I look at these statements and wonder why they don’t warrant any attention from our leaders:
- the lack of climate change action over 50 years will cost the Australian economy $3.4 trillion and 880,000 jobs; https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/nov/02/lack-of-climate-action-over-50-years-will-cost-the-economy-34tn-and-880000-jobs-report
- providing access to stable housing and support to maintain tenancy reduces health care services reliance and yields cost savings to government; https://www.ahuri.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0015/10419/AHURI_RAP_Issue_215_The-economic-benefits-of-providing-public-housing-and-support-to-formerly-homeless-people.pdf
- access to free child care would enlarge the economy by $60 billion – 3.2% of GDP. https://womensagenda.com.au/latest/why-free-childcare-is-the-key-to-economic-recovery/
The benefits are pretty straight forward according to these above 3 resources:
- policies promoting net zero emissions create 250,000 jobs and add $680 billion to the economy;
- the provision of stable public housing for people experiencing or at
risk of homelessness results in reduced health service use (both in terms of the number of people and the frequency and duration of use), and associated cost savings to the health system and public purse;
- pending on services like childcare creates more jobs per $1 million spent than expenditure in areas like construction.
So what’s the problem? Decisions, power, money, control is devised for, delivered to and facilitated by a very narrow set of interest groups.
Where does that leave the rest of us? Our leaders and governments of any persuasion don’t seem to be working for us and we’ve realised it so much so that our trust in the system, in our leaders has plummeted from 86% (2007) to 41% (source https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/commentisfree/2019/jul/19/australians-faith-in-politics-has-collapsed-how-can-we-reimagine-democracy)
So, since we know the system does not work for us, why do we perpetuate it by adhering to our standard 2 party voting protocols and expect a different result when we do?
If we care about social issues such as health, climate change, affordable housing, child care and female participation in the workforce – all of which have enormous economic benefits let alone the positive social outcomes – then it is up to us in 2021 and beyond to mobilise and connect.
It’s about creating and supporting policies that deliver the outcomes we want and rejecting vocally and at the ballot box the politics of the privileged.
Start small – join a group:
Climate Action Network Australia (cana.net.au)
http://www.aspa.org.au/ The Australian Social Policy Association.
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