Today is Blog Action Day, in which over 10,000 blogs have signed up pledging to write about this years topic, which is Poverty. The goal is to raise awareness about this issue, in the variety of forms that each blog comes in. It’s taken me a little while to figure out what I shall write about on this blog (you can check out my work blog posts at the Churches WA Website).
I thought I would highlight some of the issues that I feel are just shocking. Everyone knows about the “Make Poverty History” campaign, and some may know about the “Make Indigenous Poverty History” campaign being run by NATSIEC and the NCCA. However, no matter what we call it, Poverty is everywhere and is right on our own doorstep. In Australia, we have over 2 million people living below the poverty line – that’s 11% of our population. For a country that has had the resources boom that we have had, that is shocking. We hear of companies posting record profits, yet we still have people living on the streets. In August, Qantas recorded a profit of close to a billion dollars, yet there are people starving in our country. Imagine, if even 20 big companies (eg Commonwealth Bank, who recorded a 2007-2008 financial year after tax profit of $4,791 million) said that they would donate just 1% of their profit towards eliminating poverty in Australia. The shareholders would barely see a difference (my rough maths put CBA shareholders as losing 2 cents per share), but it would make a world of difference to those who are struggling to survive.