Big movement for economic and social justice is taking off

By Joe Montero

The new fast-growing national movement to hit Australia, Living Incomes For Everyone, was launched on Tuesday 21 July.Thousands watch online during the event or after. It is on Facebook and has been included below.

Thousands join Living Incomes For Everyone online launch
Video from Living Incomes for Everyone


More than 60 unions, community and faith groups have signed on to the 3 demands – Keep the Rate, No one Left Behind, and an End Harassment (in the social security system).

Not bad going for a concept that began only about 6 weeks ago.

It is a sign of the times. Many Australians are coming to see that the situation is urgent, and that serious action is needed, to ensure that all are treated fairly.

On the ground, the reality is that it was getting harder to make ends meet for an increasing proportion of Australians, even before Covid-19 struck. The prospects are even dimmer now. This is why Living Incomes For Everyone is striking a chord with so many, and starting to attract a great deal of attention.

There is a sense that this is the time to strive for better and pull together to ensure betrer times ahead. Doing this, requires a new way of thinking, empowering ordinary people to band together and build a movement for change, from the ground up.

To succeed, every citizen must have enough income to cover the basic needs for decent housing, food and a rewarding life with dignity, participation, and a voice: Concepts that are now being talked about by more people.

Although hardly enough, the current Jobseeker and JobKeeper rates must be maintained as the starting point.

Progress depends on ditching the obsession with neoliberalism and the trickle-down effect, as the road to prosperity and a better life for everyone. This is not how it works. Most of us know that this path has led to the growing chasm, with a very few at the top doing well and almost everyone else being left a long way behind. It is not only those on social security benefits in this position. Real wages in general have stagnated and fallen backwards.

If we continue in this way, the nation will head to a precipice, an observation now shared by more than the usual suspects. Even many conservative economists are now saying that the future looks bad, and some are even saying that we cannot return to where we were before Covid-19.

The launch set the foundation for the ongoing growth of Living Incomes For Everyone. The online gathering was addressed by the National Secretary of the United Workers Union Tim Kennedy, historian Humphrey McQueen, and economist Alison Pennington. Mark Seymour of Hunters and Collectors fame will perform. Other voices representing different sections of the community also spoke.

Community actions will follow as the nation heads towards the federal budget. They will involve organisations aligned with the Campaign and others.


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