Operation Reducing The Welfare of Our Nation
Now, some people are complaining about the Abbott Government’s latest attempt to help the unemployed find work arguing that working 25 hours a week for $250 dollars is less than the minimum wage, and that forty applications is excessive.
Forty applications a month. That’s only two a day right? So if one sends them by mail, that’s only a bit over a dollar which leaves plenty of change from your $36 a day. And public transport is very cheap, so attending your work-for-the-dole scheme will hardly cost you anything.
Remembering that there’s a six month waiting period for those under 30 where they’re still expected to meet the work test, I do concede that the price of postage may be a bit hard for those who aren’t receiving anything yet, but perhaps the Abbott Government could introduce some sort scheme along the lines of HECS where they can have their postage and stationery costs paid for up front, and pay back the loan when they hit the dole “jackpot” (as one Murdoch paper referred to unemployment benefits.)
But if you think you can get around this by using technology think again. As The (Un)Australian tells us.
UNEMPLOYED people will be penalised if they indiscriminately spam employers with applications rather than make genuine efforts to find work.
Jobseekers who do not use a range of job search techniques — or approach a range of would-be employers — will face compliance, said a spokesman for Assistant Minister for Employment Luke Hartsuyker.
This may include financial penalties or payment suspensions. Under the new employment services 2015 model, which will compel jobseekers to apply for 40 jobs a month, providers will be able to initiate compliance actions against those whose efforts are clearly unsatisfactory or non-genuine.
Unemployed people can use technology to make jobseeking more efficient, but may be penalised if it can be shown that their use of technology is not part of a genuine effort to find work.
Tony Abbott said small business should want jobseekers knocking at their door, responding to complaints from business that new requirements will be too onerous.
So there you have it. If you don’t apply for jobs, you have your benefit cut. But if you do, and you don’t use a range of methods, you have your benefit cut. If you’re under 30, every six months you have your benefit cut. That’s providing that you prove that you spent the previous six months looking for a job, rather than food and shelter. If you’re on a disability pension, it’s better if you can be moved on to unemployment benefits, because then we can cut your benefit without it sounding so bad. People who are in their sixties can have their benefit cut, and that won’t be breaking the promise about not cutting pensions.
And when you don’t apply for a job as a taxi driver because you can’t drive, we can cut your benefits because you’re being too fussy. And when you do apply for a job as taxi driver, we can cut your benefits because you’re just sending unrealistic job applications.
When the Liberals announced their intention to reduce welfare, most people presumed that they meant the second definition, but when it comes to less affluent Australians it’s starting to look more like the first.
- the health, happiness, and fortunes of a person or group..
- statutory procedure or social effort designed to promote the basic physical and material well-being of people in need.
P.S. On another note, the ABC fact checker announced that the the Government had only broken 9% of its promises. Mm, I wonder if some lawyer may try arguing that his client only broke into 9% of the houses in the town as a reason not to argue that he’s guilty of burglary. And I seem to remember that ONE so-called broken promise from 2010 was enough for some to argue that we needed a fresh election!
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The truly astounding thing about the Abbott government is its reliance on anecdote, to justify significant policy changes.
It really does my head in trying to make sense of Abetz & others attempt to explain what they are doing, and why they are doing it, when it is based on nothing more than their own perverted sense of the world. (The language around the Abbott governments attitude to ‘welfare’ is repugnant and truly insulting to a society seeking to be democratic, inclusive and egalitarian. Abetsz is deliberately seeking to be divisive and appeal to hate. I suspect the election campaign in 2016 will be especially ugly).
Surely, having evidence based policy in this day and age shouldn’t be such a radical method for governance.
By rights whatever information has been used to make this decision should be available to the public to scrutinise. Although, the 40 job applications per month might quietly get buried as industry groups think its a monumentally dumb idea.
It seems to me that the group who will benefit most from the 40 applications/week requirement is the job agencies – they’ll be licking their lips at the financial windfall. These job agencies must constitute one of the biggest scams in Australia – they are now a massive operation making millions by muddying the waters between jobseekers and employment. Many of these agencies are simply a scam designed to deflect legal liability from the employers. Job agencies are little more than ‘middlemen’ who need to find a job that actually produces something for the nation. It can easily be argued that they have done nothing for the employment rate in this country and serve only to reduce wages and force people to be traded like cattle/human resources.
