Phillips: Too many people falling through the cracks

Fiona Phillips MP

An opinion piece by the Federal Member for Gilmore, Fiona Phillips:
In times of economic crisis, we need to rely on governments to provide a safety net for people in our community who need it most.

With unemployment set to rise above ten per cent after the far-reaching impact of coronavirus, this has never been more important. Every day, more and more people are telling me their story and each one of them is heartbreaking.

For so many local people, they have needed to rely on the Government’s help for the first time in their lives and that has been a challenging and upsetting experience. With so much uncertainty, it has been hard to know where to turn.

We began the call for a wage subsidy weeks ago – it was urgent and it was necessary. In a wonderful show of bi-partisanship, the JobKeeper and improved JobSeeker supports passed the Parliament with the urgency needed and will soon be helping thousands of locals to keep their jobs and pay their bills. I wholeheartedly welcome that.

But still there are thousands who are missing out.

A young mum who took a break to care for her children and has only been working again for 11 months.

An experienced Special Effects technician working freelance on a movie for 6 months.

A 17 year old at the start of their career. A family on migrant visas working in the local nail salon for years.

People who feel they are as deserving as everyone else – but they have been left out.

These are the stories that I hear, the people falling through the cracks.

The Treasurer has the power to help them.

He can make those changes today and include these workers in the scheme.

He can help mums and dads pay their bills, help support young people preparing for university or just starting out. He can help migrants working hard for a better life. I hope he will.

So until then I will keep sharing these stories and letting these voices be heard. Together, we will get through this.

If you’ve got a story to share, I would love to hear it – you can email me at Fiona.Phillips.MP@aph.gov.au

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