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How do you starve a region of jobs? Just vote LNP!

Most Australians want a good quality of life and a good standard of living. To achieve this, the availability of jobs in any region is essential. The Liberal National Coalition Government always, always claim to be the Party to look up to when it comes to jobs and business.

We see the main stream media support this claim with positive spin after positive spin in favour of the LNP or derogatory headlines and stories about Labor. I often wonder if there is a statue of Tony Abbott in the foyer of The Australian or a statue of Campbell Newman and Joh Bjelke-Petersen in the foyer of The Courier Mail; where journalists begin their day by bowing to these statues and vowing to serve them through the course of their duties. Then there are those in the voting public who believe what the Liberal National Coalition say about how they understand business and are great for jobs and repeat it without question.

If you are creating a wealth of jobs, jobseekers must be just lazy…right?

When the LNP believe that they indeed are the best party for jobs and business, it then leads to a false dichotomy that those on unemployment must simply be lazy and that they simply don’t try enough. Obviously the LNP are in charge, so of course there are plenty of jobs to apply for!

Based on this false dichotomy, the LNP’s approach to assisting the unemployed jobs is to starve community programs of funding and punish the hell out of jobseekers by implementing the worst jobseeker support program in Australia’s history “Job Active.” Commentary on social media welfare sites from program participants, suggests that Job Active agencies are more focused on who they can get to pull out weeds for free under Abbott’s work for the dole program, than any real constructive assistance.

Commentary and anecdotes on social media also point to a system where there is no money to assist jobseekers find real work and assistance for study is not supported (unless it is pointless in-house training). With the Newman Government’s changes to vocational education over the last three years coupled with the Abbott Government’s punitive Job Active program, Jobseekers living well below the poverty line must pay out of their own pocket up front costs or pay the course off, as there is no HECS or HELP deferral scheme for many vocational education courses. Those on welfare need to weigh up their options between being able to afford food and housing or an education. As an Australian, I find this absolutely abhorrent and 100% unacceptable and this destroys this our way of life.

The Palaszczuk Labor Government has just delivered their first budget by Treasurer Curtis Pitt and have invested 34 Million to begin the repair of our vocational sector and TAFE, to provide real training options for jobseekers. I hope that this will be extended to ensure affordable access for everyone who has the right to an education, including those on welfare payments.

Sadly, also on social media you read the stories of many jobseekers who are anxious, depressed, frustrated, upset and at times indirectly or directly discussing suicide or ‘not living anymore’ as an option. This is how they are feeling as jobseekers under the Job Active program. Some of the comments I have read and the stories collected by the Australian Unemployment Union are absolutely heartbreaking.

Nothing like a bit of stigma to get those jobseekers moving…

To degrade the unemployed even further, in some towns like mine you are given a Basic’s card. Welfare recipients are given a cashless card and a small amount of cash. This leaves the jobseeker with very little real money to make purchasing decisions with. The Basics Card also seeks to stigmatise the jobseeker by giving them their own identifier which allows every shop assistant and member of the public at the checkout know that they are on welfare.

Couple this with the rhetoric that comes from the agenda of stigmatisation from the Liberal Government such as backbencher Ewen Jones who said: “look there’s your dole, go home, eat Cheezels, get on the Xbox, kiss you goodbye and we will never see you again’?” Add the sensationalisation of welfare recipients on television and so called ‘current affairs shows’; welfare recipients using a basic card, will be seen automatically by some as no good, lazy, bludging welfare thieves. Terminology used by many avid Liberal supporters which places those on welfare in a criminal category. Welfare recipients are not often seen as human beings who desperately want and actively seek work.

There is absolutely no option for those on welfare to blend in or not stand out as a recipient of welfare. This completely undermines the right to dignity and respect without judgement for so many Australians. Under the LNP their reasoning is to shame you into finding a job every time you stand at the checkout. The other misunderstanding about the Basic’s card, is that it is available everywhere. There are only a small number of shops and services which allow purchase with a basics card. This often forces the jobseeker, living below the poverty line, to spend money at more expensive stores. In some towns, they have no options at all. This places pressure on their already meagre budget.

