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So the LNP want to help the unemployed. What could possibly go wrong?

By Nick Chugg

The latest “brilliant” brain-fart to escape Scott Morrison’s (or as I prefer to refer to him – ScumMo) orifice is a doozy.

As many LNP members have stated, we currently have the smartest most qualified party to ever grace the halls of Australian parliament.

Of course, according to Scotty, the LNP’s latest attack on the unemployed is all about “helping” them to get work and earn money. What could possibly be wrong with the LNP’s self-described “brilliance”?

Channel 9 reported the LNP’s latest attack on the unemployed. Of course, ScumMo coined it in more “double-speak” terminology – “helping” the unemployed. The grand plan is that unemployed people who refuse to take-on fruit picking work will have their “dole” cut for 4 weeks. (Sorry, Channel 9 – it is called ‘social security’ – not ‘the dole’ – and it is a right under social security law).

Firstly, one has to wonder how the LNP have managed to get around social security law and stop social security payments as a form of punishment. Particularly as social security is a right, inscribed into Australian law.

So, what will be the impacts of withdrawing a person’s social security payments for 4 weeks? Well firstly they would be unable to pay their rent or mortgage. Secondly, they will be unable to buy food and pay for any utilities and services such as power, water, gas, insurance, registrations, qualifications, transport, etc. The minimum outcome from stopping a person’s social security payments for 4 weeks is HOMELESSNESS! Homelessness is already a massive issue in Australia and adding to this problem is only going to make it worse. Although it may help the LNP’s mates and their share portfolios by filling up all the PRIVATE prisons the LNP have approved! Our society requires people to have money just to survive. So people without any money will be forced in to begging or crime just to survive. Combined this with the moves of LNP state governments to make begging and homelessness ILLEGAL, and you can clearly see ScumMo and the LNP truly have these people’s best interests in mind – NOT!!

It will certainly help the LNP’s unemployment figures as homeless people are unable to claim social security benefits (you need a permanent residential address to claim social security benefits).

With our current crop of LNP MPs being the smartest and most qualified to ever govern Australia we have to assume they are completely aware of ALL the negative ramifications of this evil, twisted, dysfunctional policy. The LNP seems to be masters of ignoring all academic, considered policies from sociologists, psychologists, ‘welfare’ specialists, NGOs and entities that actually deal with the unemployed. There are still 2 million unemployed and under-employed Australian’s fighting for <250,000 available jobs – of which 25% of those jobs are for highly qualified people with 5+ experience. Unfortunately, creating sufficient jobs for unemployed and underemployed Australians or enabling people to survive in our casualised workforce and society just seems beyond the “brilliance” of the LNP.

So let us assume a person decides to try and work picking fruit, rather than becoming homeless.

With less than 1% of rental properties being suitable for someone receiving Newstart or Youth Allowance, and no ability to save even a minor deposit what happens when an unemployed person force to do fruit-picking needs to find accommodation? What happens when they return to an urban centre to find work again after the 2-6 weeks of fruit-picking is over? As most fruit-picking jobs pay less than the minimum wage how will someone doing temporary work be able to afford two lots of rent? As surely under the current housing and rental crisis no one would want to give up their current rental properties! People on minimum wage are already in rental and mortgage stress, so what are the ramifications for someone on less than the minimum wage having to pay lots of rent, or rent and a mortgage?

Have you actually calculated how many people will end up homeless, ScumMo?

Remember this is the very same LNP which wants unemployed people to move to places where there is a greater chance of finding employment. Under social security law, if you move to a region with higher unemployment (and cheaper rent) you can have your social security cancelled for 13 weeks!

People on social security are already living well below the poverty line. How will they afford transport and relocation costs? Particularly as they have no savings.

So, are ScumMo and the LNP going to pay for their rent on their existing accommodation, relocation costs and transport, when people are forced to move into a rural area for a few weeks work; while the fruit picking lasts? It appears ScumMo is unaware of the rental crisis going on in Australia (most likely ignoring the state of play), where ~1% of Australian rentals are suitable for someone who is on social security. Also, landlords are reticent to rent out their properties to people who are working casually. Nor can casuals get loans or mortgages. Will the LNP provide monetary assistance to people they force to move to rural areas for fruit-picking?

So, is ScumMo going to guarantee landlord’s rental payments while he forces the unemployed to go and fruit-pick in rural areas? Will ScumMo also provide accommodation, schooling and/or childcare for unemployed single parents? Will ScumMo provide suitable accommodation or pay for pet-sitting while unemployed people are forced to travel to rural areas to pick fruit for a few weeks while the work lasts? Or will the unemployed have to share a mattress on the floor with their children and pets, sharing a room with 4-16 other people? (As is currently the case with many people picking fruit).

