5 October 2021, Guardian Australia, Lysa Llyod. Access the full article here.

Life for those of us on welfare benefits holds little hope. If our society can’t look after its most vulnerable, maybe it needs to be torn down

or the past six years, I haven’t had more than $500 in my savings account at one time. Currently, my stock portfolio, which is my savings account, is comprised of my last $100. By the end of the year, when I complete my diploma of screen and media, I plan to have $2,000 in that account, with which I can buy a Blackmagic Pocket cinema camera to make films with. By the end of next year, I plan to have $20,000 in that account and a thriving media company. This has been the best year of my 29-year-long life, and I have the vision, the drive, and the joie de vivre to make every year better than the last.

But as I lie in my new bed, in an apartment I share with my girlfriend, an apartment for which I am not legally allowed on the lease, I have one major hurdle to stop me from achieving my dreams: I don’t have $510, the lowest possible amount I need to invest in the stock market.

The government gives, the government takes away, the government holds out its hand and dares us to bite. A society that doesn’t provide for its most vulnerable citizens, that condemns some people to live on the street while others own four houses, that relies on a class of poverty-stricken unemployed people, is a society that needs to be torn down.

– Lysa Lloyd, disability and poverty advocate

Employment services survey

The Punishment for Profit report is based on hundreds of responses to surveys conducted by the Antipoverty Centre. This research is ongoing. If you are in Workforce Australia, Disability Employment Services or a similar program, we welcome any information you are able to share about your experiences.

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