Butt out and leave adults to have their own employment relationships.
I grew up in a strong labour party environment and developed an entitlement mentality. Having read the ideas of social engineers like Cloward and Piven I now have a clearer view of some of the dangers associated with the nanny-state mentality. Having said that I think a welfare safety net is a great idea but in tough economic times we need to be able to tend to our communities without leaning so heavily on governments. We can all do a little more to help our neighbours who may be struggling or looking for work.
Independence will always trump dependence.
It’s an article of faith of neo-classical/neo-liberal economics that unemployment is voluntary, a decision based on the dis-utility of employment compared with the utility of leisure.
Labour switches between work and leisure depending on the relative ‘price’.
Abetz’ new initiatives dramatically raise the ‘price’ of leisure.
If this creates one extra job we can have a ceremonial burning of Keynes’ “General Theory” for Keynes had this funny idea that employment was somehow connected to entrepreneur’s expectations and aggregate demand.
Lucky most of the 7 unemployed for every vacancy probably wouldn’t have read Keynes or they might get really cranky.
Having said that, there could be some growth in letter sorting at Australia Post, though not in delivery services, as employers have pretty much given up sending out those “on this occasion your application has been unsuccessful” style letters.
I grew up in a strong labour party environment and developed an entitlement mentality
Liberals heavyweights Michael Wooldridge and Peter Clarke face $200,000 fines over $33 million nursing home trust fee
You should’ve joined the Liberal Party then, Darrel.
Abetz said he believes in anecdotal evidence over research.
Thanks for your views and please note that my comments above were critical of both parties. I will not support either party because both are prepared to dictate to individuals – they both expect us to be subservient to them.
I am sure that you would not steal from your neighbour but both parties are comfortable stealing from Australians (compulsory taxes, fees, licenses etc.). I am sure that you would not kill a million Iraqis or spy on your own people but both major parties have promoted wars and spying on their own citizens. The two-party system offers two slightly different versions of the same authoritarian story. Many historians know that societies collapse when the citizens tolerate increasing corruption. Both parties have been caught in scandal time and time again for decades. Both parties serve the special corporate interests. I won’t be sucked into the hegellian dialectic. So many sectors of our community (farming, aged care, hospitals, schools, environment, food, legal, domestic violence, etc.) are a shambles and both parties have engineered the situation although neither party takes responsibility – this is their nature.
Many of the politicians at the lower levels are good people but the system has been hijacked in a coup by the special interests.
“Keynes had this funny idea that employment was somehow connected to entrepreneur’s expectations and aggregate demand.”
Yeah, how crazy was that! 😉
ABC has has the shackles applied, not only to reporting but to fact check as well, had to laugh when they said only 6 lies, the NBN is classified as work in progress, how can it be work in progress the promise was for a faster, quicker built system, promise to deliver 25Mbps to all households by 2016 and 100Mbps bu 2019, al was also fully tested and costed, now it is a mix of technologies with no promise of speeds, only $1 billion cheaper than fibre to the home, and a completion time yet to be finalised, but rough figures say 2019, but then they haven’t tested all copper, which will need to be replaced or offer fibre to the home.
Work in progress my arse, broken promise more like it, lie number 7, the same goes for pensions, the promise was no change, marked as work in progress, they have changed the pension, broken promise, lie number 8, shall we continue.
@ darrel (re your first post). Ignore the length of this post – sometimes I just enjoy seeing where thoughts lead.
In relation to job agencies, I am of a similar opinion. The SMH let me post this yesterday.
Dear Private Employment Agency,
I’m currently a senior banker earning 350k per annum.
Dudes, while I love my job as a ticket clipper, with the money you’ll be racking in in regards commissions, I have decided to quit and change career paths. It is such a great opportunity that have been created for people like me.
If you have a place for a brilliant ticket clipper, I’m your man. I can presently do anything with made up stats, and I’m sure pretending to help the unemployed will be similar.
