The 2019 federal election has been announced and will take place on Saturday the 18th of May (Fun fact: That’s the very last day that they could have). That makes the election 13 days from the day this article is published.
At the Uninformed Reader, we aim to keep up our Federal Election coverage and wish to help you come to your final voting decision.
Who should you vote for?
That’s probably the biggest question you should be asking yourself coming up to this election. The ABC has created a voting compass to give you a general idea of who your views align with and which party you may want to vote for. Aside from that, we would recommend looking through our analysis below, and previous political news (whether it be on the Uninformed Reader or elsewhere) to help you understand the aims and goals of each party. Talking to people in your area and people with similar political views could also be beneficial to making your final voting decision.
The Labor Party
This week, we’re having a look at the Labor party. If you want to read more about the Liberal Party in this election, I wrote an article about them two weeks ago.
Coming into this election, Labor hopes to capitalise on the faults of the Liberal party over the past year or so. They bring a whole bunch of Labor-esque policies to the table, with increased funding to “fix” Medicare, fund TAFE more, and making a new “living wage” instead of the current minimum wage, amongst others.
As Labor’s policies are quite broad and far-reaching in comparison to the Liberal party, below is a list of all of their substantive promises with a quick summary of each.
Implementation of the “living wage”
First of all, Labor believes that the current minimum wage is too low for modern living in Australia, and, as a result, wants to implement something called the “living wage”; a wage that is higher than the current minimum wage, giving people that would normally earn the current minimum wage more money for their living and daily expenses.
The minimum wage currently is $18.93 an hour, which is about $37,398 a year. The exact amount that the Labor party is aiming for is currently unknown, however, The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) reckons that the number should be around 60% the current median wage, which would be about $20.84 an hour (or around $41,184 a year) This is on the basis of what the British government is implementing.
The Sydney Morning Herald released an excellent article on how this would affect people earning minimum wage and all of the relevant stakeholders, which you can find here.
Funding increases to Medicare
Labor plans also to put more money into healthcare and Medicare, from which the Liberals have taken out money of. The main thing that Labor wants to do within Medicare is to start rebates again for over 100 GP items (some of which are listed here) The move will cost the Labor party $213 million, but fulfills their goals of making healthcare and the Medicare system more viable and affordable for those struggling to afford it.
Undoing the penalty rate cuts imposed by the Liberals
Just under a year ago, the Liberals introduced a pretty drastic cut to the penalty rates received by hospitality, retail other similar workers working on weekends and public holidays. When the cuts initially came out, Bill Shorten said that he would be addressing the cuts in his campaign coming up to this election, and he’s stuck to his word. We presume that he will return the cuts back to their original positions, and not increase them a percentage of the amount that they were decreased by.
Funding TAFE and other tertiary education opportunities
Labor also plans on heavily funding TAFE and other university opportunities during their time in power. This is as a result of the Liberals supposedly cutting $3 billion from “TAFE, apprenticeships and vocational education”. Although Labor has not explicitly stated the amount that they want to fund the previously mentioned opportunities, they are promising some optimistic figures.
They aim to waive the upfront costs of 100,000 TAFE students, invest in 150,000 apprenticeship incentives in places that need them, invest $200 million into upgrading TAFE organisations, and increasing the amount of commonwealth and defense apprenticeships. (Source)
Some of the other promises that Labor have spoken about are as follows:
- Tax breaks for small businesses and crackdowns on international corporations into their taxation
- Take more action on the illegal live export of animals (they specify sheep)
- Protect the ABC and SBS from the funding cuts of the Liberals
- Take more action on banks and their conduct as found in the Royal Commission into Banking
- Establishing an anti-corruption commission against the corruption within the government called the “National Integrity Commission”
And that’s it. As the election is just under two weeks away, next week will be the final week of federal election coverage at the Uninformed Reader. After the election, there will be an election special, summarising the events of the election and everything that happened within it.
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