So lets see….who should really be punished. Is it the jobseeker or the Government? I have completed an analysis of job vacancies in my local area of Central Queensland to find out.

Where have all the jobs gone…Long time passing

The availability of jobs is essential to a productive economy and enables the unemployed to actively apply for employment. Plentiful job vacancies also enable career development for the employed looking for jobs to advance their career. This opens up lower level jobs for others to apply for. In many cases, highly skilled workers are stuck at the lower end of their professions and not moving on as there are no jobs available to apply for. This puts a constraint on jobseekers seeking entry level jobs. It also puts a constraint on highly skilled jobseekers who also find themselves in the employment queue and now find themselves pulling weeds under work for the dole.

The graph below is job vacancy data for Central Queensland from March, 2012 to January 2015 of the Newman LNP Government and the new Labor Government from Feb 2015 to May 2015. This is where the data availability ceases. There is no data available after May, 2015, but I will be providing follow ups as it comes to hand. (you can click the photo to enlarge). I have completed an analysis on Central Queensland for two reasons. One is, it is the area I live in and I am very passionate about Central Queensland and the second is to bring some truth to light about how the Newman Govt affected regional areas. Many believe that due to the Public Service cuts and media around protests, it was mainly Brisbane which had felt the impact. This is not so.

job vacancy growth decline blog

Some Interesting Facts that may get the way of a good LNP Yarn.

Interesting Fact Number 1.

An analysis of job vacancy data for the period of the LNP Newman Government shows a dramatic decline of job vacancies for Central Queensland. Data available up until May, 2015 shows that in the first four months of the LNP Newman Government, Central Queensland Job vacancies declined by 378 vacancies. After one year of the Newman Government, there were 1781.7 less job vacancies for Central Queenslanders to apply for. By the end of the Newman Government, there were 2198 less job vacancies advertised in CQ than when the LNP took office.

By comparison, in the first five months of the Palaszczuk Labor Government, Job Vacancies have turned around and job vacancies have increased by 218 jobs for the CQ region in this short time.

Interesting Fact Number 2.

The sharpest decline in job vacancies for any month-to-month period was the period of November to December 2012, which saw a 16% decline in one month for Job Vacancies for CQ jobseekers, under the LNP.

In comparison, the Palaszczuk Labor Government has achieved the highest increase of job vacancies for any month-to-month period for the CQ Region, over the last three years. For the period from February to March 2015, Job Vacancies in Central Queensland saw a sharp increase of 16%. This is the highest job vacancy increase for any month-to-month period, since March 2012. In a few short months, the Labor Government has achieved what the Newman Government could not achieve in their entire period in office. That is, “to understand business and create jobs” This is an absolute positive and speaks volumes of the quality of MPs within the Palaszczuk Government. The graph below shows only job classifications with an increase of 20 job vacancies or more. This is not an exhaustive list.

increase Labor feb march

Interesting Fact Number 3

During the period of the LNP Campbell Newman Government, job vacancies in Central Queensland declined by 56%. To put this in real terms, that is 2198 job vacancies not open for Central Queenslanders to apply for under the LNP. The graph below demonstrates the top 15 job classifications which experienced a decline in job vacancies over the period of the Newman LNP Government. The only job classification which experienced an increase in job vacancies under the Newman Government were: Farmers and Farm manager (0.9 increase); Carers and Aides (9.2) Education Professionals (12.2 increase) and Medical Practitioners and Nurses (12.8 increase) These figures are raw numbers, not percentages. If we look at the success of the Newman Government for Central Queensland, their achievement is basically an increase of 35 job vacancies across four job classifications, and a decline in all other job vacancies for their entire period in Government.

job vacancy decline newman

Interesting Fact Number 4

In the first four months of the Newman Govt, job vacancies in Central Queensland fell by 10%. In the first four months of the Palaszczuk Govt Jobs vacancies in central QLD increased by 13%

Are Jobseekers as Lazy as the LNP Claim them to be and should they be punished?