Of course, said fruit pickers will get a $280/night for accommodation, $188 per day for their food allowance and free childcare and pet care, just like all our politicians? Lol

Will ScumMo guarantee a minimum wage for every unemployed person forced to go and pick fruit? I doubt it, as the LNP currently allow people on internships to be paid far less than the minimum wage; and those forced into ‘work-for-the-dole’ programs, to not be paid at all for their work! The current stories from people on working visas and working-holiday visas to Australia tell a story of chronic underpayment, abuse, substandard accommodation, substandard food, and constant intimidation and threats. Here are just a couple of the many recent stories regarding the abuse of fruit-pickers and seasonal workers in Australia:

One-third of backpackers paid half the legal minimum wage, study finds

Aussies are being ripped off more than ever before, study shows

ScumMo, only 2 days ago you were spruiking you wanted to help people on social security. ScumMo, you and your criminal LNP cronies really are some bizarre form of bipolar, schizophrenic, evil, DUMB, psychopathic numpties.


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  1. David Bruce

    Has ScuMoron spoken with the Department of Foreign Affairs? What will happen to the 100’s of South Pacific Islanders who rely on the Seasonal Workers Program, which, surprise, surprise, includes fruit picking. Apparently teams from the South Pacific Islands are far more productive than backpackers, according to ABARES!

    What difference does labour choice make to farm productivity and profitability in the Australian horticulture industry?
    Zhao S, Binks B, Kruger H, Xia C & Stenekes N – ABARES research report
    On average seasonal workers are more productive than backpackers, but non-wage labour costs are higher. The benefits of hiring seasonal workers is likely to at least cover the higher costs and deliver a profitability gain to farmers, as non-wage costs are generally relatively small.

    How do the farming communities feel about this brain fart? I assume their National Party members were consulted?

  2. Keitha Granville

    I was pleasantly surprised to see the National Farmers Federation poured cold water on this plan too – they seem to realise this is not the solution to their short term worker problems.

    When is this govt goign to work out that unemployed people need MORE not LESS financial support so they can find effective and long term employment ? Yeah, I know the answer is never, but you have to keep asking. We can only hope that an incoming Labor govt will listen to ACOSS and all the other agencies who know that Newstart and other support payments MUST be lifted.

  3. Christopher J Ward

    Is this a form of civil conscription? What next, the camps? Remember if you are poor or out of work, it’s your own fault. Right or altRight!

  4. John Ocallaghan

    This lunatic needs to be kicked out of office on his arse and chased down the street with an angry mob chucking rotten tomatoes at him.
    Just picture that for a second and then tell me im wrong!

  5. MöbiusEcko

    Ipsos Poll Federal 2 Party Preferred: L/NP 45 (-2) ALP 55 (+2)
    Voter Choice Poll of Wentworth shows Libs losing, either Phelps or Labor to win.

  6. Kronomex

    As I said when I posted a comment in the “What future does PM Morrison guarantee?” piece yesterday –

    “Why doesn’t Scummo and Co. just nationalise the unemployed and be done with it rather than mucking around with these idiot bloody brain farts they keep devising.”

  7. paul walter

    ” I reject your reality- out of lazy ignorance and arrogance, so do not understand what I reject”.

  8. Matters Not

    Newspoll – 53 to 47with Labor in the lead. Ipsos with Labor also ahead.

  9. Stu

    “Quote: John OcallaghanOctober 14, 2018 at 8:08 pm
    This lunatic needs to be kicked out of office on his arse and chased down the street with an angry mob chucking rotten tomatoes at him.”

    Now that’s a Work-for-the-Dole activity that people will be eagerly queuing up to join.

  10. ChristopherJ

    When I was in year 9, a number of my contemporaries, not quite of the mindset to acquire that school certificate…

    Well, they went down to the social (Dept of Social Security) and ‘signed on’. The dole was a contract that didn’t require anything of the recipient other than they had no work. And the public servants helped you to get a job if you wanted one. If not, it was ok, but that was then.

    I went to DSS in Nov 78 for first time. All of us who went that day had jobs at the end of it (me a full time job at David Jones – I had just turned 17). I wasn’t competing with visa holders (student, tourist, 457, whatever). The jobs were varied, often involved a commitment to a career, and were permanent.

    Not these part time, casual gigs where you train yourself.

    The LNP have always hated the poor (hey the others aren’t to keen on us either).

    Anyway, as the task of feeding us little buggers comes down, crucially, to getting some ‘taxpayer dollars’ in the bag, we start to think about whether there are more worthy ways in which to spend those dollars. I mean, $50 a week extra for the dole, or millions to mates so that can pretend that they are ‘adapting’ to species die off.

