The federal government’s Commission of Audit signals a farewell to the fair go, according to South Coast Labour Council secretary Arthur Rorris.
‘‘This is one of the biggest frauds ever unleashed on the people of Australia,’’ Mr Rorris said.
‘‘This mob are determined to pull apart the Australia that we know and to remove any semblance of a fair go in this country.’’
For Mr Rorris, the recommendations handed down by the commission were a relentless attack on the least well-off Australians.
‘‘The government has said this this is the end of entitlement,’’ Mr Rorris said.
‘‘What we see today is the end of the fair go, not of entitlement. The government does not seem to want to take away the entitlement of the big corporations, the entitlement of the mining giants, the entitlement of the big property owners and others who are skimping on millions of dollars in taxes through negative gearing and other things.
‘‘They seem to be off the radar as far as this government is concerned.’’
One of a raft of recommendations by the commission is to raise the pension age to 70 by 2053. The ‘‘ludicrous’’ idea of forcing people to stay in their jobs longer is one of the themes of this year’s May Day march in Wollongong.
MUA Southern NSW branch secretary Garry Keane is chair of the South Coast May Day Committee.
He said working until the age of 70 wasn’t a pleasant thought for a number of people.
‘‘We work in a heavy industry area - 70 years of age for some of these people is just ludicrous,’’ Mr Keane said.
‘‘A 70-year-old man getting into a hatch on board a ship or climbing up into a crane on a vessel or at a steelworks is not a a particularly encouraging thing for somebody whose knees are going or whose hips are going.
‘‘It’s just wrong, it’s just ludicrous. We’ve got the highest youth unemployment and they’re going to force people to work until they’re 70.
‘‘There’s not a lot of logic in this.’’
However, Mr Keane said May Day was not just a day for the workers.
‘‘It’s a day for the whole community – for the pensioners, for the teachers, for the students,’’ he said.
‘‘Everybody is feeling the weight of the government agendas at the moment. May Day gives them a chance to come together and voice their concerns. To show by putting people on the ground that we are concerned.
‘‘To show the government that we are disparate groups from all over the country and we are concerned about where they’re going with all this.’’
The May Day events include a dinner on Friday night with guest speaker Dr Con Costa from the Doctors’ Reform Association.
Saturday marks the annual May Day march, which starts at 10am from Lowden Square next to Wollongong Railway Station and Mr Keane said he was hoping for a strong turnout.
‘‘We had a very good rally last year,’’ he said.
‘‘We hope that this year will be equally as big if not bigger, what with the attacks on the education system this year in particular. That’s going to impact on everybody.’’