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Baby boomer protection

Why is the Abbott government offering $10,000 to employ people who are over 50? We grew up in a time of free education and high employment so presumably these people already have some work experience which puts them in front of young job applicants. Very few over 50s would have young dependent children. Most would have accumulated some possessions over the years. They are also a lot closer to the end of their working life.

Whilst I can understand the despair of unemployment in middle-age, that $10,000, rather than being an inducement paid to an employer, could pay 40 Newstart recipients for a week.

The idea that young people are choosing unemployment because they are lazy is ridiculous. This may be true for a very small minority but there are already rules in place to deal with people who are abusing the system.

Policies such as work for the dole, ”earn or learn” and intensive job-seeking ignore social disadvantage. It assumes a level playing field, whereby all unemployed people can obtain work if they are incentivised to do so.

Anglicare have released a study into what works to get disadvantaged job-seekers into employment.

The paper, prepared by the Australian Centre for Community Services Research at Flinders University, says job-seekers’ individual aspirations need to be identified, as well as their life circumstances. It reports success with broader capacity-building around work, including depression management, communication, fitness, relationships, cooking, budgeting and computing skills.

People out of work for the long term need individual skills and capability development to help them find and sustain a job, rather than simply being matched to job vacancies.

“Beyond Supply and Demand is a research paper on our network’s evidence of what works for people excluded from the workforce. Its findings are that we are most effective when we recognise the person – and their goals and ambitions – at the centre of exclusion and acknowledge their circumstances, and the barriers and challenges they face. It’s what we call a “life first” rather than “work first” approach.

Anglicare services around the country tell us that a one-size-fits-all-approach to getting people into the workforce simply doesn’t work. Our most effective programs use a case management model, which provide services based on individual needs, build strong links with local employers and other support services, and provide post-employment support, such as job coaching, mentoring, peer support, personal development and career guidance.

Most Australians have hopes and preferences for their future, and many have important attachments to their families and local communities. People out of work are no different. They want a ‘normal’ life too; a job and their own home. And it is our job to see they get the chance.

Beyond Supply and Demand addresses issues at the heart of the McClure Welfare Review, how to shift the focus of working age welfare to getting more people into work. There is a lot of comment in the media suggesting people don’t try hard enough. Our evidence is that real jobs and individual support makes the difference.”

I was on the management committee for a homeless youth refuge. We provided medium term accommodation for 15 to 24 year olds. These kids usually did not have family homes they could return to. Many of them lacked basic life skills and that was a large part of our program with them. We worked on a rewards based system. Residents were not compelled to complete tasks but were rewarded when they did with things like mobile phone credit or a dinner out with a person of their choice. We helped them with applications for courses and jobs. We had partnership agreements with employers and community housing groups and would provide outreach support when our residents moved out. It was very rare for us to have to ask someone to leave because they were not pulling their weight in the house though we did have to refer a couple who were violent.

What is to happen to these kids if benefits are withdrawn for six months of the year? The refuge cannot run on the small government grant it receives alone.

It is at the start of someone’s life when they need the most help and support. It isn’t just work experience that young people lack, they also lack life experience and it can be very daunting trying to enter the adult workforce with no assistance. Continual rejection takes its toll on the sturdiest of egos let alone on vulnerable youth from disadvantaged backgrounds.

How are they to apply for 40 jobs per month or travel around to interviews if they have no income? Where do they live? What do they eat? What do they wear? How do they get anywhere? How do they stay healthy?

Suggesting that they should head off to Tasmania for the fruit picking season is so trite. Firstly you are asking them to move away from any family, friend, or community support they may have. It also does nothing for addressing meaningful employment that would see people sustain a job.

I also note that our Prime Minister was not willing to move to where his employment is, a decision that is costing us tens of millions of dollars which could have supported many Newstart recipients for a long time.

Our youth are our future and abandoning them when they need our help the most is cruelty. This government is fixated on punitive measures for our most vulnerable while working hand over fist to exonerate corporate malfeasance with amnesties for offshore tax cheats, changes to financial protection laws, and “safe harbours” protecting corporate directors from personal liability.

One must wonder at the priorities of these middle-aged white men who have reaped the benefits of the baby boomers era and who are now hell-bent on denying those same opportunities to our children.


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  1. oldwoman

    I’m 53 and unemployable – I have an acquired brain injury and failing physical health. I’m getting older, poorer and more frightened and I’m not the only one.

    There is a whole generation of older women who are becoming the next generation of homeless – a fast growing demographic. Women who have been ‘traded in’ for younger models and left without financial or emotional support. Women who stayed at home when it was not politically correct to do so, in order to raise their children – in most cases a labour of love. Women who did not or could not take advantage of the ‘free education’ or had intentions of doing so but found life simply got in the way. Women who did part time work to supplement meagre incomes whilst raising families and thus garnered no superannuation. Women who were always paid the lowest wage because they couldn’t commit to full time work. Women who end up without homes, possessions and quite often, family support.

    To chuck us all into the mix is taking it a bit far. I know I’d love to work but as I have been told repeatedly, I am a liability to any employer because of my health and disabilities, in their words “they couldn’t afford me”. I know a lot of middle aged men who are also trying to find someone who will see past their age and their health issues and employ them.

    Lets not shift the blame onto anyone who is genuinely trying to survive in this current appalling politically motivated attack on those most vulnerable in our society.

    Wouldn’t it be great if we could support everyone in their lifes journey? No matter the paths they choose to take.

  2. Kaye Lee

    I so agree oldwoman (who isn’t as old as this woman)

    We must help every facet of our society who needs our support and we can afford to do so. This government is throwing ALL vulnerable people to the wolves and putting window dressing on the issue with things like the $10,000 incentive to employ over-50s. This money goes to the employer instead of those in need. As with every move this government makes, we give more to, and protect, those who have the most. Many people are fearful right now and that should not be happening in this country.

  3. EJB

    ‘We grew up in a time of free education and high employment so presumably these people already have some work experience which puts them in front of young job applicants. Very few over 50’s would have young dependent children. Most would have accumulated some possessions over the years. They are also a lot closer to the end of their working life.’
    I don’t take issue with your topic but with the above paragraph. Many ‘baby boomers’ especially women and of course men did not have these benefits and are quite poor. They often have no super or other assets. Stereotyping is not an argument. Age discrimination sets in around forty something!
    We need decent employment for everybody and when there are not enough jobs we need welfare. A certain level of unemployment is an aspect of a healthy economy.
    It’s the role of government to facilitate job creation. That’s real jobs I mean. What are they doing about that? Not much.

