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There’s A Better Class Of Unemployed And They Couldn’t Possibly Be Expected To Survive On Newstart!

“Bad news, dear. I’ve just been sacked!”

“Never mind, we’ll sit down and work out ways we can tighten our belts so we can get through this.”

“Don’t be ridiculous. There’s no way we could do a budget at the moment. Everything’s too uncertain!”

“But don’t we need to live within our means.”

“No, that was just when I didn’t want you to spend any money.”

Yes, it doesn’t make sense when you use the household analogy that the Liberals are so fond of when talking Federal budgets, but then there’s a lot of things that don’t make sense including the fact that the National Party can continue to find leaders who make us all think of Tim Fischer as an intellectual giant.

Covid-19 has certainly raised a lot of questions, and I don’t just mean about whether there’s a Covid-18 somewhere that nobody told us about. Let’s take the Prime Minister’s comments about people who’ve lost their jobs “through no fault of their own”. Are we meant to infer from this that up until now, if somebody found themselves unemployed, it was their own fault?

It seems that way, because we were also told that we’d have people suddenly having to deal with Centrelink who’d had no experience of being on welfare before. Don’t know how to break it to the Coalition, but every day, somebody has that experience. It’s not like the unemployed are a permanent underclass who are born with an Indue card. In fact, all the reasons for not raising Newstart was that it was only a temporary thing because “the best form of welfare is a job”!

Speaking of inferences, what does one make of the idea that those who lose their jobs because of the Coronavirus are to be given quick access to a temporary wage that will be set at a higher rate than the “undeserving” people who haven’t had their dole raised in real terms since the days where we thought that the election of John Howard was an aberration that would be fixed at the next election? Are we to presume that this is to boost the economy? Or are we to presume that this is an admission that nobody could be expected to survive on Newstart and if too many people are forced onto it, no amount of sporting grants to stop girls having to change behind trees will save the government’s bacon.

Or should that be pork?

No, it seems there’s a better class of unemployed who can’t be expected to make do with the regular dole payments, unlike those people who don’t seem to understand that the best form of welfare is to be compelled to keep looking for a job while half the businesses in Australia are locked down.

At least, Peter Dutton is going to “come after” the hoarders. I’m not sure what law he intends to use but the special powers to deal with terrorists give him a pretty free hand. Mind you, he’ll only be coming after you if you have more than the prescribed number of toilet rolls or cans of baked beans. Unlike hoarding houses, this is not about the politics of envy or class warfare. Nah, keep buying those investment properties there’s no law against that. Or hoarding toilet paper, as far as I’m away, but I’m not Minister for Home Invasions.

While this may seem un-Australian, I can’t help but wonder if the Budget is being delayed for the simple reason that a May budget would have had next to no spending on the bushfires (the Emergency Fund being “notional”) or the response to the Coronavirus and it would have clearly laid out how the surplus that we achieved before we achieved it, was rather like the benefits Morrison got from an empathy consultant – largely imaginary.

Yes, when Scottie was pressed about the surplus a few weeks ago, he responded by asking if any of the journalists predicted the Coronavirus. This deflection was largely successful because none of them actually thought to say they they weren’t the ones making the predictions. If I’d declared that Gold Coast Suns will win the flag this year, I can’t say that nobody predicted the shorter season and if hadn’t been for that, they’d have won their last five games and made the finals, so there was absolutely nothing wrong with my original prophecy.

Delaying the Budget seems strange. After all it’s just a statement of what you expect to happen which always needs to be adjusted when circumstances change. To postpone it to October seems to suggest that Frydenberg is saying that he has no idea what’s happening or what’s likely to happen. While this may be true, there’s always an element of uncertainty about a budget and to throw your hands up and say it’s all too hard at the moment, doesn’t really inspire confidence.

Well, like those “Back In Black” mugs that have been removed from the Liberal merchandising, it’s always dangerous to get ahead of yourself but there’s a difference between laying out a set of expectations and declaring the future certain. If I say that the current government will be the ones who presided over the first recession in Australia this century, I’m running the risk that the run on toilet paper will somehow stop there being two quarters of negative growth, but I think it’s a lot safer than Morrison’s “We delivered a budget surplus next year”.

