A Letter to Australia’s Prime Minister

This is a cruel policy to withhold covid relief support from income support recipients published today in The Guardian Australia.  Your policy is putting hundreds of thousands of people’s health and well-being into the garbage. 

Your policy basically says: “We don’t care if you become homeless.  We don’t care if you starve to death.  We don’t care if you die in the gutter.”

You need to immediately include all income recipients including Parent Payment, JobSeeker, Youth Allowance, Austudy and Abstudy. The people who applied for these payments to supplement casual income in weeks their working hours dropped are not greedy, they are sensible. Many of these people live pay cheque to pay cheque and if they did not take responsibility by applying for government income support they would put them selves at risk of homelessness and this would cost society a whole lot more than their social security benefits.

If you don’t extend the help to these people, the consequences for social stability are going to be dire.  We will see an increase in morbidity and mortality.  How can you justify this when there are as few as 75 affordable private rentals for someone on the sole parent pension in the entire country and a 10+ year waiting list for social housing in cities like Sydney. 

Your government needs to immediately implement a building program using the $3 bn you have under NHFIC and actually implement this funding to build the 500,000 affordable homes Australia needs.  Until people can actually live on the absolute pittance this government calls welfare, you must include any casual workers who also receive income support in your scheme.

This policy is obviously based off of misguided ideology.  Stop pretending this is justified.  Milton Friedman and John Maynard Keynes were both on your side of politics, and both would have warned you about the terrible consequences of this policy.  All you are doing is pushing voters to vote Green. Pushing voters to vote Labor. You have proven that you don’t care about Australian people, and people are not stupid.  The can see what the government thinks of them.  People on “the Dole” are no longer a minority.  So many people will experience what the Dole is really like now, experience the hunger, and the Australian people I suspect will demand better social security in this country, just like Keynes suggested after the Great Depression and the War.  If you ignore this, you and your friend’s way of life will be destroyed.  The whole point of having an adequate social security system is to

1. Keep the workforce healthy and in homes even when they are out of work. 

2. Give people options to find good quality well paid work. 

3. Prevent social unrest that lead to increased crime and higher chance of revolutions. 

You and any politician should best remember any society is only three meals from revolution.  This is your “Let them eat cake” moment. This is just bad policy. 

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