    Shit, I’m actually framing it like it was a decision they think about.

    The dole hasn’t gone up beyond a coffee or two in 30 years. There are Australian children tonight who are homeless and/or hungry because we, yes we, accept the bullshit that money for looking after children of the unemployed is unaffordable.

    Just don’t have enough of the right sort of dollars, mate…. Really, pull the other one

  11. Kaye Lee

    Interesting how different media report polls. The headline in news.com is “Coalition claws back support: Newspoll”

    “THE GAP is closing between the Coalition and Labor, which should be a worry for Bill Shorten who trails Scott Morrison as preferred prime minister, according to Newspoll.”

    Forget that 53 to 47 would be a wipe out for the Coalition. Forget that Shorten’s rating improved two points. I would suggest it should be Morrison who is worried less than a week out from a by-election that could see him lose his majority.

  12. SteveFitz

    There is a benchmark for acceptable unemployment at around 4% or 5%. A slush fund of labour for business to draw on. If the unemployment rate drops, the fundamentals of supply and demand kick in. The lower the unemployment rate, the more bargaining power workers have for better wages and conditions.

    The objective of big business along with LNP government is to keep the workforce saturated and the unemployment rate high. This accounts for the Liberal Parties out of control immigration policy. Any argument they put forward about reducing unemployment is just the usual clap-trap. A steady unemployment rate is part of the social equation and needs to be funded accordingly.

  13. SteveFitz

    If the fruit picking industry what casual part time labour they need to accommodate and feed them – Nothing fancy, a bunk house and soup kitchen. If the workers are on new start, leave them on new start.

    Anything they earn, for the seasonal work, becomes a bonus and reward for their effort. This then becomes a wonderful life experience and adventure for a teenager just out of school with the added bonus, of developing some work ethic.

    Trying to beat people into submission goes nowhere and just creates resentment and animosity. Forcing people, by threatening them, is something negative that lingers and needs to be avoided. Morrison seems to forget that we are human and need to retain our dignity.

  14. ChristopherJ

    Yes Steven. Don’t know which side it was but the scheme to extend tourist visas if they do some seasonal work… Prolly the LNPs to ensure the Ag sector can gets its crops in so they can be undersold to Woollies, the fresh, cough…

    Course we see a lot of that up here, the whole tourism sector is staffed by visa holders, and a high proportion of the sector is owned by people and corporation domiciled overseas. That’s not to say they’re aren’t Cairnsites working in the sector, but a big majority are visa holders, or immigrants. Underpaying workers gets the fruit picked but us Aussies don’t like what we see. Esp. the older guys like me.

    On the one hand, we hate seeing our ‘Mums and Dads’ working (at the servo, or cleaning, or at the checkout), but we need to understand that they don’t get support from the govvie until they are 65, so we need to get used to it.

    On the other hand, I’d be happy to support the local farmers, they just don’t pay enough for the hazardous work involved and wouldn’t hire me anyway. I don’t have a visa.

    Letting NewStart people earn money and keep their NewStart? Mate, give me some of that you’ve got there….

  15. New England Cocky

    Government by brain fart … the “smartest most qualified party” thinks the best way to view the future is standing with your head between your knees and looking up!!

    Today ABC News 24 is studiously ignoring the headline story on “revising the tax system” to bring back progressive taxation. How about we simply require all corporations to pay at least 5% of annual turnover for the benefits of trading within a safe and secure national boundary.

    Better still, hold a tax audit and require all persons with total assets exceeding $1 MILLION to pay 1% of the total value of assets as a minimum annual tax for the benefits of working within a safe and secure national boundary. Then we could abolish taxation thresholds for all persons earning less than $100,000 per year.

    Foreign owned multinational corporations could pay tax on turnover LESS the costs of “borrowing” overseas, often from subsidiary corporations established especially to legally minimise taxation in Australia, so that those entities also value and pay for working within a safe and secure national boundary.

  16. Mez

    Slavery Convention

    Article 1
    (2) [includes] all acts involved in the acquisition of a slave with a view to selling or exchanging him

    Article 5
    (1) compulsory or forced labour may only be exacted for public purposes.
    (2) So long as such forced or compulsory labour exists, this labour shall invariably be of an exceptional character, shall always receive adequate remuneration, and shall not involve the removal of the labourers from their usual place of residence.


  17. Phil

    “belief” is what drives this very confused Morrison iteration of governance. Policy is addressed through prayer, and all problems that prayer alone can’t solve will be solved by the ‘markets’. He ‘believes’ it to be so.

    Morrison is a Christianist so no one should be surprised at the reckless gibberish that pours from Pastor Scotts somewhat twisted mouth.

