We demand and campaign for
Living Incomes For Everyone – LIFE

Updated October 2021

What LIFE is, and how you can support us.

The LIFE campaign seeks to build solidarity between unwaged and waged working class people and their own organisations, to help to create a movement strong enough to win decent and secure living incomes and the necessities of life for everyone in Australia. 

  • We demand that governments and employers meet these needs.  
  • We bring together organisations of the unwaged and the waged (especially unions).
  • We educate ourselves and others about the issues that affect different groups of people in need to build a common programme.
  • We mobilise support for actions called by our endorsing organisations, in support of any or all of our demands.
  • We discuss what we need to do to win these demands.

We acknowledge First Nations traditional owners, and their right to self-determination in managing the resources to meet their needs.

We recognise and value the work of all the endorsing organisations in taking on these issues. However we do argue that separated campaigning is inadequate. We do not seek to replace or interfere in any way with what the endorsing organisations are already doing. 

LIFE aims to be a democratic forum for bringing together a wide range of organisations that are already acting on behalf of their constituents regarding low wages, pensions, unemployment benefits, disabled support, secure housing and associated rights to be treated with respect and dignity. We do this to combine our actions more powerfully in common cause.   

We ask  groups to: 

  • endorse our demands, 
  • inform their members about the LIFE campaign,  and 
  • most importantly, actively participate in building local groups, LIFE campaign education activities, and more powerful campaigns for a dignified standard of living for all. 

We demand

1. A living income, no-one left behind!

  • $600  a week minimum for all social security payments!  (Unemployed, Aged Pension, Disability Support Pension, Youth Allowance and Carers Pension, Parenting Payment, First Nations payments, recent migrants, asylum seekers, overseas workers and international students)
  • Make the minimum wage a living wage, without discrimination.
  • Establish a 4 day working week with no loss of pay to create new jobs. 
  • Trade union rights and conditions for all, including all visa holders.  

2. End Harassment! For Social Security with Dignity.

  • Abolish Mutual Obligation, JobActive, mandatory job searches, CDP and Work for the Dole, forced income management provisions such as the Cashless Welfare Card and Basics Card.
  • Public ownership and control of all Social Security and Employment Services.
  • Stop harassment by Job Providers and their power to suspend payments.
  • No automated penalties, or Robodebts.

3. Secure housing for everyone.

  • Massive new investment in public housing, available to all. 
  • Housing is not for profit – restrict multiple investments in homes, end subsidies and inducements for developers and landlords.  
  • All those on the waitlist for Public Housing to be housed immediately.
  • For tenants’ rights, rent caps, protection from eviction and more extensive maintenance obligations on landlords.

4. Free social care and expanded services, well-staffed, publicly owned and community controlled.

  • For a public health and social services system – stop and reverse privatisation and outsourcing. 
  • Fund quality and timely commonwealth, state and local public services, adequately staffed by permanent and well-trained government employees.
  • End private market subsidies and contracting out of care, in early childhood, education and care, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, and aged care. 

5. Well paid, socially useful, sustainable work that mitigates climate change.

  • A democratic and just transition to solve the employment, climate, and public health crises.
  • Public funding of meaningful, useful and secure work.
  • Local production (with significant public and community ownership) for local needs, decided democratically according to local priorities, including First Nations demands.
  • Public ownership of industries that are essential to reducing emissions.

Immediate needs in the pandemic 

The government and employer management of the pandemic is entrenching inequalities and associated poverty that they have already created, and is a threat to public health standards and infrastructure. Further to our general demands, the LIFE campaign supports the efforts of unions, social welfare groups, and unemployed groups to defeat this threat, dealing with such issues as: paid vaccination leave, full wage replacement subsidies paid directly to workers, and full rental and mortgage debt forgiveness. We have a full list of pandemic demands