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Government Welfare Spin Draws Community Outrage

MARCH AUSTRALIA Media Release, 30 June 2015

A Daily Telegraph article on social welfare (“Australia’s welfare bill to top $190b with taxpayers funding 240 million payments a year” by Daniel Meers, 29/06/15) has been condemned as misleading by the March Australia people’s movement.

“It’s spin, pure and simple” said March Australia volunteer Loz Lawrey. “This is a public relations exercise designed to belittle and demonise welfare recipients, portraying the most struggling and disadvantaged in our community as lazy cheats stealing hard-earned tax dollars. You’ll notice the author didn’t consult any welfare recipients for their view on things. Instead he publishes the opinion of a small business owner who owns an investment property. The man works in public relations. What would he know about welfare delivery?”

Mr. Lawrey said that Work For The Dole programs are a poor substitute for job creation.

“Of course business people love the idea of using workers on slave labour rates. But it’s sheer lunacy to suggest that making people work for less than the cost of living will lead to any sport of future job prospects, prosperity or economic growth. Let’s face it, it’s not getting them back into real work on a living wage, it’s a form of punishment. I’m no expert, I’m just a concerned Australian but even I can see that the Abbott government is selling out its own citizens and trying to create a much bigger underclass of working poor than we already have in this country. They want a two-tiered economy.”

Mr. Lawrey pointed out that the facts and figures in the article were presented in a way that exaggerated the impact of social security on the economy.

“A certain percentage of our national expenditure has always gone to caring for those who need help. In the 2014 – 15 budget it’s listed as 35.1%. In 2002 it was as high as 42%. What’s the problem?” he said. “Scott Morrison and the Murdoch media are over-egging the omelette and it smells very similar to that so-called budget emergency – there one minute, gone the next. Portraying welfare as an impending economic disaster is another misrepresentation intended to soften the electorate up for more harsh spending cuts. This is yet another attempt to distract Australians for this government’s record of economic policy failure.”

Mr Lawrey said that the Abbott government’s rhetoric around welfare was dismissive and judgmental. “When Scott Morrison uses terms like ‘a tougher welfare cop on the beat’ he implies that all people receiving assistance are cheats who rort the system. People on welfare are being scapegoated. Welfare is not a dirty word, as the minister implies, and we need to face the fact that there will never be full employment. We will always have sick, disabled and elderly people in our society who need help and support. To deny them that would make us a mean, self-centred nation. Is that really who we are?”

March Australia is holding the National Welfare March in several locations over the weekend of 11-12 July.

Details at www.marchaustralia.com

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  1. Mark

    It used to be called social security. Soon after Howard got elected, we started to hear the American term “welfare” more and more.
    I prefer social security.

  2. Kaye Lee

    Australia spends 19.5% of our GDP on social welfare, whereas some European countries like France and Belgium spend upwards of 30% of their GDP on the welfare system.

    Australia ranks 25th of 30 countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development with data available in terms of expenditure for unemployment.

    The largest slice of our welfare payments goes towards the age pension. According to OECD Pensions at a Glance 2013, Australia’s public spending on the age pension is much lower than pension spending in Europe.

    Australia spends 3.5% of GDP on the age pension, while Italy spends 15%, France spends 14% and the United Kingdom spends 6%.

    Australia is one of two OECD countries (the other being New Zealand) that do not levy social security taxes.

  3. Lee

    Let’s be like the United States of Arserica, where people work 2 or 3 jobs and still aren’t earning a living wage.

  4. i have a nugget of pure green


    Social security, the reason and the result in one.

    We are constantly told the best welfare is a job, well, why do this government insist on policy settings that:

    a) reduce demand through poor consumer sentiment which reduces jobs

    b) reduce the amount of funds that are spent by the poorest (who spend it all) that supports economic activity which reduces jobs.

    There is a difference between “either you can employ me or someone else will” and “you can take the job or someone else will”.