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32 comments

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  1. JudithW

    What about people who can’t complete their mutual obligations because their place of volunteering is closed…

  2. Jano from the Gong

    The cat is out of the bag ..!!!

    The cash splash , could help get rid Of ( Work for the Mole and Dead Start Payments – Once and for all !!! )

    how ,,?

    Invest In Job creation programmes .( long term ) ,Pay the un-employed a livable wage and entitlements .

    Invest in the unemployed ,!

    watch all the taxes flow back into the economey !. watch the defecit shribble up ! . simply because you invest in the unemployed .
    all those taxes come flooding back in …700.000- people off work for the mole and into Job creation programmes !! , And
    back into the economey ,, ….!!!!!

    Not a bad investment to make ! ……………………..

    considering, work for the mole ..They pay no taxes ,,Making it bad value for tax payers …!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Invest in the side lined ..Invest in the Un- employed with a gauranteed return !, on this investment ,,

    Get rid of work for the mole and Deadstart payments !!!!! ..bring in Job creation programmes – full time !

    A fair go for all ..not some !! …they have the money ,,The tight ass bastards ,,But they wont invest and get rid of poverty !!!….

    solutions are there for all to see !!! – Fund a modern day Red scheme and make it permanent ..! ( Make poverty ..History !!! )

  3. Pingback: There’s A Better Class Of Unemployed And They Couldn’t Possibly Be Expected To Survive On Newstart! #newsoz.org #auspol – News Oz

  4. king1394

    I guess the Federal Government recognises that it takes a while to gain the skills to live in abject poverty, and that, as many rents and mortgage payments are much more than the newly renamed Newstart payment, there could be a real crisis with many people being unable to keep the roof over their heads

  5. whatever

    Dutton is also talking about ‘locking-down’ certain suburbs should this pandemic ever reach a “bring out your dead!” phase, which is highly unlikely.
    In other words he is just fomenting more Fear and Loathing for the TalkBackRadio and Facebook crowd of ignorant racists who are probably having a joyful time nominating the various multi-cultural communities they would love to curfew.

    This shameless arseholery is just the thing you DON’T want in Public Administration while dealing with a national medical emergency.

  6. Trevor

    The IPA led MorriSCUM LNP is formenting fear so as their criminal programme of rorting elections will not see light of day.

  7. anne

    Shut our boarders to people trying to enter, only essentials should be allowed in. Most states have been infected from those entering from other countries. If the government is serious about stopping the virus STOP those entering our country.

  8. Gabe

    Struggling to parse this sentence: “No, it seems there’s a better class of unemployed who can’t be expected to make do with what those people who don’t seem to understand that the best form of welfare is to be compelled to keep looking for a job while half the businesses in Australia are locked down.”

  9. Harry Lime

    Why have a budget at all?Every budget these pricks have had has been a vehicle for only one thing:Direct public money into the greedy mitts of the non taxpaying wealthy.Imagine how much more would be available to deal with a crisis like this if taxation was equitable from the get go,but no,they now find themselves in a world of shit of their own making.

    If The Liar From The Shire had his way, we would have no Parliament at all because he’s all lied out,and besides AVOIDANCE is his schtick.All he is going to do is delay his political execution.Seeing how it’s all got too hard maybe he’ll invite Albanese to take over.
    One way or the other,both he and his rotten government are fucked.

  10. 3poodles

    who knows ??………… the expected “better class of unemployed” might come up with ways to better rip off centrelink. Just sayin..

