Home Latest News Working class sacrifices will exacerbate our homeless crisis

Working class sacrifices will exacerbate our homeless crisis

A strategy by Treasurer Jim Chalmers to improve our budget position could exacerbate poverty, suicide and homeless statistics in Australia, writes Gerry Georgatos.

*WARNING CONTENT: This article is about suicide

WE LEAVE people behind, especially the most vulnerable. More than 100 homeless people in Western Australia die on the streets every year. More than half of the dead are found on Perth’s sidewalks.

The nation is not crying because those at the helm are turning us away from the images and the cries.

Reminds me of Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet:

It took less than a week since the Australian federal election for the Labor government to roll out the first of its betrayals, as all governments do forever and a day. The social contract during the election period of the promised common good was torn apart without any responsibility.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers and Treasury Secretary Katy Gallagher tore the media torn with the nutshell claim that they suddenly found the budget situation as “barely” and that “significant savings” had to be found and this should be on “sacrifices” by the working class – more indenture.

It’s time for governments to put the homeless first

Rather than marginalize the homeless, governments should take steps to ensure their health and well-being, writes Gerry Georgatos.

The lowest quintile of the income base comprises the bulk of suicidality and suicide toll.

Terrible, those who steer deceive. Nothing can be achieved in the foreseeable future to alleviate the grueling cost of living that is already spearing the homeless and social housing tenants, who are our poorest Australians, then the homeless. Working-class Australians facing relative poverty are quickly informed that they can expect more socioeconomic stressors and sacrifices for nation building.

There will be no economic relief.

Treasurer Chalmers is quoted as saying:

Whatever form the federal government takes, in terms of when bills should be passed outside of Labor and Liberal bipartisanship, what the majority will be, the cross-benchers will determine who they are. Historically, cross-benchers have been underachievers for the most part, despite propaganda.

During the election, Labor outlined a “better” future for all Australians. Far from. To expand on Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, author of The Gulag Archipelago 1918-56 – Governments lie. They know we know they’re lying. Yet they continue to lie.

Governments lie, religiously. So, contextually, they don’t care that we know. What they care about is there’s nothing we can do about this. Until then, the abject and relatively poor live tyrannized.

The working poor – and the despicable poor – are increasing, without end to this sight. I remember children as well as elderly people who were thrown out on the street or lost in a nomadic life that shifts from house to house.

WA government has betrayed its homeless people

Despite ranking among the wealthiest Australian states, WA is still ignorant about saving its homeless population.

4% of households in Australia are public and social rented housing. Social housing Australians are our poorest Australians, then our homeless. I have estimated that suicides are up to six times more likely among social housing tenants compared to other Australian households.

If Australia really wants to reduce its tragic suicide toll, focus on housing the homeless, supporting social housing families and supporting Australians living in the lowest two quintiles of the income base. Governments that go down this road will long be remembered.

The incumbent federal government claims it has discovered fiscal “black holes”. Australians work enough and should not be further exploited while austerity is being implemented.

Unfortunately, real wages will continue to fall. The wage price index and inflation and indexation creep for far too many will degenerate into life in a minefield. The suicide toll will remain high.

Already one in five Australian children lives in some form of poverty. If all we can do is cry, do this until the nation cries. When enough people stand up, change takes place. If so, those at the helm will not be saved by lies. If we despair in silence, those at the helm will continue as it is.

In 1963, Australia recorded the highest suicide rate on record. A severe, muscular economic recession hit, disastrous for many families. Workers were told that we build nations and serve the country. Those who became unemployed were not supported and held out as best they could from the storm. The suicide rate skyrocketed.

I predict that by the end of the decade, Australia will come close and even surpass the suicide rate of 1963. Hopefully the austerity that the federal government is allowing Australians to follow will not also betray essential services and shrink social care systems, as their predecessors did.

It is extremely sad that politicians are allowed to lie. The national budgetary “debt” is suddenly an excuse for Treasurer Chalmers that the government cannot afford “anything we would like to do”.

Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) chief Sally McManus called the Australian Labor Party’s May 21 victory a workers’ victory. Let it be proved first.

Australia to build 150,000 public rental homes and end all forms of homelessness

Australia spends $225 billion on 12 submarines, while a third of that spending could end all forms of homelessness.

