Income support to get through tough times
The Jacqui Lambie Network recognises that income support payments and pensions have not kept up with the cost of living, and are putting undue hardship on some of Tasmania’s most vulnerable people.
The JLN supports an immediate increase of $150 per fortnight to the Age Pension and the Youth Allowance for students in full time TAFE or university courses. In addition, we will seek an immediate review of the Newstart allowance with a view to bring it up to a level that reflects the ever-increasing cost of living.
Real help to find employment
Our feedback from job seekers is that the current JSA network is failing to provide pathways for real job and career opportunities. We would support an immediate review into the operation of the JSA network, comparing the value for money offered by the current private providers with other alternatives as well as investigating whether JSA providers have been profiteering at the expense of the taxpayers who fund them and the job seekers who need them.
A secure, affordable home for everybody
We note the increasing pressure faced by the most vulnerable Tasmanians in the current overheated property market.
We would look at all suggestions that might alleviate this issue. In particular, we have long advocated for the federal government to waive the historical public housing debt owed by Tasmania to the Commonwealth, with a view toward using the savings to both increase our public housing stocks and improve the existing stock. We would especially look toward improvements such as solar panels in order to reduce the cost of living on public housing tenants.
Quality health and community services for all in need
During the previous state election, the JLN campaigned for the Tasmanian public health system to undergo a kind of “reset”. This would involve contracting an outside firm, Aspen Medical, who have a distinguished track record of fixing health crises caused by dysfunctional public health management, dramatically and quickly reducing general admission and public operation waiting lists in other networks. This would require an initial investment of just $15,000 for a health scoping study. Nationally and internationally this company has a track record of saving lives, and the JLN believes that their assessment would be both more accurate and more impartial than parliamentary or department reviews. We would welcome a state government that had the courage to admit that they have failed Tasmanians and who would secure the services of a company such as Aspen.
With that in mind, the simple fact is that Tasmania’s health system is underfunded, and with the recent decision by the Liberal/National government to cut Tasmania’s budget by $560m, it will only get worse. The JLN will never vote to allow cuts to Tasmania’s income, and will work to secure the extra $200m+ in health funding that the Tasmanian health system needs.