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Stop it!

By Tina Clausen

I am getting so sick and tired of seeing the constant stream of Murdoch News Corp and LNP Government bash-a-welfare-bludger propaganda stories in the media, all done in the name of turning the general population against people who are seeking employment, or are in receipt of any Social Security payment for that matter.

It obviously serves an agenda of trying to keep our attention away from the abysmal job market; the expansion of part-time work vs full-time permanent positions and the ever increasing casualisation of our workforce. Not to mention the fact that available jobs are now outnumbered by unemployed people many, many times over. Add in the vast under-employed number of people and we have a crisis on our hands.

Served also is the dual and equally important purpose of keeping our attention away from whatever nasty legislation and policies our LNP Government politicians are coming up with next to the detriment of ordinary Australian people and generally for the benefit of industries such as mining, banking, energy, multinational corporations, big business and all other vested interest groups who have the ears of our politicians.

We are also distracted from focusing on their own constant rorting, dubious personal expenses and scandalous behaviour in Parliament.

What I really want to know is; where are all the stories of the many hundreds of thousands of job seekers on Newstart who are doing absolutely everything that they’re required to do, while engaged in a constant and daily struggle to keep up with ever increasing and punitive ‘mutual obligation’ requirements?

Where are all the stories of the countless Centrelink stuff-ups that place innocent people into situations of severe financial hardship?

Where are all the stories of Jobactive providers rorting the public purse by seemingly doing everything except finding employment for desperate people? All they appear to do is make people attend useless information sessions so that they can tick their little boxes and, most of all, do everything in their power to ‘breach’ people for the most spurious of reasons as that keeps them in the good books with Centrelink and the Government’s money-saving objectives as well as becoming a financial incentive for themselves.

Where are the thousands of stories of Centrelink’s so-called assessors making decisions that are ludicrous and extremely detrimental to people’s health and wellbeing?

Where are the thousands of stories of Centrelink assessors’ initial harmful decisions eventually being overturned after extensive and stressful appeal processes lasting months or years and causing immeasurable damage to people’s mental, physical, emotional and financial health in the meantime?

Sunrise and A Current Affair should be particularly ashamed of themselves for their relentless pursuit of entrenching the myth of the ‘welfare-bludger’, as should all Murdoch News Corp publications including; The Courier Mail, The Daily Telegraph, The Herald Sun, The Advertiser among countless others. (See this link if interested in further listings of Murdoch’s stranglehold on the Australian ‘news’ landscape).

Newstart in itself has now become a barrier to seeking employment. The base rate of Newstart has not increased in real terms since 1994 and the payment is falling further and further behind community living standards. Increasing Newstart by $50 / week would put people in a position to become more effective job seekers as it would assist them to retain a roof over their heads, buy sufficient food and pay for all the expenses of job seeking; including expensive transport costs, appropriate interview attire, as well as paying for phone and internet access without which you have no hope of applying for jobs in today’s world.

Suddenly becoming unemployed does not mean that peoples’ many other current financial commitments and obligations suddenly cease. People need to be able to survive until such a time as they once again find employment.

I strongly suggest that if they truly want people to be in the strongest position possible to be able to fulfill job seeking requirements and find employment as soon as possible our Government familiarise themselves with the concepts of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – “A Theory of Human Motivation”. Unless people’s basic physical needs (the need for air, water, food, rest, health) and security needs (the need for safety, shelter and stability) are met, people are singularly unable to progress further up the scale of motivation as basic survival needs of necessity become all-consuming. If the struggle is too hard, for too long, people burn-out and give up.

Stop the welfare-bashing mentality and start looking after the real battlers out there.