In 1983, ACTU’s immediate former boss, Bob Hawke, became Prime Minister. Despite the nation’s love of a “larrikin” and salt-of-the-earth type, the Hawke-Keating era oversaw the wage deals that had been struck that would lead to wage stagnations and a decline in real wages in the coming years. decades. The Hawke administration oversaw the implementation of a neoliberal accord. It removed protection from the domestic economic market, called for deregulations, sold capital goods, weighed in on privatizations and reduced hard-won workers’ rights.

After wiping out Pandora’s Box, subsequent governments have tracked more damage – the real cost in human life, toil, wretchedness, unresolved stressors piling up, mental unwellness and lack of hope.

Since 1983, real labor costs have fallen by 24%, while the net share of national income allocated to profits has risen to its current record high of 32%. It’s been 39 years since 1983. Both the Labor and Liberal parties can take the credit just as well. Of the past 39 years, both have reigned equally for 19.5 years. With largely hidden ambiguity, they have collaborated four-fifths of the time to approve bills. It is as if they are each other’s mirror image. Unfortunately they tell us otherwise.

In fact, Australia is so prosperous that its economy could have delivered universalism – eliminating homelessness that lives on the streets, end all forms of homelessness and housing insecurity, provide substantial assistance with housing affordability, transform prisons into truly restorative and transformative experiences and the number of suicides decreased. The leading cause of death for Australian teenagers is suicide.

Several years ago, a homeless pregnant mother of seven reached out to me desperately. It is unimaginable to most Australian households that a mother of seven young children was chronically homeless, moving from house to house, in alleys, parks and squats all over Perth. She heard from a friend of a vacant house in a nearby country town. She holed up in the dilapidated fire escape convict residence in Tammin – 180 kilometers east of Perth.

My partner, Jennifer Kaeshagen, who has found homes for many homeless families, drove me to Tammin. The mother was nine months pregnant. There was a 20-year-old, a three-year-old, a four-year-old, a six-year-old, an eight-year-old, a nine-year-old and an 11-year-old. † The hovel is heartbreakingly indescribable.

Homeless in Australia – the third highest percentage and the number of homeless people on the streets is increasing

Gerry Georgatos, who works at the coal mines of poverty, states that an average of 5% of Australian homeless people die on the streets each year.

This was towards the end of 2014. Just before the Christmas period, we found the family temporary accommodation in Perth after the previous Western Australian government and the then Department of Housing claimed they were unable to help. The mother gave birth to her baby on New Year’s Day.

Like Jennifer, she sheltered and supported the family for a long time. Jennifer did what a wealthy government and the heavily funded Department of Housing failed to do. How come all these toddlers and kids have failed? Their plight was carried by Perth’s news channels. Those at the helm are still not dodging.

During last July, 28 days of rain, many of the rains relentlessly torrential. The volunteer-based National Suicide Prevention and Trauma Recovery Service that I self-funded, now that I’m no longer quitting Parkinson’s disease, did what it could for the rain-soaked homeless with nowhere to go. Over several nights, my colleague and friend Megan Krakouer and my colleague, friend and daughter, Connie Georgatos, distributed more than 1,000 hooded wet weather windbreakers to the homeless of Perth, Mandurah and Bunbury.

To get to all the squats and alleys and make sure we didn’t leave anyone behind, we arrived after midnight with the windbreakers and care packs. They were soaked.

Our hearts broke for a shivering mother of a four-year-old. Over the next few days we helped them with interim housing.

Megan, Connie and I will always remember a frosty night with a horde of homeless people, young and old. soaked. I went to a nearby McDonald’s and ordered 16 coffees. I was asked why so much coffee at 1am. I explained. She looked at me, soaked. She said there will be no charge. The McDonald’s crew surprised me with 16 toasties. I just stared and smiled a “thank you”. When we bond as sisters and brothers, we care. Love has no limits.

No one has to be homeless.

If you want to talk to someone about suicide you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Gerry Georgatos is a suicide prevention and poverty researcher with an experiential focus. He is national coordinator of the National Suicide Prevention & Trauma Recovery Project (NSPTRP). You can follow Gerry on Twitter @GerryGeorgatos

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