By the way, I am a Catholic and a member of the Institute of Public Affairs, so I expect a good showing with this application.
[Butt out and leave adults to have their own employment relationships]
I just feel you are taking it a bit too far. My disgust is about its unnecessary expansion via Howard and now Abbott.
While it would be great if we could do as you’d desire, government services do need to be provided.
Just the old CES with better customer focus and a strong website based system. Generic job support advice given in group settings. Educational advice, course enrolment for long term unemployed and gov/insurance payments made by specialist units. I’d privatise the disabilities employment domain as more intense assistance is required.
The world has changed from what was possible once, ain’t no going back unless you go back in a bad way. The nature of evolution is that when you gain new or expand existing abilities you often lose function in others. Evolution has a large element of devolution. Alas, we can’t have everything. Technological development is evolution of the human species. With our population explosion comes the negative of decreased individual ability to do things independently.
As technology has lessened the harms that nature – including to a fair degree our harms of our own nature – inflicts upon us there is less need to be strong. The everyday causes that would make a person stronger, as in an ability to personally provide all that they require to survive, are miniscule relative to the non-recent past.
Technology, via productivity, has also made us have a need to do something, you only need so many factory workers, so we provide services. Unfortunately, they are mostly ever increasingly specialised (read bland and unfulfilling) services.
You need government employment services for the more weakened, the more dependent. You have to break the bogan cycle and other forms of self-absorbed parents, whom teach their kids little, before you will have young who don’t need eternal support to get jobs.
The scam is the excessiveness of the support, who is providing that support, and unnecessarily forcing people to it, upon which we agree.
In relation to your libertarian views. Nah. Though they are appealing, I find them impractical. I actually want govs to provide organisational control. The libertarian group of people contains too many predators,who just wish to experience the thrill of the kill, the use of others for their ego sustenance. Abbott types. Pity about that, as I do think tough love is required more often. Lol, I’d sent the long term unemployed on living skills and exercise boot camps to get them to experience a different and challenging environment.
With regard the 2 party system. Don’t disagree, but it does seem like human nature to do things at the micro levels that result in this macro outcome. We like to take sides, and two sides is most simple to encapsulate.
@ Darrel Nay. While I agree with you in most respects, I made the horrid mistake last election of also not voting for either Labor or Liberal. I didn’t like either of the leaders one bit ( in fact I personally think it was Rudd who more than helped Abbott into his current position ). I later found out that the parties I did vote for – honest, good folk – had given their preferences to Abbott. I was displeased, then at Budget time in May, absolutely appalled. We are given about a metre of white paper for the H of R, with little boxes up the top to ‘tick’ rather than go through every partys’ preferences. I guess that’s to eliminate massive queues outside the voting booths, while people inside laboriously go through who is giving what to whom ? I cannot recall ever seeing a smaller party, showing – on their hand-out pamphlets on polling day, anything remotely to do with who their preferences go to. Those pamphlets are usually stating their objectives. I might be wrong, and stand to be corrected – if anyone can enlighten me ?
Be very very careful ( I certainly will be ) which smaller party you vote for, and try to find out ( not sure where or how ) who their preferences would go to … if that means standing outside going through absolutely every pamphlet that might have the boxes showing, then it must be done.
May seem like a small point, but I honestly think it is extremely important, so that we don’t make the same mistakes again, and have a party get into Parliament mainly on preferences……. THAT’s what happened last September.
As for this article … it is very good, well written – but quite shocking. I knew most of it, but to see it written in such a concise and defining manner …. I’m kind of gobstruck, to be honest.
p.s. How DO we get rid of this Government ? They are downright dangerous to us all.
May I suggest an ICAC?
Even if it didn’t topple the incumbents, it would highlight their dodgier activities, with the dual benefits of awakening some public interest in political ethics and making politicians feel some accountability to the electorate.
Currently, the temptations posed by courtiers and lobbyists corrupts individuals and distorts legislation.
The Greens proposed an independent commission into corruption earlier this year(bless their naivety) but it was voted down decisively amidst acrimony over filibusters and gag-motions.
Labor was heavily implicated in these shenanigans. The LNP, true to form, dismissed the motion out of hand.
