According to Falzon inequality is the problem and welfare compliance regimes are not the solution

John Falzon from St Vincent de Paul has had a bit published when it comes to his take on the federal budget, and so here are some quotes from one of the more recent articles.

Disability advocacy groups have been good at explaining the concept of the social relations of disability, whereby the negative impact of disability is constructed and exacerbated by the barriers our socio-economic formation erects, especially in regard to economic and social participation.

This is a useful conceptual framework and is profoundly applicable to all who are condemned for the sin of un-productivity. People are made and pulled apart by social and economic structures that dehumanise, compartmentalise, destroy, humiliate and blame.

We build walls around people on the basis of their race, class, gender or disability. The same people are then condemned for lacking the ‘aspiration’ to scale these walls. […]

A harsher welfare compliance regime and the extension of compulsory income management are measures that assume that if you are disadvantaged your problem is idleness. Idleness is not the problem. The problem is entrenched inequality. […]

Another kind of world is possible because of the truth that is told by those who live on the margins. And if we look a little bit closer, we will see that the ‘margins’ are actually at the heart of our society. It all depends on where you stand.

He talks about the need for unique solutions for different people, the drop in unemployment payments compared with minimum wage and high rates of teenage unemployment. I am no expert on employment policy or even social justice so I do not have anything much to say when it comes to his article as a whole, but I certainly agree with his suggestion that tightening the system means people need to find ways to work around it.

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