  4. Kaye Lee

    We need job creation and we need individual case management. Both commenters have raised very valid points, particularly about middle-aged women who have very little if any superannuation and may now find themselves looking for a job after being out of the workforce for a protracted period. I would hate for this article to become divisive about who is in greater need. Because my work has largely been to do with young people I leap to their defence but I agree with all of the points you have made. We must all help each other and stand up to this ridiculous farce of a government whose blatant nest feathering has gone beyond endurable.

  5. oldwoman

    And the words of the great Louis Armstrong ring through my head… “And I think to myself, what a wonderful world…” And it could be. It so easily could be.

    Lets all support each other. I have children under 30, too.

  6. Kaye Lee


    I recently made a powerpoint presentation for my in-laws 65th wedding anniversary and I used that very song. It’s a beautiful reminder of what can be.

  7. Rob031

    I’m a 49 yo Baby Boomer who since doing an Arts degree became somewhat interested in politics. I’m one of the fortunate ones who had a well paid job till I retired a few years ago on a reasonable self-funded pension plan.

    My eldest son of 32, a recently hired primary school teacher, was never all that interested in politics. Boy oh boy he sure is now. He sent me a Facebook link to a Facebook site named “Battlelines” with an invite to join.

    For the next three hours I scrolled fairly quickly down to the bottom of the page. I was staggered by the sheer volume of comments, links and images it contained. The overwhelming amount of material was highly critical of the current government. “Highly critical” is to put it mildly. I joined.

    I wonder if Mr Abbott, Hockey et. al. have the faintest idea as to how many really pissed-off young people there are out there. I wonder if the former are aware that many of these young people will be discussing their angst, and arguing their points-of-view, with their LNP-voting parents and other older relatives.

    If I were an elected LNP representative I would be very very nervous. I would not like to tackle such a powerful and heart-felt social ground-swell. The LNP people will ignore this, I believe, at their political peril. The time has hopefully arrived where they can no longer count on Three Word Slogans bringing the political bacon home to them. Like the Whitlam government in 1974, they are very much on the nose – and becoming more so. And it’s only early days.

  8. Andrew Moran

    I’m 63. Financially I don’t need to, but I’d like to be working. Playing bowls doesn’t interest me. But there are few jobs here. Employers don’t look at people with skills that might be broader and better than theirs. And if you’re over 50, you’ve no chance. Voluntary organisations seem little better. Too often they waste your time rather than invest it.

    There needs to be an answer that goes beyond a zero sum. Or putting up a few dollars hoping someone else will sort the problem. Which seems the limit of the Government’s imagination.

    If the question has to be ‘whose needs are greatest and who gets what?’ lets have it on some basis other than who got what when. The Boomers lived in the world and values that that existed at the time. Our needs are no less real or relevant now. We can still make a difference.

  9. sandrasearle

    We certainly do need job creation, but I don’t think that this current govt has got the slightest clue as to how to be creative in this area. All they have done is to completely dismantle the manufacturing industry in this country and for what real reason?

    Is it that they really believe their visit them and big backers will come to the party when it comes to employment or is it their belief that somehow the magic fairy will and wave her magic wand and endow them with some proper policies that will give this nation of ours something to be proud of.

    While they are currently on the dreadful ideological war path to destroy our social welfare fabric along with everything else that is good, they will cause everyone a heap of pain and angst.

  10. Kaye Lee


    Absolutely, as can our young people. We need partnerships that use the experience of our aging population and marry it up with mentoring our youth who can in turn mentor us in technology. We need beneficial associations where all parties can contribute with recognition of the value of their skills or their potential. Our community wants this but our government ignores society for the “economy”. They have chosen the wrong path and we must correct that.

    As an informative facebook page could I recommend “Don’t blame me I didn’t vote for Tony Abbott”. It gives links to all the latest articles and is strictly monitored to keep an acceptable level of comment.

  11. Gerry

    I am 56 which I think puts me in the baby boomer character. I have a 19 year old daughter who is struggling to find work. My 16 year old son is in the top 5% academically but right now I have no idea how I am going to support him through university. As I don’t have any politician or influential friends it is unlikely he will get a scholarship. I have always had good paying jobs and as a consequence I have paid a lot of tax and a lot of child support to my ex wife. I was made redundant back in April. If I am not working next week the car will be up for sale. Another month and it will be the house. I like most of the things you write Kaye Lee but this article has a bad case of stereotyping. It is very difficult for unemployed over 50’s to get work and I am sure many are in my situation with children also struggling to get work or paying their way through university. The issue I have with this $10,000 inducement is that it is yet another example of corporate welfare.

  12. patsy

    if the government knows how many people are rorting the system they must have made an effort to get their monies back then why are they punishing the people who are really suffering….I am so confused……..they must know the numbers……..

  13. Rob031

    @Kaye Lee

    Ta for that other facebook link. As I browsed through it a lovely quote came back to me:

    “There is nothing so powerful as an idea whose time has come”

  14. Keitha Granville

    re the PM refusing to move “close to his work”. It should be mandatory for the leader of the country to live in the house in Canberra provided for him. There should not be an alternative residence paid for by the taxpayer. If he chooses not to live in the Lodge then he should have to pay for his own accomodation in whichever city he has chosen to live. It is ridiculous that every time a new PM is installed the Lodge is redecorated. WTF !!!! off topic, sorry, don’t get me started.
    I have a 21 year old on Newstart, he applies for everything, anything. He has some casual work to keep him going – Newstart allowance certainly doesn’t – and he WANTS a job. He has done several courses, he just can’t get any offers. Most employers don’t even bother to reply (that’s another bugbear of mine) . And if the new regime of 40 a month comes in I have no idea how he will comply if online and email applciations are regarded as unacceptable. Most job applications are by email these days. Have these politicians even looked at job sites ? It’s just another way of ensuring that as many as possible default so they can be cut off. What are we doing to our next generation ?

  15. Lee

    “I also note that our Prime Minister was not willing to move to where his employment is, a decision that is costing us tens of millions of dollars which could have supported many Newstart recipients for a long time.”


  16. Jason

    Excellent article & and thanks to the other commenters for sharing their personal stories.

    The Abbott & Co ambition of turning Australia into ‘a joint’ clearly bifurcated by an hereditary ruling elite on one side, and an impoverished underclass on the other the other, is truly perverse.

