Razor gangs were criminal gangs that dominated the Sydney crime scene in the 1920s. The choice of razors as preferred weapons reflected laws imposing severe penalties for carrying concealed firearms, and the capacity of razors to inflict disfiguring scars. 
The term razor gang has been subsequently used in Australian politics as a nickname for a group of Cabinet ministers charged with cutting government spending. It was first used in this sense in the early 1980s in association with the Fraser government. Kevin Rudd used the term during the 2007 election and it has been widely applied to Labor Party cost-cutting.