Saturday, 17 October is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
Poverty, not solely an economic issue
The United Nations identifies poverty as not solely an economic issue, but rather a multidimensional phenomenon that encompasses a lack of both income and the basic capabilities to live in dignity.
An Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) report from 2020, shows that “there are 3.24 million people (13.6%) living below the poverty line ($457 a week for a single adult living alone; or $960 a week for a couple with 2 children). That is more than one in eight adults and more than one in six children are living in poverty.” National Australia Bank publications estimate that 69.5% of Australian adults are facing some level of financial stress or vulnerability. With people across the region working and schooling from home full time over winter throughout the COVID lockdown, utility usage will be up leading to higher winter heating bills than previous years. This coupled with deferral of rental payments/mortgages, means we are likely to start seeing an increase in financial vulnerability/crisis over the coming months.
Communities and people living in poverty (including those living within our community) may experience many interrelated barriers that continue to perpetuate their poverty and making it difficult to break the cycle, including:
- dangerous work conditions
- unsafe housing
- lack of nutritious food
- unequal access to justice
- lack of political power
- limited access to health care
Social Justice for all
The theme of this year’s day is: acting together to achieve social and environmental justice for all. This is the premise of the Give Where You Live Foundation.
The Give Where You Live Foundation works every day to assist in the eradication of poverty within our community through our various partnerships, programs, and grants. At the core of the Give Where You Live Foundation’s work is the acknowledgment that no one lives in poverty by choice. Within our community alone there are many systemic reasons and contributing factors that lead to and perpetuate poverty, including unequal opportunities for education levels and quality employment.
The Foundation’s work aims to create a community that is fairer for all its members, ensuring that communities and individuals are supported, and have access to relevant education and quality employment opportunities. We believe these are the key factors in ensuring people have the opportunities they need to thrive.
Raising the Rate for Good
Recent consultations with the local community service sector identified the importance of having sufficient income support/safety net for people who are experiencing a financial crisis. Contrasts were drawn between the pre-Covid Newstart rate and the Job Seeker rate with the clear view that the Newstart rate, at $40 per day, is too low for people to survive on. The Foundation is a strong believer that all people have the right to a decent living wage, which includes putting our support behind the ‘Raising the Newstart payment for Good’ campaign, which we believe is essential to assist in the reduction of poverty and inequality across our community and country as a whole.
Now is the time to build a fairer community