Lets Debate Cuts

Maria PhotoHave you heard of the National Commission of Audit?

It’s about to recommend big changes to our vital services like healthcare and education – and we might not get to see the report.

http://www.commissionofcuts.com.au/

As a teacher aide in a Queensland public school, I know first-hand what Commissions like this mean for working people.

Since Premier Campbell Newman’s state-wide Commission of Audit, we’ve seen 14 000 jobs cut, many in health and education.

We’ve seen public schools close meaning jobs like mine are on the line, as is the quality of our kids’ education.

WHAT SORT OF AUSTRALIA DO YOU WANT?

I want an Australia with quality education, healthcare and public services that support our communities. But I’m worried big business and the Abbott government will use the Commission of Audit to rush through cuts and privatisation instead.

Reviewing where our tax dollars go should be an opportunity to build a better Australia that works for everyone.

Instead, the Abbott government has handed the keys to big-business, installing Business Council of Australia president Tony Shepherd as Commission chair, with clear instructions to cut, outsource and privatise.

This means the public services we all use and need – health, education, family support and community programs – could be on the chopping block.

Changes to Medicare including a new fee for going to your doctor have already been suggested.

They’ll consider all public assets and infrastructure for privatisation. And despite Prime Minister Abbott’s election promises to the contrary, the Commission has refused to rule out a review of the GST.

A REPORT THIS BIG SHOULD BE UP FOR PUBLIC DEBATE.

For months now, Joe Hockey has said the Commission’s report will not be released until after the cuts are made in the May Budget. However, lately we’ve heard murmurings that he may release the report earlier.

It’s great to hear Hockey may be open to releasing the report. Australians deserve a robust debate about the future of our services and communities before massive changes are made on our behalf.

But we still haven’t heard it from the horse’s mouth: Hockey is yet to publicly commit to releasing the report.

If enough of us join together, we can get a commitment from Joe Hockey to release the report and spark the debate our country needs to have. Act now!