  11. Bruce White

    A good article,summing up some of the absolutely ludicrous relief funding proposals that the government is spruiking. It is absolutely obvious to everyone now not just to people like us of the left that the coalition is completely clueless to know what to do,let alone have any ideas about what to aim for.Their past tactic of targeting for blame the lower classes ,unemployed ,homeless ,indigenous ,refugees, minority groups, etc dividing and ruling is quickly unravelling. They need the cooperation of the many people who they currently persecute.They no longer have a priviledged elite who can insulate themselves from COVID-19.The wealthy are just as vulnerable as the poor. My thoughts are that right now is a prime moment for a major paradigm shift. A Universal Living Income (ULI). This is not a new idea. I would propose that every Australian citizen or permanent resident living in Australia a. over the age of 16 b. every category of person,employed (permanent,temporary,fulltime,part time,casual,selfemployed,contractees,etc),unemployed,disabled,homeless,aged,rich,poor be paid a ULI. This is quite affordable. c. $500 per week ($26 thousand per year) d. Any income that people received over the five hundred per week would be taxed in the normal way with modifications to increase tax on the very wealthy and ultra rich.They’ve been getting away with paying little or no tax for far too long. The $500 figure is slightly more than the single basic age pension payment.There are other added concessions and payments to the age pension and other government payments which would remain.The ULI would substitute for the basic pension payment, or basic newstart payment, etc. which are all less than $500 per week.The basic newstart payment is less than $300 per week currently, a starvation allowance. By doing this ie, introducing a ULI it would take away the balancing acts of people as to whether they can self quarantine or not because of financial worries would be largely eliminated. Cooperation rather than compulsion,coersion and penalties is always a much better way. The COVID-19 issue is going to be a very serious concern for 12 or 18 months, not an issue for 2 weeks quarantine, or 3 months. A vaccine won’t be available before 12 or 18 months. What will the bulk of the population live on for 12 or 18 months?A ULI provides a long term solution not only to the virus, but also to the bushfires,indeed the long term future where increasingly peoples jobs are being replaced by AI robot and computerised technology. People could be freed up from being wage slaves, acknowledging that in our society and all ‘dog eat dog’ western style capitalist ‘systems’ we all need a certain amount of money to function as participating, thriving human beings. A ULI would free us up to pursue volunteering,charitable work, and also cultural and artistic pursuits without the relentless current imperatives of ‘how can I pay for my basic cost of living?’What do You think of this.

  12. Bruce White

    Something else I neglected to mention in terms of a Universal Living Income (ULI) freeing us up to pursue volunteering,charitable work,cultural and artistic activities is ‘pursuing further education and self improvement’. No need for students HECS, Ausstudy allowances and casual jobs for fulltime students. No more ‘interns’ giving freeby labour to exploitative legal fims without guarantees of long term or permanent employment etc. Bringing some sanity into apprenticeships schemes as well.

  13. Diane Larsen

    Bruce White I like the way you think it makes sense and would have numerous benefits for this country and its inhabitants

  14. Graeme Finn

    A lot more people could work from home if we hadn’t had this third world internet forced on us by Abbott and Turnbull.

    Dangerous and damaging idiocy has been the hallmark of this government.

  15. Bruce White

    An update on my comment yesterday when I suggested a weekly ULI payment of $500 per week.The ‘national cabinet’ has proposed a weekly payment of $550 per week. This is a better figure which I would prefer.

  16. DrakeN

    @ Bruce White

    The ULI you propose has been a topic of discussion for quite some time under the badge Universal Basic Income.
    It is, unfortunately, too logical a concept for most ordinary folk, and much too ‘socialist’ for the perpetrators of the ‘syphon up’ principles of the ‘free market’ proponents and profiteers.
    The simplicity of the ways and means of achieving the efficiencies which would result from such a scheme, as well as the freeing of brighter minds to engage in productive work not beholden to the whims of employers, would be invaluable in helping create a more equitable society: Which is precisely that which the neo-liberals which to avoid at all costs.

  17. Merkin Sputnick

    The opening dialogue in this article resembles what goes on when a LNP candidate loses his or her seat, or fails to win one. They are guaranteed a sinecure – the Australian public service and infrastructure is stashed full of the parasites.

  18. Andy56

    The numb skulls just cant give without the stick can they. Sure mutual obligation has been relaxed to applying for 4 jobs a month. This is just too absurd to take. Why the f….. Are 2 million people going to lose their jobs? THERE WILL BE NO JOBS ! This is just pure paper shuffling to keep the ideological flames alight. Can somebody in the media give scott from marketing the what for over this stupid idea?

