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Joe Hockey, Welfare to Work and a pack of damn lies

While researching my forthcoming post ‘Keep your hands off the poor, Mr Hockey’ (in response to yesterday’s speech to the IPA where welfare cuts were flagged), I dug into my archives and came across this recent post exposing Joe Hockey’s contempt for the country’s disadvantaged. It should make a good prelude to my forthcoming topic. Keep it in mind.

But first …

It is hard to keep a lie hidden forever, especially if you don’t dust over its tracks. I’ve uncovered one from Joe Hockey. Not only was it a lie, but it was also an act of contempt from the Howard Government towards disadvantaged Australians, or indeed, all Australians.

The lie goes back awhile, back to the failed Welfare to Work (WtW) program introduced in 2005 to increase workforce participation among single parents, people with disabilities, and unemployed people aged over 50. I won’t bother with the finer details of the policy; it’s not important.

We didn’t hear much about WtW until March 2007; an election year. With the polls turning bad for Howard, success stories of the Government needed to be ‘put out there’. Apparently WtW was a great success according to Joe Hockey:

Welfare changes and a healthy job market are set to deliver the Federal Government a $500 million budget surprise this financial year as the number of people on income support payments falls faster than expected.

The Employment Minister, Joe Hockey, seized on the figures as evidence the Government’s controversial welfare and industrial relations changes were helping disadvantaged people find jobs.

Latest estimates by the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations [DEWR] show income support payments will cost $21.76 billion in 2006-07, down from the $22.28 billion estimated in last year’s budget.

The largest savings are coming from a lower than expected number of people on the disability support pension [DSP] under the welfare to work changes and falling dole payments to the unemployed.

Well that was a lie but the media brought it. Let’s look at the DSP numbers for, and surrounding, 2007. Here’s a summary:

DSP Population as at June

2006: 712,163

2007: 714,156

2008: 732,367

If the figures were going up, then what happened to the $500M that was meant to be saved?

The Howard Government wanted it for something else, hence the lie that it wasn’t needed under the WtW program. My source tells me that the Secretary of DEWR, Dr Peter Boxall, was instructed to take $750M from Newstart and DSP payments as it was needed elsewhere, with no explanation given. This infuriated Boxall (a Howard appointee), but he had no option other than to ‘find’ the money, however, could only come up with $500M. My informant attests that this demand came from the top, which could only mean Hockey or even Howard himself.

It was not a political move, although it is easy to assume it might have been given it was an election year. No, it was much more sinister than that.

In February 2007 the US Vice President, Dick Cheney visited Australia and Howard offered more support to the US to help with their war in Iraq. This is what Howard offered:

. . . a strengthening of . . . training effort comprising a dedicated logistics team of roughly 50 personnel, together with about 20 extra Army training instructors to work with the Iraqi Army.

And that, it is whispered, is where the money went. It was ripped away from needy Australians to help America with their war in Iraq. Aided, by the way, with a nice little terrorist alert around the same time to help cushion the blow; to win public support. A terrorist alert, I have on advice, that was fabricated for political gain.

‘Lying and contempt’ is the LNP modus operandi.

Keep this in mind when reading my next post.

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  1. dyoll09

    Concise, accurate, intelligent, informative, shit Michael you are bloody brill…

  2. helenmarg

    Inhumane no conscience.typical right wing .Excellent Michael again.Thank you.

  3. simonm01

    Good article, Honest John huh? And Honest Joe too .

    Typo in first sentence:

    ‘Keep your hands of the poor, Mr Hockey’ Should read ‘off’


  4. Michael Taylor

    Fixed. Oops. 😳

  5. Des Pensable

    Nice work , lets try and keep the bastards honest but I guess they’ll never change their spots.

  6. xiaoecho

    Jolly Joe Hockey has a dark dark shadow. Beware!

  7. silkworm

    what was the fabricated terrorist alert?

  8. Michael Taylor

    Silky, it coincided with the Cheney visit. Can’t say more.

  9. Crash Skeptic

    What silkwom said…

  10. Gilly

    In that case it was not fabricated.

  11. Crash Skeptic

    Michael Taylor wrote:

    Aided, by the way, with a nice little terrorist alert around the same time to help cushion the blow; to win public support. A terrorist alert, I have on advice, that was fabricated for political gain.

    Silky, it coincided with the Cheney visit. Can’t say more.

    Um, what do you mean you “can’t say more” ? This doesn’t make any sense.

    You are claiming a “terrorist alert” was fabricated to “win public support”. This would mean it would be on the public record. Or how on earth were we supposed to be duped by Howard’s machiavellian plan if we didn’t know about it….

