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To: Scott Morrison
An Open Letter to Scott Morrison, Our Nation’s Dad. #AbsorbTheDebt
Firstly, I want to say thank you. Not because I’m grateful for the way you’re handling the current world pandemic, but for giving me the chance to better understand my rights as a human being through the mistakes you are making.
I’m a freelancer in the entertainment industry and I’m also a renter in Sydney, which makes me REALLY vulnerable at this time – it’s not my fault, the system is not designed to support me, it’s designed to keep me trapped in a living to work cycle. Over the years I’ve been conditioned to accept this as my life. I grieved my freedom, especially my financial freedom and I carried on working, paying taxes and working and paying taxes.
Now I am forced to stop and consider the broader scope of the world around me, I am realising that this way of life will no longer do.
You see, I’ve swallowed the red pill.
You’ll undoubtedly scoff and tell me to get back to the kids table where I belong - but I’m standing up and I’m standing in front of you, you don’t get to look away this time.
During this global crisis, thousands of your kids can’t work, because you have enforced mandatory lockdown, which means we haven’t got an income, and our eyes are being opened to what it means to have to rely on a broken system.
Your kids are currently receiving benefits that barely cover the very BASICS of life - and hear me when I say, these benefits do not cover the cost of living in Sydney or any other city in Australia. Let alone if you have special needs or a family.
It’s also important to note, that none of the stimulus packages or promised relief have been made available to us yet – we have been in this crisis for months, where is the evidence this relief even exists? So far, all the proof we have is in headlines.
This week it was announced that you would be releasing a $440 million rental support package to ease the financial burden of coronavirus on tenants, businesses, and landlords, along with a six-month moratorium on residential evictions caused by mounting rental arrears. And it’s expected that landlords are to negotiate with their tenants in good faith. Quite a statement.
And I call bull shit on this, Dad.
Sorry Mum, I’ll put a fiver in the swear jar when I get my next Centrelink payment.
I can’t get evicted, which is great because I have a better chance of keeping away from The Rona. But you see, I am still fucked because rental arrears are continuing to accrue during the moratorium.
How do you expect anyone to get on top of this kind of debt when we come out this?
Maybe you want me to pay off the debt with my hard earned Superannuation? This money is my life savings, which accessing early is going to cost me and you A LOT more later in life. It will cause further strain on the system, when I come back to receive more benefits because I don’t have my nest egg to keep me safe.
And why do you want me to pay off a debt I am accruing against my control, with my only savings? That’s just mean Dad and I didn’t even do anything wrong.
You are also leaving my future in the hands of a Real Estate Agent and a Landlord who are contractually obligated to look after each other.
The landlord can hide behind the Real Estate Agent and the Real Estate Agent can hide behind the landlord, do you see, it’s a buddy system and I am not included.
You are meant to be my buddy, dad. Where are you, when we all need you.
You have the power to ABSORB all of this debt for me. I don’t have to suffer at your hands. You can fix this, you can be my hero and you don’t even have to put on a cape.
The eviction moratorium is not enough, your kids need you to do better – we need you to give us at least, a six month moratorium on rental, mortgage and loan repayments of all kinds (including all arrears), with no fees, interest, evictions or other mean things that go along with debt accrual.
IT’S NOT THAT HARD, JUST GET IT DONE, IN GOOD FAITH DAD.
And maybe instead of using me as a metaphor, you can think about what you would do if you had the power to help Lilly and Abbey. if they were in trouble? I bet you’d move mountains, even if you didn’t have the power.
When this is all over, I'm going to stay with Aunty Jacinda for a while - she knows how to treat her kids with respect.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Why is this important?
We the people, should not drown in debt because of a global pandemic that is out of our control. It is not our fault.
Continuing to accrue mountains of debt due to rental, mortgage and loan payment arrears is simply not okay and Scott Morrison and his Government have the power to change this.