Bill Shorten has, in a display of piss-weak vacillation, ‘not ruled out’ supporting one ‘in principle’, which seems like meaningless mouth-flapping to avoid facing the issue.
Labor needs to propose an amended version of Senator Milne’s original motion.
Corruption is a necrotic infection upon the entire national body; it needs to be surgically removed, then measures put in place to avoid re-infection.
For the benefit of the 99%, I hope the next Government (hopefully a Labor – Greens coalition) revives the CES and puts these useless money grubbing private “employment agencies” out of business.
And as for BOTH the major parties opposing a federal ICAC only shows they both have much to hide,
I wonder what would happen if a single day was organised whereby on THAT ONE day, all people om welfare went to large chains supermarkets to wilfully shoplift for food, and wilfully get caught, and wilfully show those dickheads in Canberra what a bunch of total arseholes they are…….
Anne Byam, with all due respect you REALLY need to educate yourself on the voting system…….. the party you vote dor DOES NOT give their preferences to Abbott in this case….. YOU DO.
There is NOTHING stopping you voting for (as an example) PUP first and Greens second. Or PUP first Labor second… It’s YOUR choice, not theirs……..
It’s no wonder we end up in deep shit like this when people don’t even vote properly….
“I wonder what would happen if a single day was organised whereby on THAT ONE day, all people om welfare went to large chains supermarkets to wilfully shoplift for food, and wilfully get caught, and wilfully show those dickheads in Canberra what a bunch of total arseholes they are…….”
They’d probably end up doing community service, Mike.
Far better to stick to Work for the Dole….hang on…
I remember some years ago, my former sister-in-law and her husband were long time unemployed. She’s very lazy and he only has 1 arm so has some limitations on what he can do. She was informed of a number of vacancies in her area and had a string of lame excuses about why they were not suitable for her. Centrelink eventually told her that she will take one of those jobs, or their unemployment benefits will be taken away from them. Doesn’t that happen any more? Why do we need to demonize all unemployed people and force them to spend a lot of time and money on meaningless job applications when Centrelink can already remove benefits from people who genuinely do not want to work?
“Be very very careful ( I certainly will be ) which smaller party you vote for, and try to find out ( not sure where or how ) who their preferences would go to … if that means standing outside going through absolutely every pamphlet that might have the boxes showing, then it must be done.”
How difficult is it to fill out every box below the line and choose your own preferences? Is it really too much to ask that you spend 5 minutes of your time to complete a ballot paper that is giving a license to idiots to wreak havoc and destruction over all of our lives for 6 years and then qualify for a generous pension? The AEC has sample ballot papers online that you can print out and make your decisions at home if you wish, then transfer the numbers onto the real voting slip when you get to the polling booth.
And while we demonise and punish the unemployed….
“The Abbott government is considering changes to financial laws that, had they been in place at the time, may have seen the directors of James Hardie escape prosecution.
The group representing Australia’s most powerful boardrooms will on Thursday release a proposal to water down the Corporations Act and ASIC Act, saying corporate directors need a ”safe harbour” from personal liability.
The new provision would apply to directors facing alleged contraventions, including offences around financial reporting, continuous disclosure rules and misleading or deceptive conduct.
The disgraced boards of asbestos maker James Hardie and collapsed shopping centre owner Centro were prosecuted under existing laws for failing their duties as directors.
AICD general manager Steve Burrell said the change would not act as a ”blanket amnesty” for every director but conceded that if the James Hardie case was run again, it would be run in a different way.
Fairfax Media understands the AICD lobbied the former Labor government without success.
Former Treasurer Wayne Swan said: ”It was never raised with me but if it really was going to have the consequence of people not being liable for James Hardie-type offences I can tell you I would not have entertained it.”
An Abbott government spokeswoman said: ”The AICD has approached the government on this issue. As with all approaches, we will look at their proposal with due consideration.”
It is understood the AICD has found ”general support ”with Coalition ministers. In its draft proposal, released on Thursday, the AICD said the defence rule would act as a ”broad-based defence” that reflects the ”modern commercial reality of today’s corporations”.
