Meg Pickup, Ballina
Any political party philosophically opposed to income support for the most needy adopts covert ways to implement their agenda. The coalition government employs backdoor strategies from John Howard’s playbook to create barriers to accessing financial support.Staff implement go-slow strategies, citing minor errors for rejecting applications.
Despite eligibility, income support payments are stalled, forcing people to wait without financial support or return to work. Such delays enable the government to bolster the bottom line in any given financial year. Take 2017–18 when NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) money was underspent by $1.6 billion. The cause according to advocates: difficulty accessing the scheme.
To compound this the government recently stacked the appeals tribunal with Liberal Party hacks, signalling certain failure for appeals against negative decisions.
These smoke-and-mirrors tactics blind Australians to the true causes of our burgeoning underclass.
The upcoming election provides an opportunity for us to reset social policy and reclaim our historical commitment to social justice and equality of opportunity.