    A healthy democracy should function around words such as “fairness”, “compassion, “tolerance” and “understanding”. We should be aspiring to the ideal of recognising and realising the intrinsic right to dignity of all human beings. Australia should have as its guiding principle the aim of equality to opportunity for all of its citizens. Not just a select, privileged, few.

    When the Carbon Tax was repealed, Bernard Keane tweeted: “A shameful victory for old white men over the future”. There appears to be a great deal of vindictiveness from the Abbott government towards anybody who isn’t perpetuating the ruling circumstances of overly entitled, aging, white males. Hopefully the more Australians become aware of the true agenda of Abbott & co, the more the tide will turn on the LNP government.

  17. Kaye Lee

    To those who think I am stereotyping over 50 unemployed people I sincerely apologise. It was certainly not my intention and I have expressed myself badly if that is the message I have portrayed.

    I hate labels of any description. Your gender, age, nationality, religion, preferences, interests, abilities, skills make up a person and we should value all people and the contribution they make. We should support those who find themselves on hard times in whatever way we can, starting with respect. Once again, I apologise if my inadequate words gave a meaning I did not intend.

  18. Neil of Sydney

    Whatever the question is regarding unemployment, the ALP is not the answer.

    Gough was handed unemployment at 2% and promptly doubled it to 4%. Hawke was handed unemployment at 8% and it ended up at 8% with 30 months of double digit unemployment in between.

    When Keating stabbed Hawke in the back to become PM unemployment was at 10% and at 11% when Keating won the election in 1993.

    Rudd was handed unemployment at 4.3% and left when it was at 5.8%.

    It may or may not be possible for a govt to do anything about unemployment but it is certain an ALP govt will make things worse.

  19. Matthew James

    Kay Lee and all the others reading the comments, just in case this has not already been covered there is a far more galling squander of taxes people are misled to believe is going towards welfare (ironic how crucial welfare is, imagine living here without it on it or not). And that is yet again siphoning those taxes straight into the pockets of business whether they pay tax or harbor it. This scheme looks dangerously close to the Tories Workfare rort. This sums it up pretty well from AAV:

    “Any scheme at all would look pretty good in comparison to Iain’s other brainchild the Work Programme, which cost over £400 million to find work for just 31,240 people, well over £10,000 a pop. What is worse is that every single one of the 18 private sector contractors in the Work Programme failed to meet their absolute minimum target of getting just 5.5% of their “clients” into work. The Work Programme is going to end up costing £billions in fees to private companies, yet the outcomes so far are significantly worse than had nothing been done at all!”

    And then we have 40 mandatory applications for 150,000 jobs available per month with 700,000 unemployed? This is very much the reason why we need the dole to help those who simply can’t get a job, but let’s just hound them to death doing something completely pointless.

    So instead of precious money going to starved refuges for young people I can see the Tories gift coming to Australia for here one day off like a phoenix the next businesses and their shareholders, meaning the kind of people who just love to piss all over taxes and welfare while they read the Financial Review.

  20. VIrginia

    Excellent article and comments. It is impossible for older people to find employment because they are usually better educated than potential employers, but certainly have much more experience in their field, and therefore by law have to be paid at a higher rate than those just starting out in their career.s. If one transfers to teaching, one starts at the bottom again regardless of skills and student results. There are Government grants to start a business, as a private teacher or consultant, but they are not available to people on Centrelink benefits, who are directed into the mickey-mouse TAFE course to do the totally useless Certificate 4 in Business Management, which allows them to continue to receive Newstart for 12 months whilst starting a business as a sole-trader with no capital or relevant support; ( the ‘mentors’ provided aren’t matched to the field). I wouldn’t be at all surprised if qualitative research found that a proportion of the increase of people on the Disability pension included those women finding themselves out of work through too much experience, in their 50s, who have been down the ‘learning & retraining’ route. After finding TAFE couldn’t help, try doing a university degree on the lowest rate of student allowance, ($100 less per fortnight than Newstart), especially if one has already lost one’s home and car, had little or no superannuation,, paid 33% tax all one’s life, was a sole parent unable to claim childcare rebates and wasn’t given a ‘baby bonus’. I suspect there are many women in this category whose health has deteriorated rapidly thanks to years of stress and totally inadequate nutrition, forcing them onto the Disabilty Pension. At least some younger students can continue to live at home, or go into a share house and work part-time at McDonald’s to make ends meet. There are myriads of us older people who would be delighted to help young people with their basic education skills, lacking through no fault of their own. At least the rules have changed regarding RPL, (who knew?! One can now be credited for learning completed more than 10 years ago!). As two first year and one second year subjects from the 1960s are the equivalent of six third year subjects today in an undergraduate degree, it doesn’t take much thought to realise how badly many young people have been let down throughout their school education. However, few older people can afford to simply ‘volunteer’ to do such mentoring & teaching work, and no-one is offering to pay them. Ever noticed how many jobs advertised for older workers require physical labour, and how few require merely the use of one’s brains?

  21. Kaye Lee


    Those sort of rorts are on the increase. We have the “job providers” and a whole new scam.

    Green Army Service Provider(s) will be paid a Project Fee of $192,500 (inclusive of GST) per Project. This cost will be indexed in line with CPI in subsequent years. It is expected they will spend $170,000 on the project and receive an “administrative fee” of $22,500. Not bad being paid, handed a free workforce who have no work cover, receive no superannuation, sick, or holiday pay, and can’t complain as they receive less than the minimum wage while giving up any concessions they got while on Newstart.

  22. Matthew Oborne

    A relative of mine is thinking of sacking a worker and getting a subsidised worker I do not think a culture of lining the pockets of business at the expense of other workers is in any way good social policy. If the government want the unemployment rate to go down they should become a manufacturer of something that has no competition here like start making solar panels or other much needed items that are not currently made here. or something that doesnt threaten current jobs. and as far as work for the dole, unless they can dramatically increase an unemployed persons skill base that makes them highly desirable it is nothing more than further degrading an already vulnerable person.

  23. Lee

    @ Kaye

    “We grew up in a time of free education and high employment so presumably these people already have some work experience which puts them in front of young job applicants. ”

    Not necessarily. Those people grew up in a time when women regularly chose to remain at home, and when they could afford to stay at home. Consequently, if they are widowed at a relatively young age, or their marriage has ended, or their husband/partner has incurred an injury/illness that prevents him from supporting the household, we now have women nearing the end of their working life who have few relevant skills and no recent job experience, who are looking for work.

  24. Matthew Oborne

    I think it is more statistical relevance, as a statistical whole Baby Boomers benefited to far greater degree than others, that of course does not relate to the exceptions.