 

26 comments

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  1. etnorb

    What a great & enlightening read Tina! You sum up the problems we have today with this so-called “free press” when almost all we are able to read or access is from the Mudrake press, or the stupid bloody shock jocks, especially those in Sydney! Unfortunately, it appears that a vast number of “ordinary” Australian as well as (of course) all the obscenely wealthy mates of the Liberals–the Mining barons, the Industrialists, the Pastoralists, the Manufacturers, the Property developers etc–only “believe” everything that this Mudrake press print! No chance for much of an alternate view, Fairfax notwithstanding. The unemployment “figures” are just that, a figment of this inept, lying, flat earth, obscenely over-paid lot of “liberals”, which makes it seem that all is well here in Australia with regard to employment. There are plenty of us “thinkers” who know & understand that all these employment figures are almost plucked from the sky, because they do NOT paint a true sign of the employment crisis here in Australia. One really salient point about employment here in OZ is that anyone who works for about an hour a week is considered to be employed! WTF?? As for ALL these so-called “job agencies” (sic), all they seem to do is try to sign up as many of the job seekers as possible, because the bloody Government only pays them on the number of applicants registered on their books, to hell with trying to find any of these people a “real” job!

  2. townsvilleblog

    I have found that receiving email from Roy Morgan Research Corporation is enlightening they put the number of Aussies at 2.59 million people either unemployed or underemployed in January. The ABS doctored figure as “etnorb”above, quotes is no longer believable but they (abs) is also underfunded by these tories. They simply do not acknowledge human suffering because most of the tories have exploited their fellow man to the extent that they are independently wealthy, and simply are not interested. It is our duty to inform our fellow man to the injustice they dish out, and vote against them.

  3. diannaart

    Newstart in itself has now become a barrier to seeking employment. The base rate of Newstart has not increased in real terms since 1994 and the payment is falling further and further behind community living standards. Increasing Newstart by $50 / week would put people in a position to become more effective job seekers as it would assist them to retain a roof over their heads, buy sufficient food and pay for all the expenses of job seeking; including expensive transport costs, appropriate interview attire, as well as paying for phone and internet access without which you have no hope of applying for jobs in today’s world.

    Newstart stopped being a safety net over 23 years ago, in fact, having to go jump the hurdles at Centrelink for this pittance means a slide into long term or permanent poverty.

    Yet, the unemployed continue to be the scapegoat for a system that went wrong decades ago. We wonder at the inhumane treatment of refugees; this is Australia 2018 where the most vulnerable are the most vilified.

    If treating people with contempt is not enough, the long-term economic outlook for any society where not only is the divide between wealthy and poor increasing, but the poor cannot even eke out a reasonable standard of living.

    This is false economy and so fundamentally stupid… I think I need a lie down…

  4. Kyran

    “We are also distracted from focusing on their own constant rorting, dubious personal expenses and scandalous behaviour in Parliament.”

    “Harsher welfare measures that force friends to vouch for the relationship status of social security recipients are damaging and are at odds with the standards applied to Barnaby Joyce and Julie Bishop in recent controversies, a single mothers’ group says.”

    “Giving false information can now land the referee a 12-month jail sentence. It is designed to crack down on welfare fraud and save the government $93.7m over five years.”

    ““We remain concerned for women who have left a violent partner and or women who require greater privacy as well as woman who do not have a ‘trusted third party’, noting that the third party cannot be a family member,” she said.”

    “Edwards said the double standard was clear. Low-income women were distrusted and required to have third parties prove they were telling the truth, while federal ministers were able to “self-determine” the classification of their relationships.
    “The findings for members of parliament illustrates the complexity in contemporary relationships and particularly highlights the often-significant gap from the onset of dating to the decision of sharing parenting responsibilities and finances,” Edwards wrote.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/apr/04/welfare-crackdown-on-relationships-a-double-standard-not-applied-to-mps

    “The federal government has outlined its plan to cut income support from up to 7,000 asylum seekers living in Australia from June, in a move lawyers and refugee support groups say could leave people destitute, hungry and at increased risk of self-harm.
    Some of the asylum seekers likely to be affected have been in the country more than five years waiting for the government to make a decision on their application for protection. The Department of Home Affairs has also specifically said asylum seekers studying full-time will have their support cut.”

