Imagine if paying rent was one less thing we had to worry about during this COVID-19 pandemic.
Well, there’s a petition on Change.org that’s racking up some serious traction calling for exactly that: a freeze on all bill, rent, and mortgage payments.
Less than a week after kicking off, the petition has gained almost 100,000 signatures from around the country, demanding “the government and the banks … to give some goodwill back to the community that built them”.
“Corporations get bailouts all the time. It’s time for regular Aussies to get it this time.”
As we head into phase one of ScoMo’s social distancing plan (which is v necessary, no doubt), it’s clear that times are going to get tough for casual workers, small business-owners, and other laid-off staff. We are facing an imminent employment and wage crisis that, frankly, would be stressful enough without being forced into lockdown.
These are anxious times, and our stress doesn’t need to be compounded by mortgages, rent, and other bills. I’m not going to lie, I felt a touch panicked when I saw my Netflix subscription come out of my account this month.
It’s only fair that we put a pause on these payments.
Over in Western Australia, increases in household expenses have frozen until 1 July 2021. Premier Mark McGowan said last week they hope it can ease burden on citizens during the crisis. And whilst that doesn’t mean they don’t have to pay, it does mean bills won’t go up.
In today’s gig-economy, so many Australians are surviving off unstable work. I’m sure you know someone who is living pay-check to pay-check (perhaps it’s you). And with the increasing restrictions on ‘non-essential’ services and public life during the COVID-19 pandemic, that means many young people are going to be hit hard.
“We need the government to step up, calm the nerves, protect not just physical heath but also the nation’s mental heath whilst we work through COVID-19,” the petition says.
So sign it, if not for yourself, for your mates. Because no one needs to feel even more stressed than a bloody pandemic is making us feel. Just do it.
Image Sources: Canva, Change.org.