  25. lawrencewinder

    “It is understood (but not yet officially announced) that the Defence Force work they can volunteer for will include land-mine and roadside bomb clearance. Wheelchair and motorised scooter unemployed will be particularly encouraged to volunteer for this exciting work as they can cover a much wider area than those with sticks, crutches or walking frames.
    This cunning plan has obvious side effect benefits for the Murdoch-Mandated Liarbrils.
    Like Fighter pilots in WW1 whose lives at “the front” was estimated to be 10-15 hours, life expectancy will be similar for these unemployed thus guaranteeing a high turn-over and 10-15 years later, less economic pressure on pension entitlements and the PBS.”

  26. Rossleigh

    Gee, Neil’s figures are an interesting selection. Why quote the unemployment rate when Keating won the election in 1993? Why not quote it when he left office in 1996? Could that be because unemployment had dropped significantly by 1996? And Rudd was “handed’ unemployed at “4.3% and left when it was at 5.8%”. Of course,I suppose the argument is that the GFC didn’t affect Australia as badly as other countries so the increase in unemployment must be all Labor’s fault and nothing to do with any of the stimulus measures that Labor adopted.

  27. abbienoiraude

    (Also not as old as me…at 60) You spoke as if it were my life up to a point. The raising of a family when it was not encouraged or respected to, the chance of an education came late ( when I was 33) but found after a semester could not afford it, and with a husband who became disabled at around 40 it was left to me to continue to raise our children and care/support him.
    I got a job in Customs to try and ‘swap’ roles and my husband promptly started deteriorating with the stress of teenage children to care for. I chose my family over my ‘career’.
    It has not been easy living like this, but we were determined to stay together and encourage our children to get out of ‘our poverty’ by studying hard and going to uni, where they went cold and hungry so far from home, on Austudy. We could not help them. So all of them from the age of 17 have been ‘independent’ whilst we tried to hold fast to each other and keep on going on DSP.
    And now at 60, with three children in their 30’s all employed and working well, and one grandchild, we are fighting for our lives because of this govt. What ‘future/career/plan’ do they want us to have at this time of our life? My health is not 100% after half a life time of giving my time and my strength to my family.
    I am now tired. I know I am suppose to have another 10 years of ‘work’ ( ie tax paying years) in me…but I don’t. This vilification by this Government has now ground me down and I am exhausted by its cruel, vicious, and thoughtless attacks on the most vulnerable.
    Three degrees of separation aka three bad decisions by ME (for I am the decision maker in this family) and we can be living in our car with nothing. THAT is the reality.

  28. Vicki

    Neil of Sydney – just wrote a post and it disappeared from the screen so this one is shorter. In 1973/4 there was world financial crisis, brought about by the USA Wall Street crash, much like the 2007/8 one. Only the earlier one was followed by the 1970’s world oil crisis. Yes unemployed figures rose but I would have liked to have seen Fraser do any better under those twin disasters.
    When Hawke and Keating were in government the world went through a recession and yes unemployment figures rose again. That is why when the Global Financial Crisis of 2007/8 and on erupted (again because of a Wall Street collapse) Rudd took treasury advice to borrow money to keep the economy as healthy as it could be kept ergo the unemployment figures were not as horrendous as they could have been.
    I know that the LNP would rather have seen thousands out of work rather borrow money to keep people employed and money circulating in the economy. They would probably have stopped unemployment benefits altogether and told the unemployed to eat dirt. Unfortunately for the ALP the debt they incurred (reasonably minor on world standards) was used by the LNP, Murdoch, Alan Jones et al to crucify a competent and caring government. There are still many people who do not understand the background to the very minor debt that Australia has – they just blame Labor because that is what the right wing idealogues tell them.
    Neil take this post on board along with Rossleigh’s and do a bit of research yourself and stop swallowing the party line hook line and sinker.

  29. Don Winther

    What level playing field? A bowl of fried rice in Thailand cost $Au1.00 and I payed $9.80 take away last night. We should be importing Fried rice and not cars and washing machines etc. Jobs for Australians. Abbotts an Idiot but Gina loves him.

  30. Lee

    Why quote unemployment figures at all? We all know they are manipulated. People are placed in various categories to avoid counting them as true unemployed.

    The bottom line is, we have unemployment and we don’t have enough jobs. Neither party is doing much to address the problem.

  31. Neil of Sydney

    “Why quote the unemployment rate when Keating won the election in 1993?”

    Because people forget how bad it was under Labor but still voted for Keating. And because of comments like this

    “And now at 60, with three children in their 30′s all employed and working well, and one grandchild, we are fighting for our lives because of this govt

    Mate i hate the ALP and its supporters. Bet you abbienoiraude voted for Keating when unemployment was at 11%. I think people vote for the ALP because it appears to care for people. But that is all it is, an appearance. ALP supporters whinge moan and complain under a Coalition govt but say nothing when conditions are worse under an ALP govt.

    Conditions would have been better if we didn’t throw out Howard in 2007.

  32. Möbius Ecko

    And again Hockey caught out lying about a budget emergency and economic crisis.

    Published on 3 Jun 2014

    In Parliament, Treasurer Joe Hockey informs federal MP for Longman Wyatt Roy that the latest National Accounts report growth in household consumption and housing investment, the creation of 106,000 new jobs and exceptional mining export volumes resulting in the smallest current account deficit as a share of GDP since March 1980.

    Oh and private credit spending shooting up again as savings go backwards. Shifting the debt to the private sector is underway and higher interest rates along with it are inevitable.

    I also note that the coward Abbott has done his usual and slinked away like a cockroach from the early election he promised with bravado during the election. Wonder if the ABC Fact Check will put that one down as another of his lies.

  33. abbienoiraude

    @ Neil of Sydney
    Well, sweet man, you could have asked me a question without presuming you knew me at all.
    I did NOT vote for Keating. I am one of those ‘non-believers’. I started out as a young 18 year old voting the way my parents voted ( Country Party) ONCE. By the next time I voted I was married. I voted for parties that represented those who were trying to get Joh out of office. I listened and voted by who was representing the area I was living in at the time. I did vote for Hawke but NOT for Keating. I didn’t like his move to the right, for I was by then more educated ( night school) and wanted a more socialist Govt. He was not it. During the Howard years when my husband was so very very ill Centrelink hounded us …every six weeks sending threatening letters of ; ‘we will breach you if you don’t comply’. On top of his many illnesses my husband became depressed, ashamed and considered suicide.
    Howard was the one who cut dental support for the poor and because my husband has prosthetics he must take care of his teeth or he will end up in a wheelchair. We went into debt so he could have dental care.
    If I sound like I am ‘whingeing’ it is because I am bloody terrified…shockingly anxiety making frightened for our future. I am not a ‘rusted on’ Labor supporter. I vote Green/Independent/Labor/Socialist…whoever in my electorate is caring for the poor, needy, homeless, voiceless, vulnerable, environment, disabled, children, education, health.
    When Keating told that student who was protesting against his introduction of HECS to ‘go get a job’…he lost me.
    Never ever underestimate a feisty old woman who has had to fight for the life of her children and her husband, mate.

