We are extremely lucky to live in a great state in a prosperous country – and that most of us can simply take this for granted. But despite our state’s strengths and assets, many South Australians are still being denied life’s basics. This needs to change. That's why SACOSS has initiated our #CoverTheBasics campaign.
In politics, and during election times in particular – state or federal – everyone is selling their version of ‘the dream’. Rhetoric abounds ... A better, stronger state. A happy, resilient state. A state that bounces back, that grows and succeeds. That’s future focussed, and tech-savvy. A state full of jobs, jobs, jobs. A state that aims for the stars, and beyond.
We should dream big, but no one should be left behind either. For too many South Australians these aspirational visions are a far cry from their day-to-day reality. And generally, big-dollar commitments to new entertainment developments, business enticements, or big tax breaks, won’t make their lives better.
SACOSS’ call is much more modest – and also, much more fundamental. We are simply asking that our state government and policy makers step up to ensure that people’s basic needs are met, through a range of state-level actions that will help reduce inequality, and make a genuine difference for people who are struggling. This call is ever more important as we grapple with the effects of, and recovery from, the COVID pandemic. We now know that COVID-19 has amplified inequality and fed off people’s existing vulnerabilities – low incomes, poorer health and insecure work.
SACOSS has identified a range of areas where important life fundamentals are not currently being met, and we have some key recommendations for South Australia’s political leaders to act on. We are urging all political parties and candidates to commit to take action which ensures the basic needs of all South Australians are being met, starting with the actions we ourselves have highlighted.
So, to our Government(s) and politicians, both existing and aspiring – let’s make sure first and foremost, that we help everyone cover life’s basics. And for all those making social policies, or judging policy plans or visions for the future – check that covering the basics is front and centre in any of those plans.
Ross Womersley, SACOSS CEO, and David Panter, SACOSS Chair
Key areas highlighted by SACOSS are
- 1. More affordable renting
- 2. Digital access & connection
- 3. A fairer concessions system
- 4. Investment in public health & prevention
- 5. Safe, affordable water
- 6. Protecting disadvantaged South Australians
What can you do?