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Pensioners funding government waste

The government, supported by One Nation, Day and Leyonhjelm, want to cut a further $6 billion from welfare payments including:

$2.9 billion in Family Tax Benefit end-of -year supplements the government still was to abolish; $1.3 billion carbon tax compensation for future welfare recipients; $1.2 billion by stopping the “double dipping” of paid parental leave; and $600 million in assorted measures including freezing eligibility thresholds, ending a pensioners education supplement and making dole recipients wait a period before receiving payments.

We must be in dire straits if you would choose this most vulnerable group of people to find savings.

Perhaps to deflect attention from this, the government reannounced $100 million in funding for a domestic violence package. We are apparently expected to ignore the fact that they have announced this same money before, and that it falls way short of the funding they have already stripped from this area.

As Rosie Batty mentioned on the Drum last night, it is amazing how the government could find a lazy $200 million for an unnecessary marriage equality plebiscite, but can only scrape together $100 million to address domestic violence which kills so many people and destroys the lives of so many more.

They seem to have plenty of money to waste when it suits them.

Barnaby Joyce spent $272,000 on a cost benefit analysis about relocating a department to his electorate which he then refused to release. He also spent $80,000 on engaging Ernst & Young to review his departments public information processes in an attempt to stop a damaging letter from being released, and then fought the matter through the Administrative Appeals Tribunal before giving up the fight just after Parliament rose for two weeks last Friday.

George Brandis likewise spent well over $50,000 appealing the direction that he release his diaries, his excuse being it would take up too much of his staff’s time? He also found $1 million to give to a ballet school who was a tad short for the $5 million mansion they wanted to buy.

Malcolm Turnbull found $90,000 to install a luggage lift in the Lodge.

Julie Bishop spent $30,000 on a private jet to return from a charity dinner in Perth to Canberra. She also spent $125,000 taking foreign diplomats to Kangaroo Island, along with seven of her staff including the office receptionist.

We are spending millions on “special envoys” and “commissioners” – Special Envoys Molan, Ruddock and Robb and Wind Commissioner Dyer to name a few.

Amongst 252 grants from the Australian Research Council last year was $191,394 to assess strategies on how winemakers use websites and share information.

Another $215,378 went to a project which sought to “understand how communities mobilise in Melanesia through the integration of digital media, mobile phones and music” and $166,442 to investigate how art-science collaboration generates “new modes of intradisciplinary knowledge”.

The Centre for Independent Studies through its Waste Watch project, documented numerous excesses of government: $850,784 for a study of Italy’s Catherine de Medici through her correspondence promising an “exciting new analysis” and $451,000 to a marketing research company to undertake formative research for the national Binge Drinking Strategy.

And let’s not forget Tony Abbott’s $100 million educational centre to be built on the site of the Australian Memorial in Villers-Bretonneux in northern France.

If we can spend $400 billion over the next twenty years on military hardware largely produced overseas, then surely we can afford to leave the pensioners alone?




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  1. townsvilleblog

    As I have repeatedly stated the L&NP have no concern for “people” their only concern has always been to help the rich and discard the poor. With 1,101,000 unemployed and a further 1,002,000 under-employed and not receiving enough in wages to sustain themselves and/or their family the global 1% who own 50%+ of the global economy and the L&NP selling their government services to them (the 1%) as quickly as they can without raising public panic, the rich have never been richer and the poor have never been poorer or greater in number 3 million or 13.3% of Australians are living below the poverty line, or if you prefer, living in poverty.

    The federal Opposition who picked up 14 federal seats at July’s election have gone back into their shells when a forceful comment from the Opposition could be had by Shadow Ministers almost every day, where are they? We badly need a party who will take on this crusade for “people” who are financially drowning literally with empty refrigerators. Pensioners are having 2 meals daily instead of three because we just don’t have the money for any more food.

    These global parasitic 1% are being assisted by the servants of the rich to buy Australian and New South Wales and West Australian government services (privatization) cheaply then they raise the cost of services to make their profit, which the poor simply cannot afford to purchase. In effect this is akin to the holocaust, because many Australian will die a premature death because of lack of health services.