    “The (SRSS) payment is provided to asylum seekers living in the Australian community while the government decides upon their claim for protection. It provides a living allowance – usually 89% of Newstart allowance, or $247 per week – casework support, assistance in finding housing, and access to torture and trauma counselling.
    A process for asylum seekers to “transition out” – in departmental nomenclature –from SRSS will begin in April.
    The government’s rationale for withdrawing support is that work rights have been restored to almost all bridging visas (on which asylum seekers live in the community) and those who are “job-ready” should be obliged to work.”

    “Refugee advocacy organisations say they are already seeing more instances of asylum seekers self-harming, losing housing or being forced to withdraw from education programs.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/mar/30/new-dose-of-cruelty-up-to-7000-asylum-seekers-to-lose-income-support

    “Barnaby Joyce and five former parliamentarians disqualified by section 44 of the constitution have had their debts waived by the finance minister.”

    “These debts include salaries, superannuation and electorate allowances, as well as non-salary expenses, such as staff expenses, office expenses and travel expenses.”

    “In a statement Cormann said that the Department of Finance, Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority, and the departments of the House of Representatives and Senate had formed a committee to consider the debts.
    “The departmental advisory committee determined that all parliamentarians performed their duties in good faith for a proper purpose and that it was difficult for individuals at the time of nomination to know that they were ineligible for nomination,” he said.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/mar/29/barnaby-joyce-and-others-disqualified-for-dual-citizenship-have-debts-waived

    Nah. No idea what you are talking about.
    Thank you Ms Clausen. Take care

  5. Ricardo29

    What a disgusting piece of crap Scrotum (the wrinkled retainer) Murdoch is, being paid billions to preside over a publishing empire which consists of disgraceful rags like the Tele, the Hun etc etc. as a retired journo it distresses and angers me to see members of my industry so cravenly demonising the most needy and vulnerable in our society while ignoring the depradations of those much more deserving of censure listed in this article. The Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA – the journalists union) should move to censure journalists who write such biased bullshit but then they probably aren’t union members anyway. Perhaps we need a shame list of journalists who write lies.

  6. Jon Chesterson

    FESTERING GIANT PIMPLES ON THE AUSTRALIAN ECONOMIC & SOCIAL LANDSCAPE: MURDOCH & TURNBULL – YOU DOGS

    Lets take a look at the facts:

    The REAL bludgers are you MURDOCH with your $30 million government welfare cheque, which would be equivalent to 100,000 Australians who can’t find a REAL job receiving a $300 job seeker payment to help them pay their telephone, internet and energy bill. Unlike you they then have to find a roof over their head and food.

    The REAL bludgers are LARGE OVERSEAS CORPORATIONS who are doing their level best to get a $65 billion tax break, when most do not even pay tax, bank their highest ever profits offshore to avoid tax; and those that do – pay maximum 30%. That’s a lower tax rate than most (lower to middle income) Australians who earn between $37,000 and $87,000 and pay 32.5%; which by the way is 12.5% more tax than their equivalent UK citizens (£11,501 to £45,000) at 20%. So who is paying disproportionately high tax? Answer lower to middle income Australians. And worse still 734,100 Australians who struggle to survive with only one in ten jobs available to them, despite being made to apply for jobs that don’t exist every day – What a forlorn and morale crunching waste of time and energy!

    The REAL bludgers are you TURNBULL and your cabinet colleagues, on your $527,854 per annum government salary PLUS extraordinary allowances, expenses and future superannuation pensions; back benchers on over $200,000 per annum and ministers in the goldilocks band in between. And how much tax do you pay Malcolm? Do you actually pay any tax at all? And what about your $50 million Point Piper home, private businesses and share holdings? Do you pay any tax on these either?

