Statement from Fair Go For Pensioners (Victoria)
Avoiding a ‘snap back’ to our unequal society means we cannot leave the vision, policy and commitment for a fair and just society for all, to big business and the Government.
Now is exactly the time to work on what to do for a fair and just society in post Covid-19 society in Australia. In short, a fair go for life for all.
So many people were left behind pre-Covid-19 with 1 in 8 living in poverty and increasing homelessness.
Ahead, 2 to 3 million workers (14-26% all employees) likely thrown out of work and deprived of income.
At the root of poverty is income and wealth inequality.
Of the 34 wealthy countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Australia is now in the top third of the most unequal.
Lower-income workers are twice as likely to be out of work as high-income earners. Young workers and women will be hardest hit working in jobs within industries also hardest hit.
Treasury Secretary Steven Kennedy warned the Australian Senate’s Covid-19 committee “We have not seen a shock hit this fast in any period. It took the Great Depression two years to get to higher job losses.
Now, these movements are happening in just a couple of months.”
Fair Go for Pensioners Coalition Victoria (FGFP) knows that we must come together in united action. As individuals or representatives of unions and community – peace groups, social justice groups, other community service organisations and faith groups – acting together to reshape a fair and just society.
Reshaping the economy is an essential foundation and George Zangalis puts it this way:
The ‘new’ economy should work for the people, which is the historic call of our times. Only the people, of all ethnic backgrounds, acting in united action through their labor movement and other social organisations can ensure this call is answered.6
The Australian Government can decide to rebuild a fair and just society paid for by a just tax system if they choose to rebuild for all. Priorities can include the following 6 measures.
1. Raise income support payments to the OECD poverty line to improve
wellbeing, create jobs and stimulate consumer spending.
2. Commit to full employment and a living wage by undertaking government-
run job creation programs to prevent long-term and structural
3 Invest in public housing to build 30,000 public housing dwellings each year
for the next 20 years to meet need and create jobs.
4. Expand public sector employment to provide essential public services
caring for people and communities.
5. Revitalize manufacturing to increase self-sufficiency and create jobs.
6. Create a national renewable energy economy for a sustainable future.