National’s 2012 budget focused on cutbacks and reducing government debt. The budget increased research and healthcare spending through cuts to KiwiSaver, Working For Families, the public sector, and the education system.
Cutbacks in the public sector are a basis for casualisation, with contractors profiting by undermining labour conditions (public sector cuts will be covered in more detail in the August issue of The Spark). Attacks on financial assistance have served to scapegoat beneficiaries, workers and students.
These cuts have generated resistance in some sectors, with particularly sharp confrontations in tertiary education. Fight back will need to be consciously broadened to challenge the system which produced this crisis. Read the rest of this entry »