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Unmasking the Impact of Austerity in Australia

This project includes a series of reports and publications prepared by Dexter Whitfield, of the European Services Strategy Unit (ESSU), and WISeR.

It details the experience of austerity in Europe and the United States and guest lectures from world academics.

Unmasking Austerity Forum Videos

  • Forum 1Unmasking Austerity
    18 February 2014

    Professors John Quiggin, Jamie Peck, Dexter Whitfield and John Spoehr provide insights into the effects of Austerity measures in Australia and around the world.
  • Forum 2Unmasking Austerity the Baltic Recovery
    24 June 2014

    Professor Charles Woolfson delivers a seminar paper based upon some of the themes in a his book, (jointly edited with Jeffrey Sommers) The Contradictions of Austerity: The Socio-economic Costs of the Neoliberal Baltic Model
  • Forum 3The Age of Disentitlement: Household Impacts of the Federal Budget
    10 October 2014

    After methodical analysis of the recent Federal budget’s impact, Professor Peter Whiteford from the Crawford School of Public Policy, found that the impacts of the budget will be felt most heavily by Australia’s lowest income workers.

    As an early 2014 Anti-Poverty Week (Oct 12 -18) event, Professor Whiteford explored the results of this research in a presentation and panel discussion session of community sector experts; Ross Womersley, SACOSS; Alice Clark, Shelter SA; and Simon Schrapel, Uniting Communities, who will discussed these impacts on South Australia’s most vulnerable. [Powerpoint Slides Available Here]

Unmasking Austerity Publications

  • Unmasking AusterityLessons for Australia

    Unmasking Austerity: Lessons for Australia

    Austerity policies have fuelled the fire of recession rather than stimulated growth. As a consequence nearly 5.5 million young people are now out of work in Europe and unemployment has reached crisis levels. This is the first of three papers that will examine austerity strategies in Europe and the US and assess their economic and social effects. Subsequent briefings will examine the importance of alternative policies to reconstruct the economy and the public sector. The report has been prepared with assistance from the Don Dunstan Foundation and the Public Service Association of SA.

    Released: February 2014

  • Opposing AusterityOrganising and Action Strategies

    Action strategies deployed in the struggle against austerity and neoliberal policies provide lessons for how strategies might be developed in Australia. This, the second of three austerity briefings, raises wider and longer-term issues about the way in which trade unions, community and civil society organisations and social movements mobilise and organise, widen support and build stronger alliances.

    Released: February 2014

  • Alternatives to AusterityInvestment, Innovation and Reconstruction

    This briefing sets out an alternative to austerity through economic stimulus, reconstruction of public services and the welfare state, faster fundamental reform of banks and financial markets, the elimination of corporate welfare and strategies to increase the labour share of national income.

    Released: February 2014

  • Unmasking AusterityOpposition and Alternatives in Europe and North America

    This publication exposes how austerity policies have fuelled the fire of recession rather than stimulated growth. It identifies key lessons from organising and action against such policies, and urges a rethink of trade union, community and social movement strategies to overcome austerity. Unmasking Austerity examines the deeper causes of the financial crisis, and exposes the manufactured crises, which are being used to dismantle hard-earned labour rights and the welfare state.

    A radical alternative strategy includes economic stimulus, reconstruction of public services, faster fundamental reform of banks and financial markets, the elimination of corporate welfare that enriches big business, and strategies to increase labour’s share of national income.

    Available as an e-publication at: Amazon Kindle and Spokesman Books

    Released: April 2014

  • Impacts of 2014-15 Federal Budget on SAReport

    This WISeR report prepared for the Government of South Australia reveals more than 265,000 (29.4%) South Australian families will be worse off in 2017-18 as a result of the 2014-15 Federal Budget.

    The report shows that proposed health and education spending reductions result in losses of Gross State Product ranging as high as $1.6 billion. The jobs impact of these reductions combined with cancellation of Round 5 of NRAS are estimated to range as high as 17,800 person years of employment. Up to 7,000 fewer jobs are forecast for 2017-18.

    Released: October 2014

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