Mr Cormann’s office did not respond to a request for comment.”
They are the new Low of Government. They are attacking those already on the poverty line and they appear to be absent of decent morals.
It is preferable for them to be spending enormous amounts of money overseas making a show of taking unarmed federal police to a war zone to collect deceased bodies than to care for the sick and needy in Australia .Abbott continues to put others in harms way by agreeing that Qantas is safe to fly over Afghanistan and Iraq. Symbolism is more important than food and secure shelter for his Australian people as seen in the comparison of his Lords and Dames Palaver and the Policy relegating young under 30’s to living on the streets, if they do not get a job or are not studying.
we know who the Abbott led regime supports.. anyone or anything that has control of resources or capital. The God is the dollar all else is subjugated to the support of the Dollar God.. sadly they have rejected even the faintest idea that we may actually be first and foremost a society and that the economy is subservient to the needs of those who make up that society. The orchestrated attack ( backed up by hearsay and anecdote) on the most vulnerable in our society is beyond a disgrace… this government is piece by piece destroying our society, our environment and our standing as a civilised country..
God, AICD talk about the age of entitlement…to rape and pillage the community it seems.
Executive level thievery is already quite lightly treated in my view. Something stealing 5k can get a worse sentence that some “I Know nothing” dude who rips 10’s of millions out of a company. Or like some directors purposely act to destroy the value of a company so that their mates can come in and buy it – Qantas comes to mind there.
Abbott’s Opus Dei warriors have been true to their promises, but not their promises to us mug punters. They have exceeded themselves in carrying out their promises to IPA, the Yank Neo-cons and probably some even more sinister bodies still.
“The group representing Australia’s most powerful boardrooms will on Thursday release a proposal to water down the Corporations Act and ASIC Act, saying corporate directors need a ”safe harbour” from personal liability.”
This reminds me of a comment made by Prof Joseph Stiglitz recently in a lecture. During the global financial crisis, the US government had to bail out many banks. The bankers who made the crazy and at times, illegal, decisions got away with it. Not only did they keep their jobs, many received big financial bonuses for bringing their banks to the brink of collapse. Now they are free to repeat the same irresponsible behaviours that got them into trouble previously and they are apparently well on their way to doing it all again.
Corporate directors should not have a safe harbour. If they make negligent, irresponsible or illegal decisions then they need to take responsibility for them.
I must check the dictionary definition but it does appear the term “entrepreneurial”, has become an antonym of the word “responsible”.
Seems that only the poor need be responsible, whereas the rich are encouraged to take risks (quite commonly with other people’s money) but not to be held responsible for their decisions in any way.
@Lee, there is a problem with voting below the line for the Senate. Numbers. Shortly after the last federal election I saw a description of the vote counting process. It was revealed that the “above the line” votes were counted first, followed by the “below the line”. I assume this is done in the name of expedience. However, because so few people vote below the line (the numbers problem) combined with the quota system, most of the senate positions are solidified before the below the line votes get a look in. It is in fact possible that every single below the line vote winds up in the pool of non-quota votes, thus not counting AT ALL. I do hope this is incorrect, and would love it if someone out there – who KNOWS the facts – can correct me, but I fear it may be true.
“we know who the Abbott led regime supports.. anyone or anything that has control of resources or capital.”
Yadda yadda yadda blah blah blah.
Abbott is trying to clean up the mess you people created.
But why clean up the mess is the question. If Abbott cleans up the mess Labor will eventually get back in and make a mess again so what is the point?
There you go again with the “you people”. There is no evidence at all that Abbott is helping in any way. Name one thing he has done that will make this society better for its citizens.
“Name one thing he has done that will make this society better for its citizens.”
I’ll reword that. Name one thing he has done that will make this society better for the majority of its citizens.
You have been misinformed. This is the way Senate votes are counted.
Abbott removed the carbon tax – something the Australian people wanted removed. As confirmed by the ACCC, the $550 number sprouted is about right – so that’s helping all Australians. Abbott has stopped the boats – something the Australian people wanted. THis has saved lives and has overall saved all of us money.
The bigger question is – what did the Green/Labor party do besides bump up welfare cheques and introduce a tax no one wanted? It only benefited a few people.