The term LNP has been used interchangeably throughout this post, meaning the Liberal National Coalition State and Federal. The LNP use a synthesis of blame and stigma to take the focus off their failings. The LNP repeat the misguided rhetoric that they are ‘good for jobs’ without question and place blame on everyone else, including the unemployed. As the data analysis of Job Vacancies for one area in Queensland show, the Abbott Government’s punitive approach is completely uncalled for. The harsh welfare measures implemented do nothing but feed into the Abbott Government’s agenda of Stigmatisation of those on welfare. Why? Because there are no better votes for the LNP those those created out of hate, disgust and fear.

My Conclusion? If you want to starve a region of jobs. Want to punish the unemployed unnecessarily – Just vote for a Liberal National Government!

Stay tuned for more analysis drilled down on specific classifications and other nerd-filled data excitement!

Originally posted on Polyfeministix

20 comments

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  1. David

    What a nice undergraduate attempt. I would’ve graded it a High Distinction, however, it lacks impartiality and objectivity, as well as omitting important contributing residual economic factors from the Beattie-Bligh/Rudd-Gillard-Rudd years. The data illustrated are a valiant attempt to justify your arguments, despite their questionable nature and lack of citation.
    I’ll therefore give you a credit for encouragement but strongly recommend that in future you write about facts and not fiction.
    Sincerely, your lecturer/unit co-ordinator

  2. Trish Corry

    Hi David. This is a blog, not a journal, nor an academic paper of any sort. The data is Government job vacancy data available to the public. As in all things academia, I look forward to your paper refuting my analysis.

  3. Matters Not

    David re your comment:

    write about facts

    Could you as a self described ‘lecturer/unit co-ordinator’ provide a definition of a ‘fact’ including necessary and sufficient conditions?

    If not then why not?

    Just askin …

  4. nowun

    David please go troll somewhere else, your LNP bias is showing through in your comment. Go back to reading your Murdoch biased crappy rag.

  5. i have a nugget of pure green

    I am wondering what the wealth-disparity data over the same period is.

    Generally, the LNP core constituency is over 60, the wealthy, big business

    If so, consider this.

    The current over 60’s will inevitably decline in numbers
    A greater % of total wealth is being concentrated in hands of the few
    Big Business is generally overseas owned.
    People vote on their affinity with the ideology of a party.

    If only a limited number of people benefit from the LNP being in power, would there only be a limited level of support for the party?

    Does this make the ideology self-defeating?

    Or is it dependent upon deception in the “age of information” for its continuance?

  6. Trish Corry

    I’ve thought this too and I conceded defeat in the argument. Apparently our ideology changes over time. I can’t see mine ever changing. On a personal I really hope ur right but apparently there is a saying. If u don’t vote liberal by 50 you haven’t made it in life. Wtf right!

  7. townsvilleblog

    Trish, I sincerely hope Central Queensland reverts back to Labor at the coming election, with you at the helm.

  8. townsvilleblog

    the saying is “if you haven’t voted Liberal by the age of 50, you haven’t got a conscience”, “if you haven’t voted Labor by the age of 50, you haven’t got a heart.” I have never voted Liberal and I’m closing in on 60 and I have no intention of breaking my perfect history. Labor has gone far too far to the right wing of politics for me so these days I vote The Greens 1, Labor 2 so Labor ends up with the vote, but not the first preference.

  9. i have a nugget of pure green

    Hi Trish,

    It is hoped that peoples ideologies do change over time, otherwise it implies a lack of growth.

    It is also acknowledged that as people age, they have tended to vote more conservatively.

    However, it must be stated that the current incarnation of the LNP are more regressive than conservative, more totalitarian than liberal.