  34. RalphG

    “Wheelchair and motorised scooter unemployed will be particularly encouraged to volunteer for this exciting work as they can cover a much wider area than those with sticks”

    Hmmm, I reckon one of these would do the trick…

  35. Neil of Sydney

    “And again Hockey caught out lying about a budget emergency

    There is a budget emergency

    “Never ever underestimate a feisty old woman who has had to fight for the life of her children and her husband, mate.”

    OK but life is tough. It always has been. I really find your comments that life is all of a sudden worse under Coalition rule quite sickening. You are just a tribal leftist supporter willing to suffer pain under a Labor/Socialist govt but whinge under Coalition rule.

  36. Oh my glob

    Neil of sydney,

    “Mate i hate the ALP and its supporters”.

    Yes, it would take a true blue RWNJ to not even realise he is referring to members of his family, friends and community by this statement.

    Probably also believes in the concept of “never give a sucker an even break”.

    We should have jettisoned Howard after his first term.

    Imagine how much better we would be if we still had our gold reserves, our profitable and efficient public utilities, the Commonwealth Bank in public hands and no structual economic timebomb in the shape of negative gearing, middle class and commercial welfare, loaded super concessions, no tax free retirement incomes for the wealthy and not getting involved in iraq and Afghanastan?

  37. abbienoiraude

    @ Neil of Sydney
    Way to go proving the studies correct that says those who vote and support Conservative values and politicians have a disconnect between humanity and compassion.
    Phew, for a minute there I thought you might show some kind of empathy, understanding, emotional intelligence and generosity.
    Blow me down you just showed me why thinkers of your ‘calibre’ are just sociopathic narcissists.
    Now, I have can merely feel sorry for you. Time to grow up. You are part of the problem, not part of the solution, but you are a part of the reason why Howard hung on for so long, and how that brain dead Abbott got elected.

  38. Neil of Sydney

    Yeah and what is compassion??

    Labor abolished the Pacific Solution because it was seen as mean and nasty and showed no compassion and we got flooded with economic immigrants while refugees we used to take from UNHCR camps were blocked from our humanitarian program.

    Under Labor $10,000 and you are in. No money and you have no chance of settlement in Australia. Now that is wrong.

    Imagine how much better we would be

    Imagine if Socialists/Leftists had a brain.

    Blaming all societies problems on the Coalition is just stupid. I do believe things would be worse under Labor.

  39. Kaye Lee


    I have tolerated you for some time now. You have informed me about one thing in that entire time and I readily accepted the knowledge. You, however, learn nothing.

    You cannot categorise the people here into one homogeneous lump called “you people”. We argue amongst ourselves, we have different emphasis, focus, and views. If I was pressed to name the binding similarity with regulars it would be social justice.

    If you are here to wave your flag then go away. if you are here to listen, consider, and respond then go ahead. This isn’t a them vs us site much as you may think. This is a ‘what’s important and how can we achieve it’ site. If you would like to add your thoughts on a way forward I would be interested to listen. From what I have observed of you, I doubt you have anything to offer in that regard.

    And if you continue to make inane comments like “you are just a tribal leftist supporter” I will start deleting them so people do not have to waste their time reading your unending conservative history loop. If you would care to comment on the present government or make suggestions about the way forward I would be prepared to listen.

  40. Oh my glob

    Man, i was only referring to Howards legacy, not societies problems.

    However since you brought it up, you could say that the former has contributed to the latter.

    Now under Tony Abbotts particular brand of crazy I believe he is intent on doing as much damage to the Australian people as he can as he knows his very small window of opportunity is rapidly closing and is happy to do deals with shadows for reward, he is after all a jesuit educated catholic.

    But it is interesting how the political/economic divergence that we are currently witnessing, particularly in the form of the budget and its attempt to re-engineer Australian society, correlate to the regions where Murdochs influence is stongest.

    You can keep to your delusion that whatever “socialists/leftists” means to you don’t have a brain, makes it easier for them to prove your ignorance.

  41. Neil of Sydney

    “I have tolerated you for some time now.

    I have been posting only for a day or so after a long absence. Most of my posts are polite but a lot of comments drive me nuts.

    But blaming the Coalition for societies problems after being in power for just 10 months is stupid.

    I wish we did not vote Howard/Costello out in 2007. There would be no budget problems, debt would be lower, unemployment would be lower and there would be no asylum seekers in detention. Instead we would be taking our humanitarian refugees from UNHCR camps. Now the boats have stopped i believe were are now starting to take people from camps after years of selling our places to the highest bidder.

  42. Kaye Lee

    I agree you are not abusive Neil, just inane. I am most certainly blaming the Coalition for the decisions they have made in MYEFO and the budget. I am most certainly blaming them for their very obvious direction of attacking the most vulnerable. They are even undoing Howard’s Family Tax Benefit. Work with us Neil, we just want a better Australia. You have never answered me when I ask what difference a surplus would make to your life while pointing out how you will be affected by its mindless pursuit.

  43. Lee

    “There is a budget emergency”

    Hockey has just told the New Zealanders that we don’t have a budget emergency and we’re in good shape. Nice to see you keeping up with it.

  44. Kaye Lee

    I like achievable goals. Here’s one for you Neil. Treat other commenters with respect. That does not mean “not being abusive”, any more than it means agreeing with them. It means LISTENING to them and RESPONDING to the points they raise rather than regurgitating the same old lines.

  45. Neil of Sydney

    Hockey has just told the New Zealanders that we don’t have a budget emergency”

    Did he?? Do you have a link?

    I think you may find he said the economy is doing OK. Unemployment at 6% is as low as it got under Hawke/keating.

    But the budget is trashed. The economy and the budget are two different things.

    The worst thing about paying interest on our debt is that most of it goes overseas because we have to borrow from overseas to fund our debt.

