I KNEW it!

This may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but for anyone who is tired, angry and frustrated at government cuts to services like disability, education, health and to the non-profit organisations that contribute to supporting the people in our communities who are most vulnerable, then this..my friends is like a cup of steaming hot Lady Grey on a hot afternoon (that’s a good thing in case you weren’t sure).

My argument has always been that PEOPLE matter more than NUMBERS. That being said, of course I understand that in its simplest form, we need to live according to our means. However, when it comes to the more complex economics theories and arguments, well let’s just say that’s not my strong suit.

Over at the London School of Economics, it’s just the opposite. So what a surprise to find myself on their blog, reading an article that resonated so strongly with me and backed up my people vs numbers argument.

This is readable, understandable and sensible – please have a look at what Professor Richard Layard & Paul Krugman have written in his Manifesto For Economic Sense. You will not be disappointed.

Last week our slash & burn state government provided a list of ‘savings’ made by the Education Department. Here are some highlights:

  • The Pyjama Foundation loses $100k. This is one of the most wonderful & cost efficient supports to children in care with volunteers helping them weekly with literacy & numeracy. You can read here our experience with the Pyjama Foundation.
  • Triple P Parenting loses $291k – a ‘best practice’/ made in Queensland parenting program that has helped a phenomenal amount of parents & kids. Here is my experience with Triple P.
  • Vision Australia loses $200k – these are therapists who provide incredible support for kids in schools with low or no vision. It was Vision Australia who helped guide me in the very early days of caring for my little boy with delayed visual maturation and cortical vision impairment. They still help him by providing targeted support to his teacher at his special school.

These are just a few from a list of 43 ‘savings’.

Now, why should I be so upset? As a foster carer I care for the children whose parents need to be learning about parenting from Triple P. In caring for a child with disabilities, a child whose needs by law, should be paramount in all decision making, the end result is that he will have less and less support available to him.
Meanwhile of course the child protection system is under unbelievable pressure with workers losing their jobs or not being replaced. Only one in ten matters brought to the attention of the department are investigated because there is not enough staff and resourcing.

We are now up to 14,000 public servants whose jobs have been cut. That is not a typo.

image credit: brisbanetimes.com

I am furious that nobody in our government has the spine to speak out or to do the right thing. Don’t get me started on the NDIS! It’s shameful and a vile political game where the kids and the vulnerable lose.

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5 thoughts on “I KNEW it!

  1. How frustrating – I can’t even imagine.
    I don’t know much about the Australian political system…could you start a petition? Speak out in some other way?

    I know, those that need the help the most have the least time to spare! Already up to the ears!

    • Thanks Sara. Sadly, this government were voted in with an overwhelming majority and they feel that they have the mandate to do whatever the hell they feel like doing. Our only hope is that they will lose the next election.

  2. Rose, you know I sympathize. We have our own “slash, burn, and re-invent” crowd here in America. They feel righteous about it: not seeing these kids and adults as people who are part of the “whole”—at least not, ‘their’ whole anyway. You wonder if the human service work you and I do makes a bit of difference to the likes of them—are we just an expendable cost on a spreadsheet?

    You are right: people matter more than numbers. One day, Karma will find folks like this . . . and I wouldn’t want to be them when it does!

    • I actually don’t think the work we do rates with these people. We don’t generate GDP/$, in fact we do the opposite – we cost, we spend the tax payers money! So they have no hesitation in cutting services. Bring on the karma!!
      Now George, on another issue entirely, I saw this really wonderful documentary the other day and couldn’t help but think of you and the work you do. You may have seen it – it’s about a company who hire older people. Here’s the link http://ww3.tvo.org/video/163187/pensioners-factory-working-95

  3. I enjoyed reading about N’s ‘special interest’ with next-door neighbour Trevor. Perhaps one day N will get hooked on the biography of an obscure genius and get his PhD by revealing all.
    I was unaware of the similarity between autism and Asperger’s Syndrome until I was asked to edit ‘The Hidden Diffability’, an Australian book on AS by Lyndel Kennedy. Lyndel started a support group for parents and maintains the website – http://www.assn.org.au. The first part of her book is now available as an e-book on Amazon, and we aim to have parts 2 and 3 out by next year. A print book is in preparation.
    The motivation for ‘The Hidden Diffability’, apart from Lyndel’s inspirational teenage son, was that the available books about AS were either American or British. Lyndel covers the Australian situation with interviews with 15 families who tell it like it is, the good, the bad and the ugly. Especially helpful are the links to support networks and funding.
    Self-help is crucial for minority groups, but so is timing — knowing where, when and how.
    I commend Lyndel’s spirit in undertaking this mammoth task on behalf of those with a fascinating and challenging diffability.

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