    In the 70s we were protesting in the streets about unfairness, however it seems that all the fight has gone from the Australian character probably due to US of A media and movies showing workers in subservient roles, and assuming that this is the ‘normal’ way to act. In the 21st century we have a lot to fight, but it seems a couple of passive generations of spoiling our children has led us to the slippery slope and into the hands of the unregulated capitalists, it makes me frustrated and sad to say but at this stage it would appear that we ordinary Australians are doomed!

  2. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Well done, Kaye.

    I want the LNP buffoons and puppet masters to be made to pay back all excessive claims and benefits such as elusive grants that only their elite seem to get.

  3. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    While there are activist organisations like GetUp advocating for us, I don’t despair as much.

    You’re spot on about the pussy Opposition however. Where are their anger and promises to redress the harmful cuts to welfare for the most vulnerable?

  4. lmonday2014L

    Another reason the fight may have gone from the Australian character is the new laws against protests etc

  5. Marlin101

    Let me firstly state I do not support the LNP in any way, shape or form and agree that what they are doing is abhorrent. They appear to be deliberately and systematically punishing the most vulnerable in circuitous and underhanded ways. The one thing that consistently irritates me however, is this waiting period for Newstart. I have been on Newstart a couple of times and there was always a waiting period of 4 weeks before payments started. If you had holiday pay or something from your last job it was up to 13 weeks. When did it change?
    Apart from that, this wasteful government are both running scared (hence the media turning against the poor to keep the aspirational vote) and still have their snouts in the trough up to their eyeballs. I genuinely believe that they are so up themselves (and each other) that there is no comprehension of public sentiment. They believe they are invincible and act accordingly. Bring on the revolution.

  6. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Hear, hear Marlin.

  7. king1394

    There are a number of waiting periods depending upon which box you fall into when you apply for assistance from centrelink. If you have some sort of redundancy or termination payment you may wait until this is used up at a rate that the Government thinks appropriate – a redundancy of 10 weeks will usually mean a 10 week waiting period – and tough if you choose to spend it. 13 weeks is a common waiting period that many people experience. New residents to the country will wait 104 weeks. Interesting reading: see
    (reply to Marlin 101)

  8. Stephen

    I think it’s four weeks if you voluntarily leave a job.

  9. suspicious

    Anyone who leaves a job voluntarily should not be able to receive the dole. Plenty of work if they want it.

  10. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Where and for whom is the plentiful work, suspicious? Are you merely speaking for fit, young men who like heavy manual work. Or, are you sophisticated enough to be considering middle-aged, well educated women who want meaningful work? I suspect you haven’t thought that deeply!

  11. Kaye Lee

    There could be plenty of work if our government wanted there to be but that would go against the plan of designed unemployment to keep wages down and workers compliant.

    What constitutes voluntarily leaving a job? My son had to have an operation that landed him in hospital for almost three months followed by a significant convalescent period. His government contract job did not provide sick leave nor hold his job for him. He had to wait 13 weeks for any payment. His first pharmacy bill was over $600 because he was charged as a general patient (before 13 week waiting period had expired). Have some compassion suspicious. The vast majority of people on welfare are not bludgers.

  12. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I empathise, Kaye.

    Your son’s circumstances is an obvious area for immediate improvement in Social Security temporary disability classifications.

    We need to know that a change of government will establish a kinder eligibility regime for how suitable levels of Social Security are attributed.

    Then, when they are able, we need also to establish how re-establishment into the working community can happen without any bureaucratic delay.

  13. Keitha Granville

    “Suspicious” – where ?? what jobs ??? find some so that we can all see what a lazy bludging lot the job seekers are. I suspect you have never had to search for weeks, months, years, for work or survive on a few casual hours now and then. Blowing hot air, just like the pollies who do not have a CLUE what it is like to be unemployed. More’s the pity.

    Every day we see the same stats – 19 people for every available jobad. If you have other information and a big list of jobs, spit it out. WHERE !!!!

  14. John Brame

    Revolution is an understatement. Please, not another Howard style timespan.

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