The overall proportion of national income going to wages is also the lowest on record, at just 45 percent. According to Jim Stanford, an economist at the Australia Institute, “This decline in labour’s share of GDP ... represents foregone earnings of close to $5,000 a year per employee, on average”.