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War on Social Security

The Turnbull led Coalition government has declared war on the 8 million Australians (1 in 3) who rely on old age pensions, single parents benefits, disability support pensions, Youth Allowances, Parenting Allowances and Newstart allowances to survive. In a bid to balance the budget, the heroes in the Liberal / National Party government have trained the government’s guns on those least able to defend themselves. The Federal government had a choice, it could have targeted the 2 billionaires who own more wealth than the poorest 5 million Australians, it could have targeted the 250,000 Australians who own more wealth than the poorest 17.5 million Australians and it could have targeted transnational corporations that currently pay voluntary taxation, but the government decided it doesn’t want to upset their mates by asking them to pay a little bit more tax or introduce death duties for multimillionaires or stop giving a tax refund to people owning more than one house or allowing stock market investors to claim their losses as a tax deduction.

The Turnbull led government has tightened the criteria to receive benefits to such an extent people applying for benefits are routinely refused benefits. It has introduced so much red tape for people applying for social security benefits, a 16 year old participant at the recent Police Commissioner’s Juvenile crime forum publicly stated it was easier being a teenage criminal than having to deal with Centrelink. It has built so many penalties into the system that more and more people who desperately need help are having their benefits cut off unnecessarily.

The problems social security beneficiaries face are politically created problems the government has declared war on the most vulnerable people in this country. To rub salt into the wound, Centrelink is so grossly understaffed it is becoming increasingly impossible to access anyone to deal with social security recipient’s concerns.

The problem has been compounded by a corporate owned media that constantly talks about “welfare bludgers” but refuses to talk about people, like Rupert Murdoch, who received an 886 million dollar tax refund in 2013 while making millions of dollars of profit. When companies like Microsoft legally diminish their tax bills to such an extent, they pay less tax than a person earning the average wage, when companies like Chevron who own billions of dollars of assets pay 256 dollars tax, you know the wrong people are being targeted.

People receiving social security understand things could and should be much better than they are. If they want a fair go in life for themselves and their children, they need to take political action. It’s no use begging for change, it’s no use waiting for the next election, it’s no use thinking that if they keep their mouths closed things will improve. If you want change, you need to become politically active. If you're sick and tired of being treated as garbage, if you want a future for your children, join Public Interests Before Corporate Interests (PIBCI) – a new political force in this country that is not frightened to take the fight up to the big end of town. Think about it as an Australian citizen or resident your needs and the needs of your family need to be taken seriously by a government that has forgotten its role is to look after the welfare of all Australians.

Dr. Joseph Toscano / Secretary / Convenor PIBCI