Contributed by Joe Montero
Australia’s new social movement Living incomes For Everyone, also known by its acronym – LIFE, is launching its response this week to Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s economic statement on the 24 September, and the budget due on 6 October.
These actions are being called under the Slogan “No Excuse For Poverty.” See the link at the bottom of this article.
A call to action
Video from Living Incomes For Everyone
LIFE has not come into existence to primarily lobby political leaders. Others do this. It is rising out of a spreading realisation, that our political leaders are not listening to the concerns of ordinary people, and that a different approach is necessary. The focus is on working to build a movement from below.
This means, strengthening existing networks and building new ones, which will empower their communities and their capacity to come together as a movement, empowering citizens to bring about change.
About 80 union, community, and faith organisations have so far endorsed LIFE’s current demands. More are endorsing. The immediate demands are to keep the JobKeeper and JobSeeker rates at the present level, that no one be left behind, and for a social security system does not harass and treats people with dignity.
The Pen has endorsed these demands.
Some of the endorsing organisations
Since its launch on 21 July, LIFE has drawn an impressive public response from every part of Australia. That much of the media has chosen to ignore thousands of supporter so far, doesn’t change this.
Activists have come mainly from the endorsing organisations, and often participate as representatives, reporting back and returning feedback.
The Covid-19 restrictions have posed major organising challenges. The worst of it is in Melbourne. Lockdown and distancing requirements have compelled a creative approach to organising, and this has left its mark on the actions of the coming days.
Where possible, physical presences will take place. They will target Centrelink, Indue card offices, and relevant ministers. Distancing and number requirements will be observed in all cases. Masks will be worn.
Online activities will take the place of public actions where they are not possible. A virtual rally is being organised by the Tomorrow Movement. Images of would be participants and computer technology, will be used to resemble the real thing.
September’s campaign will be a springboard towards future organising.
This has been a tough year, and there is no doubt that the coming year will be even tougher.
Australia is saddled with a government intent on moving forward to the past, by imposing an even more ruthless version of neoliberalism. Measures to hand over more to the big end of town will be applied, unless there is enough pressure from below to stop it.
Austerity will be at the top of the agenda. The crackdown on the unemployed and pensioners of all kinds will intensify.
So will the push to extend insecure work, to bring down the wages share of income and working conditions, under the slogan of labour market reform. The government has pledged to lower company tax.
Government expenses on services will be cut, on the argument of a need to bring down the budget deficit.
The new neoliberalism will add to the burden of an already failing economy, and what this does, to lower living the standards of families and individuals. On top of this, the impact of Covid-19 is set to continue.
There is plenty of evidence to show that the government’s approach will lead to even more damage to the economy and society.
If the government continues to fail to listen and the suffering rises, the need to build LIFE will become even more necessary.
Those what’s is planned to take place near you go to this link