  19. Andy56

    Bruce white, i think the time for your post has come. You just have to add the cost of beauracracy that will be eliminated. The current paper shufflers are only interested in keeping survival down to the bare minimum. A functional member of society? Give me a break. Scott gave himself a $12,000 tax cut and people on the dole got a cup of coffee. To those ” bean counters” who say we cant afford it, look around you. We are spending $100b on submarines. We wasted $60b on fraudband. How much money have we pumped into super? There is a few trillion sitting around. Non Affordability is always in the eyes of those that can manipulate to their advantage.
    It makes sense as an efficient way to organise a society. This month has shown that governments ARE essential for the good running of capitalism. Why not acknowledge this fact, embrace it and build on it. Small government ideology is dead, only the lnp cant see it yet, even though its smacking them big time.

  20. Andy56

    Continuing on the mutual obligations shit, so you get given to a case manager who interviews you, self isolation doesnt apply here, ( its an ” essential ” service, sick joke). You will go through training, because teachers dont need to self isolate. Hard not to sit next to driver in a fork lift or truck. Training schools are going to shut because any congrgation of people INCREASES the risks of spreading the virus. Who comes up with absurd shit at a time like this? They reduced the obligations without thinking it through. “More worthy people will be on the dole and they will find jobs easy enough”. W T F?
    And today, they voted themselves a fully paid holiday till August ! Its an emergency, apocalyptic in some sense, they should be holed up in canberra making decisions till its over, especially if they are getting paid

  21. johno

    When it launched the pilot scheme back in 2017, Finland became the first European country to test out the idea of an unconditional basic income (UBI) It was run by the Social Insurance Institution (Kela), a Finnish government agency, and involved 2,000 randomly-selected people on unemployment benefits.
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-47169549

  22. Andy56

    continuing with the “dole” debate, what a lot of FW who run centerlink. You would have thought emergency times required PLANNING. The Gov has just put up its hands and said ” we couldnt forcast. ” fucking BULLSHIT. What have they been doing since the start of the month?
    No money for nearly two months and actions that run contrary to public expressions. Stay away from others, self isolate and then the queues at centerlink. I saw it live on the news. Then the mygov site is out. Then fraudbank comes home to roost. All of the governments own making. Some people are saying cut them some slack, for what? belatedly doing what they have been payed to do for 7yrs?

  23. Rossleigh

    This is worth viewing again!
    Rutger Bregman “Poverty isn’t a lack of character, it’s a Lack of cash”
    https://youtu.be/ydKcaIE6O1k

  24. Pagnol

    Rossleigh, you have given us a new perspective on aspirationals. Just how one ascends from the ranks of the undeserving poor to the better class of unemployed is yet to be determined.

  25. Andy56

    johno, that bit of experimentation failed because it was constructed to fail and the parameters changed, ie was stopped after an election of a new government. The only conclusion it can possibly draw is that people were happier. NOTHING ELSE. In the end it was a waste of time, effort and money but you can bet your bottom dollar the nay sayer neocons will milk it for everything going without looking into the real reasons. Never let logic or reason get in the way of neocon ideology. Thats the prism its being shown through.

    Whats being proposed here is lightyears away from that “experiment”. Its not a ” here have some money and go away”. It should be here is a base salary for being a functioning human in our society. You want to work, you have the opportunity to make a very good living and the bulk of the population will do so willingly and happy. those that cant fit have a safety net that doesnt leave them destitute.
    Sure we learned a lot over the last 200yrs, but we forgot a lot of stuff too. If you want to encourage certain behaviours, a sugar hit is the best way by far. The stick works for a while but then becomes self destructive with side effects like antisocial learned behaviour. (i am sure this feeds into domestic violence to some degree). Because you know, we learn through pain as a child to avoid certain actions, but then its extrapolated by the ideologes into pain is the way to train — mutual obligation.
    My take is education for the masses has failed. Half the population is still dumb as jack shit and we are ruled by the very same people.