  46. Kaye Lee

    OMG you are SO repetitive. You make this non-violent person want to throw things. The budget is a 12 month thing. This government has committed to discretionary spending that increased our deficit, debt, and future expenditure on stupid things like lemon jets and entrenched welfare for the rich with Tony’s signature PPL. They also borrowed 8 BILLION to give to the RBA for absolutely no reason. Who do we blame for THAT 300 million a year interest Neil?

  47. Lee


    Neil is just a garden variety troll. He enjoys getting under your skin.

  48. Kaye Lee

    Neil doesn’t have what it takes to get under my skin Lee.

    I have an Abbott style plan for Neil. You need to submit 40 comments a month. If any of them are deemed worthy of publication then you may continue commenting. If you refuse this very easy obligation then you must contribute 6 months earnings to the donation page for AIMN.

  49. Paul of Sydney

    I can recall reading that there is evidence that the Tories are paying people to post right wing anti-ALP rubbish on sites such as this. Could Neil be one of these?

  50. xiaoecho

    Am I the only one that remembers just fifteen short months ago Australia was ranked the happiest nation on earth? Those were halcyon days when we took for granted a government that governed for all Australians regardless of their position in life. We had an intelligent, prudent Prime Minister who could think on her feet and do our nation credit when overseas. The government was implementing far sighted policies that built on our egalitarian society; more equal educational opportunities through Gonski, the National Broadband Network setting us up for the businesses of the 21stC so we could compete with the growing economies of our region, the NDIS, investment in renewable energy and the booming renewables market…..

    Look at us today. Cowed and frightened for our future. We now have a government that is actively implementing policies to destroy equality in Australia and divide us into a nation of very few haves and many have nots. By every measure that only last year made us a confident forward looking nation we are diminished. For young people losing your job now means destitution. For older Australians they will now have to work until they die. The disabled if they have any ability whatsoever will be expected to compete in the overcrowded job market with the able bodied. We have nothing to look forward to but a reduction in our standard of living as the government implements policies to drive wages and conditions back to what they were before union protections. Our children, unless we are wealthy, will now be locked out of higher education. Our fragile Australian ecosystem, the driest continent on earth, is currently having its water table destroyed by a rapacious mining sector enabled by government legislation for sale. Medicare, an institution we are rightly proud of, the best healthcare system in the developed world is now under attack. We will be returned to the days of our grandparents and great grandparents who forgoed medical care because it was unaffordable…..and Aunty, our beloved ABC is slowly dying, it has a cancer and soon it will be unrecognisable.

    We are under the yoke of psychopathic government . Our government want to steal Australia from us and keep it for themselves and those that aid and abet them. We, the majority are nothing more than the means to an end. To our government we are there to be used, as a commodity, and an ongoing resource until….

  51. Michael Feeney

    Mick in Toowoomba
    Kay Lee.,Please,keep up your wonderfull articles.Don’t let obvious idiots like Neil of Sydney take up your Valuable time.I do not understand how you make time to contribute so many really sensible,kind and thoughtfull articles.You seem to get the pertinent details and seem to keep to the facts.Unfortunately,facts are exactly what this so called LNP atrocity guvmt does not want any sane citisens to hear.To all the excellent team at A.I.N.M and yourself,GO TEAM GO
    We Australian citisens must get out and talk to our friends,relatives,neighbours and make sure we are all registered on the electoral rolls and our details are correct and make sure the young newly turned or turning 18 yr olds are properly registered. Sadly,a lot of my peers,Age and DSP pensioners,just say”Oh,I am not into that political crap”.Truly these are the very people we need to motivate to take an interest and be ready to thoughtfully vote.The sooner we get an election,the better.I thought I heard a rumour P.U.P want an early election.I hope possible candidates,Greens,Ind,labor,are diligently working on policies and stratagies.
    we certainly need to get rid of this bunch of LIARS and FRAUDSTERS. Thanks,MichaelFeeney. [sorry for the spelling and grammar]

  52. John Armour

    But the budget is trashed. The economy and the budget are two different things.

    Saying the budget is trashed is like saying a barometer is stuffed because it’s reading low atmospheric pressure.

    The pressure might be low, but very welcome, because it’s foretelling an approaching storm at the end of a long drought.

    It might also be showing high pressure (clear skies and dry weather) in the middle of a drought.

    Likewise the budget, it can be neither good nor bad. It just “is”.

    The worst thing about paying interest on our debt is that most of it goes overseas because we have to borrow from overseas to fund our debt.

    There is actually no debt Neil. Just like there’s no Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, or Easter Bunny. Sorry about that.

    It’s actually a good thing that foreigners love Australian bonds.

    When the government ‘borrows’ all it’s doing is swapping bank reserves for securities so that the central bank can control the cash rate.

    You been writing this nonsense on Cafe Whispers for years and for years people have been taking the time to try to explain it to you.

    When are you going to get it ?

  53. Kaye Lee


    It is amazing how the whole feel of the country has changed in such a short time. We were on the verge of wonderful forward looking reforms – marine national parks, water trigger legislation, Murray-Darling buyback as well as all those you mentioned (NBN, Gonski, NDIS). They are taking from us our national broadcaster while they fight for Andrew Bolt’s right to print crap. Their investment strategy will see us with stranded assets in the very near future and having to import technology that was probably discovered here but developed by more forward thinking nations. No other countries are slashing money for research. While other countries cut their defence spending, ours is skyrocketing. Tough man Tony and iron lady Julie seem determined to piss off as many people as they can with their inept posturing. I have never felt this angry.


    Thank you for your encouragement and I agree that we must do all we can to spread the word and to convince those people who aren’t interested in politics, and who can blame them, that their vote is very important. I hope the young people can save us….400,000 of them did not vote last time – we need them.

  54. Matters Not

    We now have a new ‘common sense’. Almost.

    Notice also the political incorporation of the defence forces, including GG, special envoys, state premiers and the like. Watch it ramp up so that ‘anzackery’ becomes the nation’s rallying call.

  55. Kaye Lee

    I am so glad we are paying hundreds of millions for all Tony’s audits and reviews and green papers and white papers just so he can completely ignore them and do whatever Maurice Newman thinks sounds good.

    “A Department of Employment official has admitted the Abbott government has not done any modelling to estimate how many job seekers will find employment within three months after completing its multibillion-dollar work-for-the-dole program.

    That is despite the government’s own data showing work-for-the-dole programs are the least effective way to help people find jobs.”

