Well last week’s budget was sickening to watch, whilst many of the announcements were anticipated it was still incredibly disheartening.
A sector that hasn’t been constantly on the news about cuts and changes, yet has still suffered a drastic blow in the 2014 budget is Indigenous Australia. The budget will see cuts to Indigenous spending by more than half-a-billion dollars over five years.
The rhetoric of the so called ‘deficit crisis’ by Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey is creating a new class, the lowest class as the cuts are attacking those who need support the most. The budget is eliminating funding to programs that are society building and life changing.
The obsession for savings is causing a cut to 150 indigenous programs, grants and activities addressing multitudes of social issues.
These programs will now be amalgamated into 5 Government programs. This change will result in $409.2 million cuts to the sector, but more importantly a huge loss to the Indigenous community and the education of Indigenous culture to much of the Ignorant Australian population.
The budget announced cuts of $10 million over a 4 year period from Indigenous languages, one of the 150 program’s to be cut. Since white settlement there has been hundreds of Indigenous Australian languages lost. The Government should be investing more into Indigenous languages and culture not the opposite. This position continues a barrier between the understandings of Indigenous culture by the mass Australian population, a barrier that should have been removed decades ago.
The combination of these cuts and Tony Abbott’s proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act, which many believe would give a green light to hate speech, is a frightening concept. The last few weeks has felt like a trip back to the past.
When Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey continuously talk about investing in the infrastructure of Australia, they are forgetting about the social infrastructure that this country desperately needs.