Stop families becoming homeless and destitute

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Imagine what it would be like to be suddenly cut off from income support, be unable to find a job and have no money for food, rent and other necessities of life.  What would you do? 

This is happening to thousands of people in Australia right now.  And not only single adults. From February 2019, the Australian Government has begun cutting off families with children over 6 years of age from their income support.  Yes, that means children as young as 7 may be living in families where there may be no money for living expenses.

So, what happens to all these people?  They are turning to the not-for-profit sector for help, and the sector’s resources are being stretched incredibly thin.  These organisations are having to resort to handing out sleeping bags to those who the Government has made homeless.

For many years vulnerable people, who have sought the safety of Australia, have been in legal limbo waiting for their asylum applications to be processed but have been prohibited from working.  They have received a safety net known as the SRSS, which has provided very limited income support (89% of Newstart) to pay for food and rent as well as subsidised medication and torture and trauma counselling.  However, the Australian Government has been cutting people off this support, first adults and now families with children. 

Even though people who have been cut off have are suddenly been given the right to work, after many years with no work, no Australian work experience and no Australian references, not to mention often facing discrimination, many are having difficulty in finding work.  Those who have been studying full-time are now also being cut off from the SRSS, which is completely counterproductive given that their study trains them for work.

Is this really how we treat people in Australia?

I am calling on Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten - whoever is in Government after the election - to reverse the cuts to the SRSS and provide SRSS to all people seeking asylum as they await the outcome of their claims for Australia’s protection.

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