  56. Kaye Lee

    “One thing we can be justly proud of is that somewhere in our collective soul, whether by design or accident or habit, we have developed and cultivated this odd sense of the fair go, of a rough sort of equality and social justice, where the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favour to those with knowledge, but where tax and redistribution happen to them all.

    The Abbott Government, and its supporters in business and the media, hold that Australia, egalitarian Australia, in contempt, and they see this term of government as their chance to feed it to the sharks.

    Why would any of us, let alone the conservatives whom they have most betrayed, let them get away with that?”

  57. Roswell

    Neil is best ignored. He is only here to disrupt or derail. A few years ago he wrote that people on that particular site would want to murder him if they found out who he really was. In other words he’s a Liberal troll.

  58. John Armour

    Neil is best ignored

    You’re mostly right Roswell, but as a “useful idiot” he does serve a purpose: he says what’s on his mind and gives us a window into how wingnuts think.

    That’s why I usually take the time to unravel his nonsense because there are others here of the same leaning (but not quite so thick) who might just ‘get it’, even though Neil never will.

  59. Matters Not

    As Dunlop alleges:

    They are not designed for the betterment of society as a whole, but for the enforcement of a particular worldview to the exclusion of all others

    Yes it’s all about pushing a ‘worldview’. A different way of constructing problems and a very different way of dealing with those constructs. Social engineering writ large. It’s just the beginning. Let the Sleeper(s) Awake.

  60. Bill Davis


    As a white male over 50, I was going to attempt to take you to task for some of the things you said in this article. After noting the first few commentator’s words, and your replies, i decided not to bother commenting.

    But then I saw the troll attacks, and decided to echo some of the others, do NOT waste time on these trolls. Feeding trolls only encourages them. Some of them are paid to do this kind of thing.

    While I disagree with your premise, I have to respect your willingness to engage in civil debate, and to comment that I think you are showing your intelligence, and classiness in the way you are moderating a useful civil discussion.

    My only comment is that while some of the baby boomers did do quite well, many others were left not so well off by a dog eat dog economy that left many out. The solutions exist to take care of all, but we must fight to save our Australian democracy,, and from my view, you are attempting to do just that.

    Good on ya!

    Bill Davis

  61. Neil of Sydney

    “You been writing this nonsense on Cafe Whispers for years and for years people have been taking the time to try to explain it to you.”

    The arrogance of you people. You explain something to me and i am expected to believe it. I do not agree with most of the stuff Greens/leftists post. I may be wrong but it is my genuine opinion.

    I am also offended by being called a troll. I have been posting with some of these people since 2007.

    But i was sticking up for Hockey. One thing i notice about you people is that you twist words.

    The economy and budget are not the same thing. The economy could be better but is OK but the budget is totally trashed and if not fixed will lead to a trashed economy. I went back and read the link that Lee provided and Hockey said this
    “The fact is you need to move on the budget to fix it now

    Read more:

    I agree with that.

  62. Andrew Moran


    As you’ve been posting since 2007, it’s surprising you’re still offended by being called a troll. Or is it the Oxford definition you prefer, and don’t live in a cave.

    The issue of economy and budget is simple.

    We people don’t agree that Hockey’s Robbing Hood Budget (that takes from the wretch and gives to the peer) solves any of the economic issues the country faces. Particularly when Hockey is honest, he admits there’s a whole lot of ambit change in it. Change the ‘Government’ hasn’t had the courage or integrity to take to the people. Why is that?

  63. Möbius Ecko

    Strange that Neil is now offended by being called a troll when on a previous blog he stated that being insulted by “leftards” was an honour as it meant he was winning the discussion.

    Just like the party he so unthinkingly and unreservedly adores Neil constantly proves he’s a hypocrite.

    True Andrew. If this Party now in government had been open and honest, something most Liberals and their supporters never are, and had openly taken their current policies to the election they would have lost in a landslide even against a dysfunctional Labor Party. As it was with Howard, the Liberals can only win by being dishonest, shutting down democracy, being secretive, being negative and having the MSM aid and abet them in those things. They can never win on merit and credibility.

  64. corvus boreus

    I once responded to one of neil of Sydney’s posts containing erroneous information with a correction and suggestion for a verifiable source (Hansard).
    His enlightened response was “get stuffed”. He then repeated his provable falsehood.
    I concluded that he be nought but a troll.
    Ps. Andrew M, loved the wretch/peer pun.

  65. abbienoiraude

    After the last referenced abuse to me by Neil of Sydney I stopped reading.
    I didn’t know about him and I am not as resilient against abuse like I used to be. After 22 years of facing death too many times it has not made me stronger, but more fragile, and yet definitely more determined.
    I rejoined reading some reactions to his diatribe after Kaye Lee in her usual inimitable way put him in his place.
    Now after further commentators rebuttals I will take it as a mark of honour that this ‘Troll’ took his little axe to me, of all people, for I being poor am no one of any significance ESPECIALLY to ‘Troll’s’ and members of the ‘born to rule’ class.
    I shall continue to turn my attention to Kaye, corvus, Mobius, Roswell etc, those who can keep me informed and up to date with what is actually going on. I do despair about our Country and if I do come across as a ‘whinger’ please bear with me as I try not to loose faith in Australia and her people’s choice of representatives.

  66. Neil of Sydney

    “We people don’t agree that Hockey’s Robbing Hood Budget (that takes from the wretch and gives to the peer) solves any of the economic issues the country faces.

    There were no budget problems until Labor got it paws on the cooky jar in 2007 and in an orgy of reckless spending trashed the budget.

    All the GFC did was quicken what always happens under ALP rule. ALP supporters do not believe debt is a problem so that is what we always get except here in NSW where he Labor Party is fiscally conservative.

  67. corvus boreus

    “yadda yadda yadda, blah blah blah”

  68. Andrew Moran

    The fact is Howard committed the Federal Government to ongoing expenditures without putting a sustainable supporting tax regime in place. The IMF concluded that Australia’s most needlessly wasteful spending took place under the John Howard-led Coalition government.

    Labor does believe there is no inherent value in ‘a surplus’ when the community has major needs. Nor does the business sector when it demands enabling infrastructure.

    And if comparative track records is the topic, tell me what major initiative has the Liberal Party ever taken that has left the country better off?

  69. Kaye Lee

    I think Barnaby is working on aqueducts?

  70. Neil of Sydney

    “Labor does believe there is no inherent value in ‘a surplus’ when the community has major needs”

    Trouble with that point of view is there are always major needs. That is why Labor will always produce more debt. Labor cannot control its spending. Never has, never will.