    The stern and punishing father role has long been illLiberal doctrine so it is only natural that unemployed people need the Pastor’s big stick to motivate them – to wake them from their indolence and drive out Satan’s passion for poverty. Homelessness is not a bad thing in Pastor Scott’s warped mind since the homeless fall off the radar and government is relieved of responsibility – it’s a numbers game.

    Pastor Scott’s vulnerability is his Christianism – he cannot conceive of a life outside of his manic evangelical world view which is anathema in a secular society – his vulnerability should be mercilessly exploited, just as mercilessly as he exploits the vulnerable unemployed.

  18. Terence Mills

    I live in a regional area where produce pickers are very much in demand from time to time and for relatively brief intervals and that’s where the problem lies.

    I spoke to some of the Pacific Islanders – from Vanuatu – who were grateful for the opportunity to work for cash but their complaints were the costs of getting to the job ; the costs of accommodation where available ; the erratic work schedules with days just waiting around doing nothing followed by frantic surges of work to get fruit off the trees (particularly mangoes, in season) ; and, the low pay.

    If we are to realistically confront this problem, Scomo’s big-stick is not the way : it requires planning, resources and access to transport plus adequate demountable accommodation that can be moved around.

    Then,of course, you have to manage the nutters who sabotage products ( e.g. strawberries).

    No easy solutions !

  19. helvityni

    Humiliate and punish: therefore social security is called dole, the receivers of it, bludgers…

    Old people getting a pension are called pensioners, those people have not worked HARD enough; the hard workers are a different class; they are self-funded retirees…

  20. Kronomex

    And the “hard done by” are the rich and corporations who keep whining because the peasants and serfs pick on them even as they continue to bleed the lower classes and “lazy bludgers” dry. Time to go back to my cake.

  21. DrakeN

    N E C.

    that sounds like ‘protection money’.

    It should fit well with the mafia-like behaviours of politics, commerce, financial “services” and most religions; so why not?

  22. Nick Chugg

    I realise I am listing a lot of negatives without offering any solutions. So here are a few positive ideas to encourage people to pick fruit.

    We could make fruit picking a yearly national, social, event, encourage families to take fruit-picking holidays. Or we could encourage brief stays of 1-3 days and have a rotational, progressive or shared system work where lots of people chip in.
    Advertise it to fitness fanatic’s that fruit-picking is better-than-Cross-fit – the ultimate in endurance tests. Create a similar system with employers, as we do with the army reserve, where employers are rewarded for allowing the workers to be a part of fruit picking drives (We could call it – Ag-Service/Civil-Service). I hear we our country has agile business practices? With large pools of unemployed and under-employed people, surely employers could give a few people extra hours to cover those who decide to pick fruit. Or even hire some new people for a few weeks work, gaining valuable work experience. Educational programs could be set up around fruit and vegetable picking and cropping, showing how our entire society and the division of labour stem from agriculture. It could be used to reconnect people with the land. Cooking shows – promoting from paddock to table. The positive possibilities are extensive. Which makes one wonder why our government always reverts to using negative sanctions and punitive measures? A quick look at the amount of government revenue derived from such actions gives one reason. Unfortunately it does not explain them all. It is also akin as to why our incumbent government always chooses to implement policies that have failed miserably in other countries for years.

    I fear the LNP would prefer to use the poor, vulnerable and unemployed as a political tool to further division and fear of unemployment. It is always easy for the LNP to attack such cohorts as they are unlikely to vote for the LNP. It also has the added benefit of minimising people rising in solidarity to stand up for their working rights, pay rates and working conditions. Plus kicking the unemployed is always a good vote winner for the LNP.

  23. Judith

    I was told recently that social security benefits are a privilege, not a right. What is the answer to a comment like that?

  24. Nick Chugg

    Judith. Look up social security legislation.

  25. Michael Taylor

    Judith, the thought that they are a privilege seems to be the view of conservatives only, If they were a privilege then they wouldn’t be enshrined in law.

    To add what Nick has said, try the Social Security Act (1991) and the Social Security Administrative Act (1999).

    To get a summary of the intent of the legislation, you can even hunt for their reading when introduced into parliament.

    And if you are real keen, you can hunt for the original letters of intent for the legislation, which by memory will have you searching through the 1948 archives.

    Good luck with that. 😉

  26. helvityni

    wog, kraut, pommie, dole bludger,dago, frog, reffo…

    As I did not people were deferring to other human beings, so as new-comer to Oz I asked hubby: Do they speak English here….?

  27. Jill

    Why do we have to compare our vile politicians to all people struggling to live with the mental illnesses? So unfair to the latter. Our politicians are evil not mentally ill. They know perfectly well what they’re doing.

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