    Gen X onwards have lived the impacts neo-liberal policies and globalisation, heard the promises made about both and witnessed the disparity with the reality within the context of looming multiple crises that are the result of continuing to adhere to them.

    The old wisdoms are contested on a daily basis in these interesting times.

    Perhaps the same attributes successful in business are a natural home for the LNP. A certain ruthless, cunning, doing what it takes, the ends justifies the means and never give a sucker an even break approach would take you far in both arenas.

    Neither makes for good government.

  10. Trish Corry

    I’m not interested in being a politician. I’d love to be a researcher for one though esp senate. We won Keppel back off Newman and now the fight is on for Capricornia

  11. Trish Corry

    I personally look forward to the next hippy era. Good points

  12. Harquebus

    For more jobs, growth and welfare, we need cheap and abundant energy. Since we don’t have any and not ever likely to, what else have you got?

  13. Mercurial

    I can assure you Trish there are no statues of Abbott or Newman in the foyers of the Courier Mail or The Australian. There’s no room to put them, what with all the statues of Chairman Rupert already there. It would also create a problem if there were: bowing before Abbott’s likeness might be seen as offensive and disrespectful to the old man who really holds the power.

  14. Trish Corry

    Haha so true

  15. Mercurial

    I must go against the trend, IHANOPG. As I get older I seem to be becoming even more of a lefty. It just seems so natural to want to support my fellow human being, and not drag them down just so I can stand on them and be a little higher.

  16. Trish Corry

    Same especially once I turned 40 I wanted to really make a difference. Sick of disadvantaged and marginalised getting a raw deal

  17. Lizzie

    Same here Trish. Turning 40 for me wasn’t about running off with the pool boy but an awakening to what is actually going on in the world. My experience stems from growing up under Thatcher’s reign of terror and the devastation that caused a nation. I was saddened to read about David Cameron and his campaign to undermine the BBC. I am very fearful that what we’re witnessing is an extreme right-wing ideology on a global scale. It looks like they’re all singing off the same hymn sheet! I think if people don’t start coming together, we’re going to be in a whole world of trouble – literally!

  18. Trish Corry

    I think you are pretty much spot on there. I was devastated when Labor lost in England. I honestly thought Miliband was one of the greatest leaders we may ever see. Not everyone shares my opinion, but I am really disappointed he didn’t get that chance.

  19. diannaart

    The very first and last time I voted for Liberals was when I was a callow child of 19, at least I have learned. The last time I voted for Labor was in 1999 for Steve Bracks. He did keep most of his promises – one of which was to redress the blatant punishment by Kennett of public servants who had the temerity to remain in the CPSU. Didn’t fully back date the pay increases that were owing… but he did help a bit.

    Since then I have voted independent and/or Greens – I select according to policies presented. These policies need to offer more for people than mere ideology. They must redress the discrimination against public schools for private, they are genuinely concerned about climate change and have policies to support this overwhelming concern, they care about marginalised people; offering help rather than blame.

    As I have stated before, I will happily vote Labor when they provide something more than lipservice (at best) and copy-cat policies of the LNP, at worst.

  20. totaram

    Trish: “I was devastated when Labour lost in England. I honestly thought Miliband was one of the greatest leaders we may ever see.”

    Nothing to do with “leaders”. Labour lost in England because they were unable to clear their minds of the Blairite Kool-Aid about “fiscal responsibility” which is just erroneous neo-liberal macro-economic rubbish as made famous by the Chicago school of economists and promoted by the financial elites, who benefit from the “austerity” required to “repair budgets”. If Labour were also going to do “austerity” why would anyone vote for them, when the tories were “doing austerity” anyway?

    Watch how the publicly owned assets are stripped from Greece at rock-bottom prices by these same elites as they recoup their “debts”. I think you have written a good article regarding unemployment and job-seekers. But you do need to understand a bit more about macro-economics, particularly for sovereign nations that issue their own freely floating currency. Start here. It’s free.

    http://moslereconomics.com/wp-content/powerpoints/7DIF.pdf

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