Bringing LIFE to life

Written by: Ben H. on 28 July 2020

 

The Federal government is reverting to its usual instincts to punish and impoverish unemployed and low-income Australians by tapering off the JobSeeker and JobKeeper payments over the next few months. 

Remember that the JobSeeker supplement of $550 a week and the introduction of JobKeeper were not about meeting needs, but about stimulating the economy in the face of full-blown recession (now likely to be a depression of 1930's scale). 

But despite the resurgence of the Covid-19 virus, which is very likely to grow in other states beyond Victoria, the government is not only cutting payments but bringing back punitive dealings with those on income support (so-called “mutual obligation”); allowing eviction moratoriums to end soon without any response; and proposing tax cuts (rich-skewed) and workplace “reform” as the way forward out of the recession/depression. 

This is straight out of the playbook of the Institute of Public Affairs, Business Council of  Australia, Australian Financial Review and the Murdoch press. But reaction meets counter-reaction, and Australian workers are not taking this major attack lying down. 

A new organisation called LIFE (Living Incomes for Everyone) has been building and is now launched, doing what has been rare (and impeded) in Australian politics and society for decades – bringing together those on all kinds of income support with low-income and part-time workers. 

LIFE now has over 70 endorsing organisations, from unions like the United Workers Union and Trades and Labour Councils to groups representing the unemployed, pensioners, people on disability, students and young people, those opposing income management and the basics card, affordable housing, single parents, migrants and solidarity organisations sharing the views and demands of LIFE.

LIFE welcomes individuals from any or no political party, but refuses to accept endorsements from parties. This is to distance it from the toxic swamp of rorts, paid influence peddling and elite-pandering which is modern electoral politics. 

Demands currently centre on the JobSeeker and JobKeeper payments, and raising other income support to the same level (no more divide and rule). 

On Friday July 24, LIFE campaign participating group Anti-Poverty Network SA held a Covid-19 era, lively snap-action outside Human Services Minister Anne Ruston's office after the disgraceful announcement that her Government will cut the incomes of millions of people (see photo above).
 
See the LIFE Australia Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/LifeAustralia

LIFE can be contacted at lifeaustralia@gmail.com 

 

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