“Abbott removed the carbon tax – something the Australian people wanted removed. As confirmed by the ACCC, the $550 number sprouted is about right – so that’s helping all Australians. Abbott has stopped the boats – something the Australian people wanted. THis has saved lives and has overall saved all of us money.”
Choppa is counting his chickens before the eggs have hatched. We haven’t saved the $550 per annum yet. I received a letter from AGL a few weeks ago advising that my electricity rates were increasing from 15th July. If the carbon tax was repealed, they would apply a rebate from the 1st July. Do you really think they would go to the effort and expense of mailing all their customers about a price rise for the sake of a few days until the tax is repealed, when they would soon have to do it all over again if they actually intend passing that saving on to the customer? Abbott also plans to introduce other charges, such as the debt levy and the medicare co-payment, which negate that $550 saving. It’s the usual give with one hand and take with the other.
Where the proof that stopping the boats and sending people back to the very threats they are escaping from is saving lives? How is locking them up in detention saving their lives? Some of them are on suicide watch. How much money is he saving? He’s spending a fortune on very expensive single use, one way orange lifeboats and he won’t reveal how many have been purchased. We already know it costs more to process asylum seekers off shore than within Australia.
But it gets worse, you are not allowed to apply for jobs you have no qualifications for, so a school leavers has no qualifications at all, where do they apply for a job, easy way to keep them off the dole, as applying for them is an instant disqualification and and payment suspended. Who the hell makes these policies, it can’t be any rational thinking human being.
Choppa how about doing some research into how many policies the Labor Minor Party coalition had passed through senate in the first year of parliament, then compare that to good old Tony, they have only managed 9 in 9 months and that is with his so called mandate, by the way the boats haven’t stopped, or how can you explain to two boatloads last month, and to top it off they were brought to Australian soil, so stop the boats has failed, the ACCC when it comes to enforcing the Carbon Tax refunds is a toothless tiger, companies will just take their claim to higher authorities who over turn their rulings as proven by AGL’s recent take over.
For the record, this lifelong, loyal and Law Abiding Australian citizen, by both birth and allegiance(I have even served in the ranks of our army), understands the necessity for, and supports the implementation of a carbon price(‘tax’) with a view to transitioning to an emission trading scheme.
I would, however, not be so arrogant or deluded as to presume to speak for the entire populace.
I understand that there are are about 750,000 unemployed folk who ‘should’ be seeking work. Ten applications a week seems to me to by 7,500,000 a week.
Are the work providers going to employ teams of job applications to cope with the demand? How do these politicians manage to get the power to be so incompetent, apart from the fact that we vote for the idiots? The other question arising is, who are the idiots??
I was on the dole for 6 months in 1996 or 1997. I had to fill out a diary even though it was the first time I had ever been on the dole and I was in my mid fifties. I had to apply for 6 jobs a week. I live an hour drive from a small country town with one main street. It costs me $20 return to go to town. Most of the businesses are family owned. It isn’t a case of one in the morning and one in the afternoon. I had to apply for all 6 on my shopping day.
How much money is he saving?
Lee I think the current cost is around $3500 per asylum seeker per day and that’s not counting the lifeboats and ocean patrols.
For that cost of saving a life Abbott could spend it on suicide prevention, workplace safety, road safety, preventative health and save far more lives and they would be lives saved on the Australian mainland. In the meantime he could implement Gillard’s solution and really stop the smugglers from getting a product in the first instance, but of course that’s the last thing he will do, especially since he dog whistled the smugglers to bring asylum seekers here by boat under the last government, so being in large part responsible for the deaths at sea.
Choppa. Abbott removed the carbon tax – something the Australian people wanted removed.
They were for it until a very disingenuous campaign was run against it by the MSM and the Abbott opposition. A campaign solely based on lies and deceits, and if they had been honest with the people it would have been a different outcome. Indeed if Abbott had been honest and didn’t have the media supporting that dishonesty then he would not be in power right now.
It says heaps about Abbott and his party that they can only gain and stay in power by lies and deceits. It says a lot about their supporters that they are OK with this.