    Like festering giant pimples on the Australian economic and social landscape Turnbull and Murdoch, you LIBERALS AND NATIONALS are the bludgers, liars and thieving criminals of our times, stealing from the poorest Australian communities and public purse to furbish your private palaces and plazas. So STOP this bludger nonsense, because we the people of Australia don’t buy this CRAP any more; and we certainly WON’T VOTE for you and your shameful propaganda!

    Year of the Dog and we will ensure it is your last one in political office and corporate empire – DO NOT VOTE LNP at the next election – Expel the REAL bludgers.

  7. Andre

    Of course these mutts are following & performing an agenda, it’s no coincidence nor accident btw.
    It’s all by design.

    Absolutely heartless & very evil indeed.

    Indeed the real bludgers & cheaters are Murdoch & Turdbully + others dirty mugs like themselves.

    Hopefully these bastards will face retribution eventually, in the grand scheme of things.

  8. Andreas Bimba

    It costs nothing to ensure all Australia’s unemployed and underemployed are able to find suitable well paid jobs.

    All that is required is a larger federal government deficit that creates additional economic activity, and a federally funded and locally administered Job Guarantee program. RBA issued money is used to fund deficits and no debt is incurred. In fact all federal government spending is met from RBA currency issuence and all federal taxation extinguishes money.

    Google Modern Monetary Theory to learn the reality of government finance and how the economy really operates.

  9. Suzanne Cass

    Outstanding article, Tina.

  10. Loz Lawrey

    Thanks Tina. A great succinct summary of the issues.

  11. Loz Lawrey

    The AIMN volunteers group has been sharing it widely around Facebook as they do with most pieces by AIMN writers. Got to get the word out!

  12. Keitha Granville

    They will continue to bash welfare recipients because they can’t fight back, unlike big business which can and does.
    If you are unemployed and playing the Centrelink /JobActive roundabout game for any length of time your capacity to think and behave like a normal human is seriously compromised.
    That’s the plan.

  13. Matters Not

    Andreas Bimba April 4, 2018 at 5:33 pm re MMT could you please respond to this claim(s):

    Another major aspect of the current MMT train of thought, is that solvency and default fears for modern nations (fiat currency, floating exchange as usual.. etc etc) is laughable and idiotic. They never cease to reiterate this and go nuts when politicians or economists mention fears of default, unsustainable debt etc.

    Seems to me I’ve heard ad infinitum that Nations which create their own currency (fiat) can never run out of money – yet I read:

    The fact of the matter is that nations default incredibly frequently. … There has been at least 13 major sovereign debt defaults since 1999 (Ecuador, Argentina, Russia, Ukraine, El Salvador, Peru, Pakistan, Moldova, Uruguay etc), and other smaller or less document cases. Most of these included foreign and domestic debt.

    First – is this claim factual? Are there double figure examples of Nations with fiat generating capacity going broke and then defaulting over the last two decades?

    Second – why is it so? Why did such nations choose to default – when the MMT theory suggests they could have created more currency so that default was so easily avoided?

    Debunking Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) & Understanding it First

    Further questions to follow.

  14. Suzanne Cass

    When you consider that these politicians hit the taxpayer for $273 a night while in Canberra, plus a daily meal allowance of $181, and they get a free car as well, the inequity is simply staggering. They are also usually chauffeur driven too. Then they get their obscene pensions/’entitlements’ when they leave Parliament (usually chucked out, or sacked by their electorates), no waiting for pension age for them. They get free flights to anywhere they want to go after ‘retiring’, and often go on to well-paid gigs in the private sector to top up all that. Think the hairspray queen Bronwyn Bishop, who gets close to $230,000 a year and has to do gigs on Murdoch’s Sky News to help her survive. Meanwhile, people on Newstart live in a constant state of depression and anxiety – if you have a mortgage and you lose your job, if you’re over 50 you can pretty much forget about getting another one. I am at the point of hitting the financial wall, and facing a future of dire

  15. Barry Thompson.

    Jon, it really annoys me when people use the word dogs as a derogatory term. Dogs are loyal, loving animals that have been man’s friend through the ages. these people are more despicable than any animal I can think of, although I did once refer to Abbot as a stoat ( an opportunistic predator}.