    A simple link to a story will do….

  12. J.Fraser

    But…. but …….. but I cry every time Joe “don’t know” Hockey drags out his poor, down and out parents, whose real estate agents business was hit by receptionists getting pregnant and leaving.

    Those tears turn into an aqueduct when Joe “don’t know” Hockey tells the world that “entitlements” are over, finished, kaput.

    Thankfully Clive Palmer rides in to rescue the day by stating that billionaires are an endangered minority.

  13. Michael Taylor

    Some sources cannot be revealed.

    Cast your mind back a few years. You’ll find that there were many upgrades to security risks.

  14. Ricky (Tory Torcher)

    Great read Migs, well done.

  15. Crash Skeptic

    You’re not being asked to “reveal a source”. You’re being asked to point to an event that logically must have been published nationwide in order to “win public support” – and that we should already have heard of….

    How on earth does this endanger “your source” ?

  16. Min

    Crash you’re spot on, only your comment should have read “should have been published nationwide” rather than “must have”.

  17. Michael Taylor

    CS, I’ve told the facts. Whether you believe them or not is of no concern to me.

  18. Crash Skeptic

    Min, his specific words were “Aided, by the way, with a nice little terrorist alert around the same time to help cushion the blow; to win public support.” That means that either:
    a) it must have been published publicly. (And note: Michael is also suggestting “we cast our minds back a couple of yours” which also means it must be in the public domain.

    or b) Michael is getting a bit creative…. (He does seem to have a penchant for coming up with anonymous sources that amazingly seem to perfectly coincide with his articles and the opinion he’s trying to express.)

  19. Michael Taylor

    CS, if you can’t find it in the public domain, or it isn’t it the public domain, then that is no fault of mine. It should be there.

    I know the person I spoke to. You don’t. You can conjecture as much as you want. It will change nothing.

    BTW, do you apply the same amount of scrutiny on anything you read in the MSM? Or is it because I’m left-leaning?

  20. silkworm

    Cheney visited Oz in February 2007. Mohamed Haneef was arrested in July that year. It could be this that Michael is referring to. What Michael may then be inferring is that Haneef was arrested on trumped up charges. That is not news. It’s well known, though never admitted.

  21. Michael Taylor

    Thank you, Silkworm. It’s good to see that some people don’t have to have their information spoonfed to them. You obviously don’t belong to the rabid right. 😉

  22. silkworm

    Can I have an elephant stamp? 😀

  23. Roswell

    I vaguely remember all those heightened security alerts.

  24. 730reportland

    Welfare to Work IS a pack of damn lies Miglo
    Down on Struggle Street my friends and neighbor`s commonly call these schemes `ponzi-jobs` and `ponzi-employment`. The welfare mob send them to jobs that are NOT advertised and are a `special` arrangement between `welfare` and the companies. lt is more about corporate welfare than any `good` to the unemployed. These ponzi-jobs exist because `welfare` pays the `fake-workers` salary and a kick-back to the company. When the time-period and kick-backs dry up, so do the jobs. lt is about removing `numbers` from the unemployed data only. l can verify that the couple of dozen jobs that friends and neighbors have been sent to, the jobs have NOT been available to the general public and NOT advertised on either `seek` or `mycareer` sites, which are mirrors of newspaper data. Of course the person sent to these ponzi-jobs MUST accept them or they get a penalty from `welfare`.

  25. 730reportland

    Ponzi-jobs, the Howard regime did them, Joolya`s regime does them, and Mr-Rabbit will do them too `if` he wins. The unemployed numbers are fake because of ponzi-jobs.

    l would like to know what the kick-back$ are worth to the companies.

  26. Bob Evans

    Thankfully Clive Palmer rides in to rescue the day by stating that billionaires are an endangered minority.

    That’s one demographic that will never miss out on welfare and will always get the lions share.

  27. abbienoiraude

    How much did the bollards cost that Howard erected around the ‘People’s House’. He stopped visitors walking over Parliament House, which was the point of Burley Griffins design.

  28. Susan Jill Clohesy

    It was that other ugly bastard Rumsfeld who caused the lockdown of Adelaide. I lived on the same street as the airport and was gobsmacked by the number of police used to surround the mongrel as he went past. Gave him the finger salute though. Proud of that. If you haven’t read it, or you’ve forgotten, a read of Michael Moore’s Dude, Where’s My Country, plainly documents the gleeful support that Howard gave Bush. I have no doubt at all that your article is 100% correct Migs.

  29. Damo

    Well that was a lie but the media brought it… should read “bought it”

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