It is a picture that says the proverbial thousand words. Turnbull, whilst planning to give a $50billion tax cut to corporate Australia, whilst taking $50billion out of public hospitals, whilst cutting services to the homeless and still to this day wanting to implement all the over the top drastic poor clobbering aspects of Abbott's unfair 2014 budget, has stopped and given $5 to a homeless guy in Melbourne.
Following this was a social media storm. For a start he's pictured with a wad of money in the other hand whilst he gives the $5 to the man. The five dollar note in Australian currency is the smallest paper denomination there is here still not turned into a coin (yet).
There is also the Lieberal elephant in the room. The Abbott/Turnbull gov since it's first month in office in 2013 has spent it's tenure clobbering the fuck out of us poor people (well trying to at least if not for the senate). Cuts to services aplenty, whilst in the latest Turnbull budget 2016 a plan for tax cuts to the well off and corporate Australia.
But as this $5 picture has focused attention on homelessness, what is the gov actually doing about it? Well they're ignoring it and actively going about making it worse.
The biggest cause of homelessness in Australia is domestic violence. If Turnbull was having a "human reaction" to homelessness one would think he'd be addressing the issue of domestic violence. Yet he's chopping funds out of shelters and support services all over the place. This a small summing up from the Greens:
“Even though demand is increasing, the Turnbull Government has locked in the Abbott 30 per cent cut from mid 2017 year to community legal centres, which help women escape domestic violence.The second biggest cause of homelessness in Australia is financial pressure due to outrageously priced housing, both mortgaged and rented. This is largely due to the market distortion of the gov funded negative gearing policy, which over decades has fueled housing speculation and made it un-affordable for many of us. You'll think then that Turnbull would have another "human reaction" to this and tackle negative gearing then wouldn't you? Don't hold your breath, Turnbull hasn't even appointed a Housing minister in the new Ministry and just thinks the parents can negatively gear a house for their kids :s
“The budget fails to provide secure funding for Aboriginal specialist legal services such as Family Violence Prevention Legal Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services.
“Women’s shelters are already having to turn women away, leaving them to face homelessness.
“But from mid-2017 the Turnbull Government is cutting off funding for the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness, which funds specialist homelessness programs including women’s shelters.
“The Liberals’ Budget locks in Tony Abbott’s funding cuts of $44 million from the construction of new shelters and $235 million from rental affordability programs.
“Family violence is the biggest cause of homelessness in Australia and, despite the Turnbull Government’s rhetoric, it is leaving women and their children to face the impossible decision of homelessness or violence,” Senator Waters said. Senator Larissa Waters
The Prime Minister continues to ignore Australia's housing affordability crisis by failing to appoint a dedicated minister for housing in the Turnbull Ministry announced earlier today.The Australian Services Union has a big summing up of the cuts contained in the Turnbull 2016 budget to domestic violence services and financial support for the poor, all feeding into and exacerbating homelessness. Abbott lives on in Turnbull's 2016 budget:
Housing affordability was a significant issue in the federal election and in recent days the property industry and non-government organisations have urged the Prime Minister to ensure that the new Cabinet arrangements reflect the urgent need for national leadership when it comes to dealing with Australia's housing affordability crisis.
Over the past three years the Abbott-Turnbull Government failed to produce any national housing strategy, made cuts to homelessness funding and Malcolm Turnbull’s only advice on how to address housing affordability was to tell parents to “shell out” and buy their kids a house. Senator Katy Gallagher, Labor opposition
This cruel budget will hurt the community sector and most importantly the people who rely on services. This budget:
These cuts could see services close, people turned away from services and 1,110 jobs lost across our sector.
- cuts funding to mental health services including a 75% cut in funding over two years for specialist youth mental health programs provided by Headspace and the Youth Psychosis program;
- shifts mental health service delivery from face to face support to online and call centre services leading to a loss of skilled specialist jobs in local communities;
- cuts $115 million in funding to homelessness services including women and youth refuges from July next year by failing to renew the National Partnership on Homelessness. This will mean over 1,000 jobs could go across the country;
- no long term security for abolishing the Working Women’s Centres that support marginalised women in remote communities across Australia, with funding expiring at Christmas;
- locks in the $240 million cuts from the Abbott Government budgets taking money away from emergency relief and financial support to women and children leaving violence;
- cuts $40 million from community legal centres and Aboriginal legal services from next year, with at least 100 jobs could go across the country;
- $1.2 billion in cuts to aged care.
The Turnbull Government also announced tonight harsh measures attacking the most vulnerable in our community by:
- restricting welfare support for people with a disability in order to fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme;
- freezing the Medicare rebate at a cost of $925 million to patients;
- going ahead with Abbott’s cuts to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and introducing fees for diagnostic testing like papsmears and blood tests from July this year and signalling further cuts to the PBS;
- going ahead with Abbott’s cuts to paid parental leave and family tax benefits for low-income families; and
- reducing Australia’s foreign aid budget to the lowest levels in history. Australian Services Union
With all of the above Turnbull's $5 picture is like the final insult to the poor. You see on top of all of those cuts mentioned already, Turnbull plans to cut the Clean Energy Supplement from all new welfare recipients as one of the first acts of the new gov.
For Newstart that will be a $4.40 cut per week, nearly completely whipping out the $5 Turnbull hands to the homeless man in the picture in one single week.
For many people, $4.40 a week is a small sum – trivial even. A cup of coffee on the way to work, the parking change in the car console.Turnbull is a hard nosed conservative completely out of touch with the poverty many Australian's find themselves in presently (through no fault of their own) and the impacts his heartless and inhuman cuts have on real people. Lieberal politics are more important to him than any "human reactions" he may have about the homeless.
But for those Australians set to lose between $4.40 and $7.05 a week in one of the 45th parliament’s first legislative acts, many of them living below the poverty line, those small sums will make the dire choices of subsistence budgeting even more desperate.
The cuts will come from the abolition of the clean energy supplement, which varies according to the benefit: $4.40 a week for single unemployed, $7.05 a week for a single person on the aged or disability pension.
It’s a lethally clever way for the government to save $1.3bn over four years from 2.2 million of the most disadvantaged Australians, with less political blowback than other blunter attempts at welfare savings. The Guardian