  16. babyjewels10

    Yes, stop it! It’s wrong on so many levels for so many reasons and it’s unAustralian. Take your American Fascism back to America, Murdoch.

  17. Christopher

    Thank you TIna, and Andreas re how money works – that Newstart could be paid without adding to the deficit. Funding deficits by borrowing from the private banks is an entirely political decision. China gets it, that’s why they are leading the world on so many fronts, not all good I admit, but they understand that they can spend by just spending.

    And Matters Not, I am an economist and there are many like me. Bill Mitchell, Stephanie Kelton and Michael Hudson are some you may have heard of. MMT is not a theory it is a description of how the Australian Government could choose to operate, funding deficit spending internally, using taxes to ensure wealth is more evenly distributed, when all taxes do is destroy money that the government has already issued. Such spending on real resources could give a lot of fast trains and social housing. Just say’in.

    Re your point though, Tina and readers, my twitter feed gave me the story of a man who was in Centrelink, when he collapsed and couldn’t get up. Staff indicated that they thought he was faking it. In the end, customers rang the ambos who came and de fribbed him.

    Some of the Centrelink staff I have met are okay, but a lot of them lack compassion and seem unhappy in the work they’ve been given to do. And who can blame them when they are implementing the draconian decisions of the psychopaths in power?

  18. Tina Clausen

    Thank you everyone for your feedback and insightful comments.

    Thank you also to all the wonderful people sharing, yes, we do indeed need to get the word out there to counter the Murdoch media propaganda.

    I see articles from here popping up everywhere. Some less conservative news sites also seem to slowly be getting the message that all is not okay and are also starting to put up more stories from ‘the other side of the coin’ so to speak.

  19. townsvilleblog

    Ricardo29 as employees we all have to do what the bosses ask or inferred of us, sometimes the commands are spoken, sometimes unspoken. If we want to pay our mortgages drive a reasonably up to date car, and put food on our families table we do what is asked or inferred of us, journalists are no different. I was somewhat lucky in my employment even though I did thousands of hours of unpaid overtime in my 21 year career, my bosses never really understood what I did, only that what I did got sales on the tally so they left me alone. I paid my home off before my nervous breakdown so in that sense I was successful.

  20. townsvilleblog

    Tina, I share on facebook, twitter,google plus and linkedin, we must keep getting the word out to convince our fellow Australians that this treatment simply is “not good enough” and that millions of our fellow Australians are really doing it tough, and the situation cannot continue. The “bugger you Jack, I’m alright” attitude is unAustralian, and we need to have a massive movement against these greedy, inhumane arse#$loes, and remember what they have done for a very, very long time!

  21. jimhaz

    Yes, I fully agree with this article. There is simply no need for such negative treatment (and I pay no heed to MMT) – we can afford it.

    According to this 2014 SMH article the lack of an adequate Newstart amount just produces losses to the community. The article only refers to atrophy of work skills costing 500m, but I would estimate the real cost to society as being billions of dollars – hopelessness breeds crime and stagnation or personal regression.

    https://www.smh.com.au/opinion/miserly-newstart-keeps-unemployed-further-away-from-jobs-20140523-zrmvz.html

    I remain rather disgusted at the ALP for not doing something about this when they were in power.

    I’m disgusted at all parties for their Big Australia, thus big immigration policies which IS the primary cause of this lack of duty of care and policy negligence.

  22. paul walter

    They want open slather in their project of diverting resources from the needy into the pockets of themselves. If the needy are recognised as needy, no question of a redistribution of some sort of the common wealth, but if , like refugees or racial groups like aborigines or even unmarried mothers, they can be painted as unworthy and subject to sequestration of their benefits on the basis of a moral failing.

