Contributed by Joe Montero
The new fast-growing national movement to hit Australia, Living Incomes For Everyone, is going to be formally launched next Tuesday (21 July). More than 60 unions, community and faith groups have signed on to the 3 demands – Keep the Rate, No one Left Behind, and an End Harassment (in the social security system).
Not bad going for a concept that began only about 5 weeks ago.
It is a sign of the times. Many Australians are coming to see that the situation is urgent, and that serious action is needed, to ensure that all are treated fairly.
On the ground, the reality is that it was getting harder to make ends meet for an increasing proportion of Australians, even before Covid-19 struck. The prospects are even dimmer now. This is why Living Incomes For Everyone is striking a chord with so many, and starting to attract a great deal of attention.
There is a sense that this is the time to strive for better and pull together to ensure betrer times ahead. Doing this, requires a new way of thinking, empowering ordinary people to band together and build a movement for change, from the ground up.
To succeed, every citizen must have enough income to cover the basic needs for decent housing, food and a rewarding life with dignity, participation, and a voice: Concepts that are now being talked about by more people.
Although hardly enough, the current Jobseeker and JobKeeper rates must be maintained as the starting point.
Progress depends on ditching the obsession with neoliberalism and the trickle-down effect, as the road to prosperity and a better life for everyone. This is not how it works. Most of us know that this path has led to the growing chasm, with a very few at the top doing well and almost everyone else being left a long way behind. It is not only those on social security benefits in this position. Real wages in general have stagnated and fallen backwards.
If we continue in this way, the nation will head to a precipice, an observation now shared by more than the usual suspects. Even many conservative economists are now saying that the future looks bad, and some are even saying that we cannot return to where we were before Covid-19.
The launch om 21 July will set the foundation for the ongoing growth of Living Incomes For Everyone. The online gathering will be addressed by the National Secretary of the United Workers Union Tim Kennedy, historian Humphrey McQueen, and economist Alison Pennington. Mark Seymour of Hunters and Collectors fame will perform. Other voices representing different sections of the community will be heard.
The date has been chosen to precede the federal government’s economic statement and will launch a series of community actions leading up to the September budget and beyond.
It is expected that many more will join this campaign during this period.
Register to participate via this link.
The launch will live streamed on Facebook