“I could live on 40 bucks a day knowing that the Government is supporting me with Newstart looking for employment.”
Julia Banks on ABC, 02/05/18
Well, it’s certainly good to know that Ms Banks won’t be relying on anything more than the Newstart allowance when she’s out of work after the next election. Or perhaps she meant that she could live on forty bucks a day while the Government supports her to look for a new job in the next few weeks while they parachute Geogina Downer into her seat. (Remember you heard that here first!)
Apparently, Ms Banks thinks that increasing the Newstart allowance is socialism. Ok, while I may not be one of Milton Freidman’s strongest supporters, I’m not exactly someone who’s ever carried around Mao’s little red book. Just calling something “socialism” doesn’t close the argument for me. Sometimes socialism can work. You know, when it involves things like buying the Liddell Power Station even people like Tiny Abbott supports it. (The “Tiny” is a typo, so it’s not about balance and I don’t have to fix it. Besides I don’t work for the ABC so you can’t have a sook and make me apologise.)
Of course, it’s easy to live on forty bucks a day for some people. Take politicians, for example. Instead of wasting money on public transport fares like many of those spendthrifts on Newstart do, they save by taking a Commcar. Or, if you’re Bronwyn Bishop, a helicopter. Doesn’t cost them a cent. Unless you’re party leader says that you have to pay back the cost of the helicopter flight, which I understand takes a large chunk out of your $40 for that day.
Similarly, instead of wasting money by renting a room, then you can just sleep in your office. Or, if you’re leader of a party, who’s been thrown out of home by your wife, you can stay at a townhouse rent free. More money saved. And, of course, you can always save money on food and drinks by offering to open the odd building or two. There’s usually free nibbles and wine.
So when your average politician says that he or she could live on $40 a day, it’s probably no challenge at all. However, the average person on Newstart doesn’t have access to a chauffeur driven car. Yes, I know that this will be a shock to some of you who vote Liberal, but it’s actually true. Not only that, but they don’t even have an office to sleep in, let alone a friend with a spare townhouse. Of course, there’s no reason why they couldn’t offer to cut the ribbon when the Rossleigh Brisbane Arts Centre is opened. However, I suspect that this building isn’t on the current government’s agenda so this strategy for a free meal won’t be a goer in the foreseeable future.
No, when the average person ends up on Newstart they can’t resort to the same money-saving measures as politicians. Unemployed people would probably find that they can’t actually live on Newstart. So what do the Liberals expect them to do?
Yep, I know. The Liberals expect them to sell their BHP shares or to liquify one of their negatively geared properties. After all, weren’t we being told that most negative gearing was being done by low-income earners?