  26. Andy56

    johno, another issue to deal with is that the LNP are expecting things to be back to “normal” after the virus has run its coarse so they aint even thinking of what could be, they are incapable of any kind of planning or rational thinking, closing everything except schools tells you what they are thinking and its not much of a rational output. Thinking like Trump is the way to anhialation. I would have thought as a first response, all our military would be withdrawn from around the world and the subs contract cancelled to free up some money. The military should be deployed helping out with medical and logistical support. Next step would have been self sufficiency issues like PETROL supplies because , you know the americans are holding our backup supplies.

  27. johno

    There would be plenty of people around the world woking in dire circumstances for sweet fuck all that would benefit from a UBI.

  28. Allan K

    Andy56, your insights are solid. There will be no ‘back to normal’. Our 200 year flirtation with democracy is just about to be unceremoniously dumped and with great media fanfare; lowered into the grave and cheered off by Agenda 21 proponents. The virus is being used as the excuse to take away basic rights and liberties. The most recent piece of lunacy is ‘crowds of more than 2 people’ banned – wtf. The recent Royal Comm into Aged Care shows that before the appearance of covid19, the idea of looking after the elderly was never much of a priority for our govt anyway. What mindset to hold to, faith or fear? Watch the news unfold and note the state of mind Murdoch wants you to live in. It’s so obvious.

  29. Andy56

    as if the situation isnt fucked enough. I am currently in thailand, my energy company stops all my emails from this ” banned country”. I want to pay the bill. I cant contact my bank to organise extra finance. If i with draw any super in this context, an extra $10,000 is like a 20% draw down on my capital. Penny Wong wants the government to bring everyone home. Me i am probably in the safest place, well as safe as any in australia, in Chiang mai, We are officially in lockdown. For me to return now means borrowing a few thousand for flights ( good luck there) and a new rental in melbourne ( good fucking luck there), running the gauntlet of virus infection, no job to come home to but maybe in a months time i can get a centerlink payment. FUCKYOU,,,,,,,Australia, I can survive just as easily here without drowning in debt. Howabout acknowledging and supporting us expats, we are SAVING you money but you treat us like lepers.
    If i sound slightly bitter, you get the vibe, i aint expecting anything. From wife visas to reduced pensions, they fucking milk us big time. There may not be too many of us but the days of us bragging about how good australia is are over. Where is that dipstick Dutton now? Oh, i forgot, hes on full pay till his holidays end in August

  30. Andy56

    I only have one consolation. My internet shits on yours. 150mbs/150mbs for $25 a month. i can now get 1gbs for the same money. The benefit of travel is that you stop becoming insular and can see how we are being screwed back home.

  31. Bruce White

    Andy56 yes, good luck and best wishes to you.You are most likely correct about staying in Chang Mai rather than attempting to return to Australia.The anecdotal horror stories about Australians all around the world (everywhere from Finland to Peru) trying to get travel arrangements that will work for them to return home indicate that they might be best to remain where they are. Certainly the Australian government is doing 99 percent of fuck all to help them,not that that is a new thing,they’ve never been much help to Australians overseas,compared to what other nations do for their citizens. The talk from 200 Australians stranded in Peru indicates that IF they could get a flight,it would cost $5 thousand, with no insurance against cancellations, obstructions and delays on transfers, etc.Scheduled flights have all been cancelled (other than airfreight of course).
    People having problems O/S about having money to live on as well. Also complete cockups on at least 2 large cruise ships coming back to Australia with infected passengers,as well as the other cruise ships around the world. Estimated 2 thousand Australians on 20 cruise ships still sailing around the world. Federal parliament is in recess from today with therefore no more opportunity for the government to be held accountable for 4 months until August. No confidence in our government at all to manage this situation, they have the power, but no brains.

  32. Andy56

    Bruce white, yes that cruise ship was a total disaster. 3000 potential carriers let loose. WTF was Duttons department thinking? I bet i know whats happened. We have been conned. They talked it up big time, put a few ” sacrificial” migrants in detention , scared the bejesus out of everyone and then proceeded with business as usual. In this case, Dutton does jack shit. He needs to be accountable for not being active in his mega department. Another fake timid arsehole who presents as a strong man, and history is full of them.

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