A 55 year old woman is the typical JobSeeker recipient. This means that she will live in hardship, she will skip meals, she will ration heating and cooling, her health will be at risk as it’s likely that she forgoes appointments and getting scripts filled, whilst dental care is impossible. Her shopping basket is minus fresh fruit and vegetables. She will have sleepless nights as she lives in housing stress and is just one life bump away from homelessness.
For a brief time, the $550 a week rate of income support gave many women a chance to recover from financial stress, to allow their children to feel they belong, even to escape domestic violence. To have dignity and hope.
Now that’s all over.
The Government has reverted to the poverty machine and misogyny that punishes women for not being in work. It is forcing people to be a supply of cheap labour for employers, instead of taking care of people. And it exposes women to the risk of coercive control, domestic violence and abuse. Poverty is feminised. Women need a rise in both income support to $550 a week, and the minimum wage.
The Living Incomes For Everyone – LIFE Campaign together with the Australian Unemployed Workers Union, GetUp! and other supporters is organising a Week of Action 15-19 March. We demand $80 per day / $550 per week to Break The Poverty Machine.
We will be targeting the Government, as well as corporations with Government contracts, and employers who pay poverty-level wages. The Government contracts out the system of mutual obligation and suspension of payments to Job Network providers, and the Cashless Welfare Debit Card to the financial institution Indue. Find out where to join the action at this calendar.