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AltAusterity Digest #105 July 4-10, 2019

This week in Austerity News:

Jul 12, 2019

The Ontario government has stated that it expects “no negative impacts” as a result of a $6.2 billion budget cut for refundable tax credits to help cover public transit costs for seniors. In total terms, the budget has been reduced from $9.7 million in 2018-19 to $3.5 million in 2019-20. The rationale behind this move is an adjustment to better reflect the anticipated costs of the program for this year. In response, the public transit advocacy group TTCRiders has said that this cut will result in more expensive public transit for people 65 and older, and will have an especially negative impact on those with fixed incomes.

The center-right New Democracy party has secured an absolute majority in the Greek parliament. While there were large abstention rates compared to earlier post-crisis elections, New Democracy was able to secure 40% of the vote. Syriza, who eventually capitulated to neoliberal Troika pressures and abandoned their anti-austerity platform in 2015, finished in second place making them the official opposition party. For Jacobin, Costas Lapavitsas discusses the legacy of Syriza’s capitulation, its effects on the people of Greece, and what lessons can be learned for the rest of the European left.

The White House is pushing for an increase to the debt limit. White House officials have said the debt ceiling must be raised by early September to ensure the government can continue to operate. If no spending deal can be reached before then there will be another government shutdown. This news comes after a recent Treasury Department report stated that it was running out of money faster than previously expected. Talks about an extended budget deal have broken down repeatedly as the Democrats have pushed for locking in spending increases while the Trump administration wants to avoid a fiscal pileup that could derail the updated NAFTA agreement.

Mexican Finance Minister Carlos Urzúa has resigned from his post in the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Urzúa’s decision to quit comes only seven months into the government’s mandate. This represents another in a string of resignations from President López Obador’s government including the environment secretary and the heads of the social-security and the migration institutes. While the government’s policy decisions so far have been mixed, the spending cuts across a host of ministries have not been well received by government officials.

That's it for this week's Digest! Check back next Friday morning for another edition, or subscribe to our newsletter for a weekly roundup. We'll also Tweet each time we add new content, so you can keep up with our work @AltAusterity and join the #altausterity conversation.