As the preeminent Jewish labour organisation in Australia we have a proud history of supporting workers, including those who are currently between jobs or unable to gain employment. We recognise that all people, whether employed or not, can contribute to the richness and diversity of our society and that everyone deserves a chance at living a dignified, safe and meaningful life regardless of their financial position.
As a democratic socialist organisation, we believe in the fair and equitable distribution of the proceeds of our economic endeavours and acknowledge that we live in a country that has enough wealth and production to ensure that no person needs to live in poverty. We are more than capable of ensuring that the minimum requirements of food, clothing and shelter can be met for all of our citizens. No one should be forced to choose between paying their rent and feeding their family. Not in Australia. Not ever.
Therefore, we hereby express our strong disappointment with the current Labor government decision to maintain the Jobseeker payment at below poverty levels, despite their own internal studies recommending that the rate be raised. This is particularly egregious given that the same budget will provide "tax relief" (lower contributions to society) for those in the upper income brackets.
We see this decision as incongruous to the principles of a fair and equitable society which is a core principle of the Labour movement as a whole.
We support equity and fair distribution of wealth for the employed, underemployed or unemployed who all have an entitlement to share in our wealthy economy and ensure a more equitable distribution of our combined common wealth.