  5. Lee

    Because it provides an opportunity for employers to then screw employees. When people are desperate for a job and they’re in short supply, they won’t make demands for reasonable conditions.

  6. Rosemary (@RosemaryJ36)

    If someone is unemployed it is surely because there either is no job available at all or the only ones on offer require skills that the person lacks. ERGO: provide the skills.
    If someone is paid an artificially low wage that person will only be able to buy the bare necessities of life and that is not good for business which needs customers.
    And paying money to a business which makes a profit out of “helping” people find jobs is crazy. The more jobless individuals on their list the better off they are.
    Am I mad or is the government?

  7. iggy648

    My age pension is NOT bloody welfare. I have paid for it over a lifetime of paying taxes. It is EXACTLY the same as superannuation payments now, except it went to the Government and not private companies.

  8. Lee

    Ah.. but if the government provides Australian workers with skills, then their wealthy mates can’t get skilled migrants and rip them off. Australian workers know their rights, migrants often don’t so it’s easier to screw them. Plus, this area of the employment sector is largely self-regulated – including some very unethical operators.

    Job agencies have defrauded the government of millions of dollars (approx $12 million from memory), by falsely claiming that they found jobs for people who actually found their own jobs. They pretend to help others that they have secretly placed in the too-hard basket, without the unemployed person’s knowledge of this. Four Corners ran a story on it a couple of months ago. The biggest fraudsters were church-run employment agencies. Surprise, surprise! They’ve paid the money back but no charges were laid for intentional fraud and forging signatures. Compare that to the action taken against Peter Slipper for less than $1,000 worth of cab charge vouchers.

  9. keerti

    and middleclass/upperclass welfare…..Otherwise known as negative gearing……adjusting your finances at age 60 so that a couple can retire. the oldest one gets a pension for both, then they collect and live on the youngest ones super when he/she turns sixtyfive. i know a couple doing this. Strangely enough they have been whining about welfare beneficiaries for years. Then there is poli-filching of the system …..collecting allowancrs for staying in wifies house, probably bought for that exact purpose.

  10. Kaye Lee

    Marxists see the conflict between the bourgeoisie (those that own the means of production) and the proletariat (those who sell their labour) as crucial to the maintenance of capitalism. Its function is to create an obedient, docile, uncritical workforce who will work to support the upper-class’s lifestyle and the economy. Keeping wages low, or debt pressure high, means workers will be less likely to complain or make demands. As workers struggle to provide their families with all the temptations that a capitalist society offers, they become far less likely to risk their employment, and less able to improve their situation. Even in the unlikely event that an opportunity for advancement should arise, it would often mean abandoning family and friends in order to pursue it. These factors, along with a tendency to marry within one’s own circle, combine to make movement between social classes difficult.

  11. Lee

    Add to that the middle class who has been demonising welfare recipients, but now that their pension is being cut back because they have significant assets they are screaming.

  12. mmc1949

    How many jobs have gone off-shore in the last 1, 3, 5, 10 years?

  13. Kurt Brayford

    tradesman busted neck loosing the use of right arm,can not stand getting $400 every two weeks when i normally earn that in a day,yer and i want to be unemployed……….(thats sarcasm for people who cant tell)

  14. eli nes

    For years I have been writing on facebook and to the papers that all Australian politician’s diaries should be on a website with their previous month’s daily activities, all meetings and phone calls, who. where, duration and all travel paid for by tax payer.
    If sensitive for security then generic terms would suffice but the other 3 conditions should be published.
    It will be no surprise to any of you, that far no pollies have replied and no murdoch paper has printed.

  15. Florence nee Fedup

    I see handouts to low income families as a benefit to employers. Enables those on low incomes to put roof over their heads, clothes on their backs and food in their stomachs

    Take pressure off seeking higher wages.

    I see it as a productivity measure, not welfare.

    Society benefits from our tightly targeted welfare system. Not only the unlucky recipients.

