Lismore stands for those who are doing tough
THIS week I was proud to stand with Australian Council of Social Service or ACOSS here in Lismore to support their campaign to raise the rate for Newstart recipients.
A few months ago council moved a resolution to support this issue as it represents a real opportunity for those doing it hardest to get ahead and find a way back to a job.
Just from a practical economic sense, a small raise in support for people who are unemployed would put more than $11 million back into the Lismore economy each year.
Money that would be spent on essentials, not luxuries, and help our local small businesses.
The unemployment benefit hasn't been raised in 25 years and Australia now ranks last against all OECD (organisation for economic cooperation and development) which has 36 member countries.
So we rank behind economic failures like Greece, and former Eastern block countries like Slovenia and Estonia.
So you have to ask your self why are we so stingy?
Yes there is an Aussie mentality of making it on your own and having a go.
But the USA is far more "your on your own”, yet they provide 50 per cent more support for welfare recipients.
So what does it say about us that we don't think people are worth it?
At best it is negligent.
At worst it is cruel.
So like many others who are looking at ways to close the inequality gap that is growing in our country, Lismore is supporting this initiative to give people a hand when they are doing it tough.
It's not a hand out, but an acknowledgement that we are a land of plenty and those that have should always support those who don't.
Now that's the real spirit of Australia.