“We want to send a very clear message that we want you in work when you are job-ready, that you don’t have the option of walking from the school gate to the front door of the Centrelink office. This document is not an Ikea catalogue to go shopping for benefits. That’s not what it is. What this is is a schedule of benefits and payments that are there to help people in need and who need that help from the Australian taxpayer.”
Scott Morrison, Minister for Social Services
Now, I’ve had a look at the IKEA catalogue, and if anyone was using it to shop for benefits then they’re clearly looking in the wrong place. The IKEA catalogue does tell us at the start that it’s “WHERE THE EVERDAY BEGINS AND ENDS”, but it doesn’t list any Centrelink benefits at all, which makes me wonder why on earth Mr Morrison would think that anyone would fhink of his document and IKEA in the same breath. And most IKEA products come in big flat boxes which you have to put together yourself using an alllen key, unlike Centrelink benefits which are for people who never do anything for themselves. In fact, that’s why I found his concern that people might walk from the school gate to Centrelink a little puzzling, surely the bludgers he’s targetting would be too lazy to walk anywhere, so I really don’t see that at a likely problem.
Although the IKEA catalogue did promise: “Smart furniture to make work a little easier”, while the current government seems to think that work should be hard and finding it should be easy. As Morrison told the unemployed: “You can’t wait around for the dream job you may want if you want to get a welfare benefit”, adding that people should take anything that’s available, because, after all, he wasn’t sponging on the taxpayer and he’d taken on the job of Social Services Minister when he’s really much rather be PM, but because it was there, he took it.
Because it’s only the undeserving that Mr Morrison was talking about in relation to a four week waiting period. He went on to point out exemptions to the four week waiting period:
“Waiting period exemptions
- former carers of people with a disability
- people recently released from prison or psychiatric facilities
- young people who are unable to live at home
- young people with undiagnosed mental illness
- young refugees and migrants
- people with a disability
- pregnant women in the final six weeks of pregnancy
- parents who are the primary carer”
So you can’t walk from the school gate to Centrelink, but you can go from prison. I guess that makes sense because you wouldn’t want an ex-felon unable to feed themselves for four weeks.
Still, of all the exemptions, I find the fourth one the most intriguing and I must source it from a more credible source than the ABC website. So young people with an “undiagnosed” mental illness qualify for an exemption … So, if it’s “undiagnosed”, how do Centrelink determine whether or not they have a mental illness apart from the obvious Catch-22 that anyone willingly going to a Centrelink office (including the staff) must have a desire for self harm? And if Centrelink determine that they have one, does that mean that it’s now “diagnosed” and therefore makes the young person ineligible for an exemption?
Ok, it was probably meant to be diagnosed, but with this government one can never be sure. At least, IKEA products come with instructions of how to put things together even if they are hard to follow. And because you saw the product in the store, you know that there is a way to put it together so that it functions.
Unlike the Abbott Government.
Yeah, I suspect that the voters just presumed that when they took it out of that flat box labelled “We’ll fix the debt by eliminating two great big taxes”, someone else would put things together and it’d all be ok. They just didn’t expect nearly two years after the election, Abbott, Hockey et al would be complaining that it was Labor’s fault because they were the ones who lost the allen key.
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