    Only a Coalition govt could have got our AAA credit rating back after we lost it under Hawke/Keating.

    Spend, spend, spend has got to be the motto of the ALP.

  71. Kaye Lee

    Neil, can you tell me what advantage having a AAA credit rating confers?

  72. Kaye Lee

    And in the meantime…..

  73. Andrew Moran

    Neil, only a coalition could spend so much delivering so little to the nation’s long term benefit as the Howard LNP Government. As the IMF said. The reality of the current AAA rating also shows your all ‘Labor can do’ comment for the nonsense it is.

    The best way out of the hole you’ve dug for yourself is to stop digging.

  74. Lee

    “Trouble with that point of view is there are always major needs. That is why Labor will always produce more debt. Labor cannot control its spending. Never has, never will.”

    If there is unemployment, then spending is what they should be doing. As has already been explained here in recent weeks, it’s not debt per se. Perhaps it needs to be broken down into three word bogan slogans so you can understand it.

  75. Michael Taylor

    Neil, you say you’re offended by being called a troll. Gosh, sorry about that.

    But here’s the point: we’re offended by your trollish behaviour.

  76. corvus boreus

    Haiku for troll.

    Always spouts clichés,
    never answers a question;
    waste of time and space.

  77. Peter Wade

    I see LNP preferential treatment for baby boomers via the 10k incentive as insurance. Abbott wants to create a very large group of disaffected youth. It’s frightening what might happen next.

  78. Lee

    “Abbott wants to create a very large group of disaffected youth. It’s frightening what might happen next.”

    That just goes to show the blatant stupidity of the LNP. Of all the groups likely to protest with violence, it’s the young ones. I sure hope they have the motivation to register to vote by the next election.

  79. Kaye Lee

    I just hope that the 400,000 18-24 year olds who didn’t vote last time, and the large percentage who voted informal, feel motivated enough to save our country in 2016, or earlier if given an opportunity – every by-election and state election counts.

  80. DanDark

    “Why is the Abbott government offering $10,000 to employ people who are over 50? We grew up in a time of free education and high employment so presumably these people already have some work experience which puts them in front of young job applicants. Very few over 50s would have young dependent children. Most would have accumulated some possessions over the years. They are also a lot closer to the end of their working life”

    Your assumptions are off the mark Kaye lee, maybe if you are a bloke you had the above luxuries in this country and are benefiting now, but for most women over 50 you are wrong, and I am over 50 and have an 9 year old to care for a few more years, so less assumptions and more facts would be great on single women over 50 and the lack of superannuation and how they are becoming at the top of the list for being homeless in this screwed up country, lack of skills and education due to raising a family and being backseat to the career of their husband or partner. I suggest to young girls/women these days, do not have kids, its a waste of time, and the most important thankless job you will ever do, stay single and free is my advice to young girls and you wont be like older women who sacrificed their life for nothing…

  81. DanDark

    Women are also subjugated by the law in this country, go and sit in a court for a day, and its not hard to see men run courts and the rules

  82. DanDark

    Over 200,000 people over 50 are on the dole, I think successive govs have let a lot of people down for decades, how did over 200,00 older people become “dole bludgers” people havnt let the country down, the govs and country have let hundreds of thousands of people down…your commitment to young people and their woes are commendable, but both sides of the sad unemployment story would be good Kaye..

  83. Kaye Lee

    Over 50s unemployment is indeed a problem but they do not face the prospect of NO income for 6 months of the year for potentially the next 12 years.

  84. DanDark

    I have teenage kids too I have kids in their 20s and kids in their 30s I have the gamut, so I know how Gov policies ruin kids education etc and lives. I know all to well whats happening all round Kaye in many age groups and the immediate effects damaging gov policies have. And to even contemplate starving our young is what makes me so sick when I think of this gov, the most cruelest heartless gov we have ever seen. I agree with you there, but a lot of older people are suffering and going to suffer even more just like our young

  85. DanDark

    Kaye you seem a bit defensive you shouldn’t of compared older unemployed to younger unemployed, because they are a world apart, they need different solutions to solve problems, as they have different needs etc, yes I feel you are being divisive by even comparing them and the new gov policies, and if someone stands up for the older people when you have compared them from the start to capitalize No was a bit tough, so I wont comment anymore on your articles, if its going to cause you to Yell NO at me in your last comment 🙂 I am sorry for commenting now…

  86. Kaye Lee


    I take exception to that comment. The whole point of the article was that we must look to individual circumstances to help unemployed people all of whom have different circumstances. I have already said that I understand the despair of the older unemployed. I wasn’t yelling at you when I said that young people will receive NO income, I was emphasizing their plight.

    You have entirely misunderstood me.

  87. Dan Dark

    Yep no probs Kaye it’s your blog/ site do what you like no skin off my nose, I was just commenting on your article that’s all and if you think I am wrong, that’s no probs either no skin off my nose their either, to cause no further disagreement, I won’t comment on you articles again no skin off my nose, I am not losing anything, but you need to look at how you respond to others comments it can be vicious at times and blinkered to favour your opinion only, and stuff everybody else’s opinion….

  88. abbienoiraude

    Some asked why there are so many older people, mainly women on ‘unemployment’ payments.
    “In the olden days” women’s work was considered of value; those who worked in the home, raised their children, volunteered their services to their communities, helped raise their grandchildren, nursed their older husbands as they became broken and ailing and raised money for charity organisations through their skills. Hence women ‘retired’ earlier aka got a govt pension to recognise their work and to recognise they usually married men older than themselves.
    Now the women I know who are 55-64 and are married to men who have retired and get full or part aged pensions are forced onto Newstart. To achieve their little bit of income they must do charity/volunteer work so many hours a week in a ‘recognised’ organisation. They (having had no income of their own) are caring also for aging partners, grandchildren, the lonely ( Meals on Wheels now defunded) and those they know trying to stay in their own homes.
    So while they await the aging process to ‘catch up’ with their husbands, they are taken away from ‘duties’ they were doing to fulfill Centrelink ( aka The Governments) requirements, hence adding to the number of ‘unemployed’.

    Two women I know personally are counting down till they can ‘retire’ ( ie achieve access to age pensions).
    One has to wait till she is 61, the other till she is 65 1/2 whilst their husbands have had by passes, complex medical problems and need their wives support and help.
    It is exhausting. The last thing most of them want or need is to ‘get a job’ when they feel they already have one ( well more than one) and are working hard. They are not part of the ‘Grey Nomads’ rich enough to travel around Australia. They are women with a value system that is no longer recognised.

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