Letter to the Editor of The Morning
During the election campaign Ms. Landry reassured voters that she
knew what it was like to struggle. She could empathise with battlers and
she understood their plight. I now wonder if Ms. Landry’s understanding
of ‘battler’ is the same as mine and many others in this community.
After the budget announcement, I turned my thoughts to the people who
make up this great community that I grew up in. Ms. Landry’s
Government’s focus is to treat with extreme harshness, the disadvantaged
in this community. People under 25 will not receive any assistance,
unless they are enrolled in a study or employed. If they don’t they
will have no income. Food, clothing and shelter will not be a viable
option. No money to even purchase personal hygiene products. No money
to give them even a skerrick of dignity.
According to the 2011 census data, in Capricornia we have 19,786
people between 15 and 25. Of the 13 253 Young people in the Labour
force, 1,149 are jobseekers. That is an 8.4% youth unemployment rate in
Capricornia, based on 2011 figures. However TMB reported in February
that the current youth unemployment figure is 13.6% for 15 – 24 year
olds. Therefore the following figures would be expectedly worse based on
current data. If we look at entry level jobs, according to vacancy data
for March for CQ, there were 949 vacancies across, entry level jobs.
Even if this group were all job-ready (which many are not) and secured a
job, 200 young people in this region would have no income at all.
However, this group are competing with 1,905 unemployed persons across
other age brackets, who most likely have more experience. Therefore,
hundreds of Capricornian young people will be destitute, homeless and
Census data for 2011 stated that 3060 were seeking work in
Capricornia and the vacancy figures for CQ for March show there were
2433 vacancies, across all areas. Considering 1466 of these vacancies
are for experienced and qualified jobseekers, this makes the employment
search for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged a terrifying
impossibility for some. I never thought I would ever live in a country
where the Government imposes poverty on its citizens. Ms. Landry, you
are a part of that and the people who voted for you are also now part of
that. Albeit inadvertently. If you had been honest with this electorate
about these cuts, would LNP still hold this seat today?
Could TMB interview Ms. Landry about what she is going to do for
people in this community who will fall down the cracks and live in
abject poverty? What are her plans for job creation? How will she
respond to the increase in need to access charity services? How will she
respond if the crime rate goes up? What do the victims of this budget
focus on as their hope, when all hope is taken away?
Our only real hope is if the Senate blocks supply and this
vindictive, cruel and heartless Government is dissolved and we go back
to the polls.