Tuesday, June 11, 2013

My say today

There are currently 106,000 people in Australia who are homeless, which  means that on any given night one in 200 people have nowhere to live and are most probably doing it tough on the street. 225,000 people are on the public housing waiting lists and 2.25 million people live on the poverty line. Over 400,000 thousand people are already living in government supported public housing, but more assistance is required because private rental costs continue to rise because of greedy landowners and opportunistic real estate agents and more than 1 million people are in a housing or rental crisis, spending about three quarters of their income on rent. 3.8 million Australians are living with a disability and have few opportunities to undertake meaningful work, meaning that they remain in a hand to mouth existence. At least Gillard's Disability Care will make a difference to those who already have a significant permanent disability and those who have an acquired disability in the future. However there is little information about what is classified as a 'significant permanent disability' and not all disabilities will be covered.  
1 in 8 people in Australia are living in poverty! The number of ‘working poor’ in Australian rises each year as people are forced to work in low-paid, part time, casual or insecure employment, or suffer periods of employment and unemployed, giving them no security or opportunity for saving money. We have 630,000 single parent families (84% are women) with dependents in Australia and they also live on the poverty line. So much for Bob Hawke’s statement twenty years ago that ‘no child in Australia would go hungry’!
It’s all very well Julia Gillard fighting for education equality, which is a fantastic idea, because for far too long there has been a huge discrepancy in the amount of funding given to wealthy private and that handed out to poorer public schools, creating a old school tie system in which who you know gives you better chances in life than what you know; but there can be no real equality in the education system when the children of single parent families eat less food, live in poor or inadequate housing, wear hand me down clothing and lack access to social engagements and other activities that may give them a foot up in a world in which most people appear more impressed by what others own, rather than what they have achieved. But what Gillard has proposed is certainly a start. No wonder too, that there has been an outcry about refugees and asylum seekers coming to Australia and the level of government help. It’s not that we in Australian don’t believe in human rights, we do, but there is only so much a government and people can do and in my opinion human rights begin at home.

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