FORMER Speaker Peter Slipper has promised to fight on behalf of the poor and the struggling, in parliament.
In a press statement released today, the member for Fisher says he has been contacted by a growing number of constituents who find it "increasingly difficult to meet the day to day needs most take for granted".
He highlights two of the hardest-hit groups as being single-parent families and single seniors.
In a passionate statement, Mr Slipper promises that his vote in parliament will be influenced by parties' willingness to assist with the "growing problem".
"I will be meeting with my colleagues and bringing these stories to the fore," Mr Slipper writes.
"As an Independent Member in a House of Representatives finely balanced with neither Government nor Opposition being a majority, I am particularly keen to know how each party will assist with this growing problem. This will influence how I vote."
Mr Slipper's full statement reads:
Over the course of the last few months I have been contacted by an increasing number of my constituents detailing their day to day struggles - be they physical, emotional and/or financial.
Beneath the sandy beaches and rolling hills lie many people finding it increasingly difficult to meet the day to day needs most take for granted.
Those living hand to mouth - day to day are growing in numbers.
Many of our welfare organisations are struggling to maintain support and supplies. The numbers of "middle-class poor" is increasing and society must face not only the consequences of the financial burden but the flow on from the psychological effects this has on individuals, husbands, wives, children and family members.
Two of the most susceptible groups are single parent families and single seniors.
For single parents the increases in food prices; technology needs of children attending schools; sporting fees; and clothing are a day to day challenge.
I have heard of many parents who forego their meals so their children can eat.
These parents do not have be benefit of a parent to ease the burden, if not financially then emotionally, nor do many have family or support networks near by.
The psychological effects of constantly "putting on a brave face for the children" are taking an increasing toll and many do not speak out - many don't ask for help.
Our single seniors are also a victim of "how things are". Most are on fixed incomes - the cost of buying single serves of meat, fruit and vegetables is far higher and less economical than buying in bulk. The price of electricity for running a fridge or washing machine doesn't decrease because only one person is using it.
The financial and emotional battle these people wag every minute of every day is heart breaking. I thank all those who have told me their stories. I appreciate how difficult this has been, but as politicians we need to hear.
I will be meeting with my colleagues and bringing these stories to the fore.
As an Independent Member in a House of Representatives finely balanced with neither Government nor Opposition being a majority, I am particularly keen to know how each party will assist with this growing problem. This will influence how I vote.
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