  16. Thom Starling

    To understand how this demonization of welfare recipients has come about one first of all has to realize that we do not live in a democracy. Over the last 30 years the political rhetoric has transformed from what can be done for the people to what do we need to do for the economy, we now live in the Capitalist dream of an economocracy which allows the demonization of all those who do not add to the economy, basically any individual who receives government assistance in the form of welfare or use public services like health and education without paying the market price for them, while simutaneously lauding Corporations, banks and business as economic contributors, maybe in the deluded misconception that one day the trickle down effect will actually come into play. Over the last 30 years Multinationals and the Corporate media have effectively managed to privatize democracy with the result that most western governments are now part of the global Neo-con movement working together to promote Corporate agendas with things like the TPP and the attempt to neuter environmental groups and state funded media. It has become profitable to own democracy.

  17. Damo451

    I guess given that most welfare is spent on essentials like food ,then Coles and Safeway are really the biggest welfare recipients.
    Followed closely by our politicians ,who are quite obviously self employed ( working for themselves ) and still getting thousands of dollars a week in welfare from the taxpayer.
    I am looking forward to Greece pulling this whole disgraceful fascist economic system down around us , so the bullshit TPP and all the other corrupt trade agreements in the world mean nothing .
    Then ,and only then ,will we have the chance to rebuild a fairer and more social economic system

  18. Peter F

    It is a simple fact that if there were 800.000 job advts and 140,000 workers looking for work, wages would go sky high. With those figures reversed the opposite is the result, and this is what Abbott and his ‘adults’ want.

  19. Matthew

    treasury forecasts rising unemployment for the foreseeable future, technological unemployment is forecast to compound this problem if the unemployment issue did get resolved and unemployment fell below the reserve banks limits that estimate wages pressure interest rates rise to correct the situation i.e. force unemployment on people.

    If unemployment is a problem why do we have mechanisms built in to increase unemployment during times of high employment?

    The system is broke when your lower mortgage repayments require people to be unemployed.

  20. townsvilleblog

    If not for welfare the nation would starve, we could always hit up the employers for a huge pay rise and close the nation down until we got one if you would prefer Tone, but then you would call us nasty names wouldn’t you?

  21. Keitha Granville

    Unemployment is about to skyrocket with the influx of slave labourers from China who will be brought here to replace skilled Australian electricians, carpenters, joiners, plumbers and any other trade you can think of. We are rapidly joining the USA as a country where people will be expected to work for $5 an hour with no conditions, or else no job.
    Forget welfare, it won’t exist if this mob is voted in at the next election. They will gradually phase most of it out. Like the USA. Nothing.
    Don’t say you weren’t warned.

  22. tjandamurra

    Remember, Gina Rhinehart wanted us to work for $2 per day. With the slaves from China coming to replace the local slaves, working conditions are going to be driven down even more to the delight of the CMOIs in government and their backers/cronies. It is time for the slaves to start rebelling even more. They can’t manage to put us all in jail!

  23. Morpheus Being

    With the march of technology and worsening unemployment, IMHO we need to start looking at UBI. I am sure that it would be pretty close to revenue neutral and the effect of giving more money to those at the lower end of the food chain would bolster the profits and hence tax paid by those at the top end, assuming the CMOIs can collect the tax.

    For more information:
    * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_income
    * https://www.reddit.com/r/basicincome/wiki/index
    * https://www.reddit.com/r/BasicIncome/wiki/index#wiki_this_sounds_interesting._where_can_i_find_out_more.3F – more links to study

  24. jim

    The LP#^#%&%##FO Government = Welfare spin, Budget Spin, Leftist, Union Alp spinFO $80 MILLION FO for WHAT##FO, Security spin: , “we should all be VERY concerned because our front line police force is broken and Mrabbot is the only adult or knight who can fix this spin.jfo” Am I the only one in disbelief

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