    They prove no one is safe and next up YOU may be the person vilified, eg if you are a worker in a union or a allegedly subversive free thinker. They want as little opposition as possible and since their appetite for wealth is emotionally unsustainable, they are never satisfied with more than enough.

  23. nonsibicunctis

    Tina, your points are valid. I empathise with your frustration. I have felt similarly for most of the last 50 years.

    This situation is not new. Nor will our shouting about it do more than perhaps relieve, temporarily, our own frustration and sense of impotence.

    We live in a society where success is equated to material assets, wealth and privilege.

    Sadly, many of those who are disadvantaged and have little chance of ever being anything else, are duped into the belief that they must copy the model set by those who have achieved ‘success’ on the basis of the criteria I mentioned above. Accordingly, those people will often vote for and support the proponents of this right-wing ideology. In some paradoxical way, many people who are among the ‘have-nots’ or the ‘just managing to get by’ adopt the very attitudes, beliefs and desires of those who create and have created the disadvantage from which they suffer.

    In other words, the majority of us, even those of good will, reason and compassion are, in part, responsible for the inequity in our society. In fact, the very people who are at greatest disadvantage are often also the ones who vote for those that put them there.

    No, I am not criticising you for voicing your disillusion and frustration, nor do I criticise those who compliment you on your words. However, we need to move away from this ‘hysteria’, (I’m sorry, I can’t, right now, think of a better word), that causes us to vent.

    The alternative media needs to provide us with a focus. That focus needs to aim at presenting the contradictions and discrepancies, (the lies and deception, if you like) that are perpetrated on them by our social institutions, our national myths, and the highly lauded & ‘famous’ individuals and groups who gain kudos for nothing less than scurrilously exploiting the pain, the hurt, the suffering, and the ignorance, of the masses.

    One of the main misapprehensions is the notion of the ‘middle class’. It doesn’t exist. There are two classes, the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’. Sadly, both are based around the false premise that materialism and wealth amassed = success.

    We need our independent media to do more than expose the individual inequities, scandalous behaviour, and self-serving activities of our political and business ‘leaders’ and their minions. Yes, it is important to do that but it is not enough.

    We, the independent media and those who support fairness, compassion and an environment and ethos in which no person has to go without shelter or food or any of the necessities of life are the only ones who can change a cultural ethos that becomes more niggardly, aggressive, unethical and immoral, by the day.

    However, it is my opinion that we need to be much more coordinated and capable in recognising not just the symptoms of this social malaise but the underlying outmoded, anachronistic and corrosive base on which it stands. Yes, we make some progress against the symptoms, from time to time and yes, that’s good but these are only pyrrhic victories unless we can actually dig out and replace the foundations of which those symptoms are an effect.

    I admire all here who fight daily to inform others and garner resistance to change the situation for the better and to right the wrongs that are now so prevalent in our society and recognisable by anyone with even a modicum of intelligence who cares to take a look. I don’t want anyone to think that I belittle their efforts, indeed I fight those symptoms, too.

    I write what I do because I firmly believe that to some degree we fight ourselves because we have also been socialised in this culture and its ways and often, without consciousness of it, we react or act according to that obnoxious model that has been our gauge and thus leave ourselves open to criticism that paints us in objectionable terms and uses the overly broad generalisations of our arguments to deride them.

    The alternative media, in my view, could best help us by providing a guide, almost a manifesto, to the major underlying base on which our inequitable and often shameful and obnoxious society stands. It could identify ways in which we can marshall all the energy that goes into the frustration, despair, anger or disillusionment such as you, Tina, have expressed. With that collective energy and a focus on fundamental wrongs, rather than just symptoms of them, perhaps we would have a real chance of bringing about an equitable and ethical society of which we could all be proud, regardless of our position or place within it.

