Coronavirus: demands the left should make

I wrote these demands for an Australian context, but it could easily be adapted to other countries.

Demands the left should make during the Coronavirus crisis:

1. The priority must be people before profits.

2. Massive investment in medical essentials now.

3. Be proactive- shut down what can be shut down now, before waiting for the number of victims to grow.

4. Raise Newstart to help the hundreds of thousands of individuals and families which are about to be deprived of income.

(For overseas readers: Newstart is a payment given to the unemployed)

5. Timely processing of Centrelink claims.

(For overseas readers: Centrelink is the government agency that processes welfare claims)

6. Financial support for workers and independent contractors under threat, not just businesses.

7. Sick leave for casuals.

(For overseas readers: Casuals are a class of employee employed effectively “at-will” in exchange for a somewhat higher rate of pay. They do not normally receive sick leave)

8. Information to be made available about how best to support very sick relatives if the hospital system becomes too overwhelmed to do so.

9. Suspend mortgage and rent for those who become unemployed as a result of the crisis.

10. Government support for, and where possible, policies mandating, telecommuting.

11. Clear opposition to racism and xenophobia.

12. Support for indigenous communities.

13. Support for remote communities.

14. When eventually costs are recouped, they should fall on the well to do, and not the poor.

15. Release, at least temporarily, non-violent and elderly offenders, to prevent mass deaths in prisons.

16. Announce and prepare for massive infrastructure spending after the crisis passes, in order to reinvigorate the economy.

If I were writing this in a US context I would add:

17. All medical costs to be covered by the government.

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