Around the world governments are preparing huge bailout packages in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
It’s good to see Greenpeace taking a lead in encouraging people to feed in suggestions for a package based on human need, climate justice and long-term sustainability.
But don’t hold your breath – it’s not going to happen.
In New Zealand Ardern’s Labour-led government is working with Treasury, the Reserve Bank and the corporate sector to develop New Zealand’s big budget rescue passage. Human need, climate justice and long-term sustainability are not in their vocabulary.
Saving businesses is the first priority – workers losing their jobs are collateral damage and, after minimal help, will have to fend for themselves.
The irony in all such bailouts is that those who grow the fattest in good times, at the expense of the rest of us, are the first to demand handouts when times are tough.
And so it will be. The big corporates who fund the election campaigns of National, Labour and New Zealand First will be first in line with buckets in hand. In all but name they have designed the package for themselves.
It’s also important to remember these corporate bludgers pay a pittance in tax at the best of times. They pay a far lower percentage of their income in tax than those who earn their incomes through wages or salaries. It is workers’ taxes which will bailout businesses.
And the government will oblige. After all, the government will need their big corporate donations for the election campaign later this year.
After all, the big corporates want the best political party that money can buy.
And the rest of us will pay for it.