  24. guest

    It is a sad spectacle to see Coalition supporters belly-aching about this and that, especially Labor’s plan to take back cash reimbursements on shares franking. Some of the complainants are clearly doing very well, thank you, and they will tell us that they have planned for their retirement, taken risks, spent wisely, worked hard… whereas the down and out spend their welfare on beer, cigarettes, drugs and gambling and have never saved a penny.

    At no time have they justified why they should get a cash reimbursement for taxes they have not paid. They claim that Labor’s grab is a “tax” grab. It is the same kind of rhetoric which saw them claim Labor’s price on carbon was a “great big tax” – a claim now admitted to be a fallacy.

    Meanwhile, the conservatives are quite happy to deny penalty rates for people who work odd hours or in different conditions, and to reduce welfare at the drop of a hat. They seem to think that making it difficult for the less well off will somehow propel them into jobs which do not exist. It is all part of the debunked C19th Self Help ideology. It can be read in every Murdoch publication and heard in every right-wing ideological shock-jock outburst complaining and whinging about the “middle-age white man’s”burden (to wit, anyone poor)

    And in the conservative echo-chamber one can see correspondents repeating the Murdoch/ Coalition/IPA mantras. They believe in some kind of divine right to wealth which puts themselves above mere mortals.

  25. Mike

    Tina politicians and Liberal party especially do not want the unemployed or people with a disability to survive they do everything in their power to push people into suicide despite the crocodile tears of Geof Kennett for example -https://www.politicsforum.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=161264 legislation is inconsistent with the constitution; Paragraph 75 of the constitution is quite clear that breach of contract is a matter for the High Court, not Centrelink, to determine if a breach has occurred.

    Para’ 51 (xxiia) of the constitution requires the gov’t to pay benefits to those who need it.
    On 8th May 2013 a welfare recipient who had been prosecuted by Centrelink fought back and the high Court tossed out legislation that had no means.

    Some 15,000 prosecutions dating back to 2000 are now legally invalid.

    This means that by not paying them, welfare recipients will one day SUE and at the moment the legal liability is about $1 Trillion for the ‘Breached Generation”. Are you happy to help pay that rising or do you prefer to help pay for a basic benefit?

    PRO BONO is a legal term to describe lawyers who act in the public interest.

    The reality is that when they do, they take a percent of the win, usually 20-30% and with untold BILLIONS up for grabs, once lawyers get to grips with the scale of the problem, i.e. the TORT, the race will be on to win the prize.

    Try thinking $3.2 MILLION per death and restitution (with compound interest) for having been breached.

    ://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQucXm33d28

  26. nonsibicunctis

    ‘Pro Bono’ actually means ‘for the public good’ and in the legal world refers to work undertaken by legal practitioners without charge. They do not take a percentage of anything, win or lose. Often, a certain number of hours of pro bono work is mandated for legal practitioners.

    What you refer to in your article is the ‘Contingency Fee’. In this situation, a legal practitioner may decide to take on a case on the basis that there will be no charge unless they win the case. The percentage to be paid from an award is determined prior to the agreement being entered into and in many jurisdictions is limited, usually to around 40%. However there are places where there is no limit to the fee that can be charged if he case is won. Where a contingency based action is lost, the client will not be required to make any payment.

    Both of these systems exist to assist those without resources to have access to legal representation. However, in practice, contingency agreements will rarely be taken on unless the legal practitioners see a strong likelihood of winning the action and being awarded a considerable financial settlement. When taking on a case, they may also accept less than is really appropriate to effect a quick settlement because that is in their interests as they don’t have to spend so many hours on the case. It is not always beneficial for the client.

    Pro bono representation, on the other hand, is not based on the lure of profits but on the real desire to see that the poor & disadvantaged go get positive and pro-active representation. This work is far more likely to be motivated by a genuine social conscience and belief that all are entitled to effective representation.

    I think it is important to point out this difference for without an understanding of the difference, it implies that all lawyers work only for mercenary financial reward. I don’t believe that to be the case. The majority, perhaps, but certainly not all and possibly not event the marjority.

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