Alan Sludge, the Almost-human Services Minister, has told a $300 a head lunch at Sydney’s Hilton Hotel that welfare dependency as the most pressing problem facing Australia’s social security system.
Speaking at a lunch for The Centre For Economic Development, Mr Sludge told people, “Basically, it’s poison for the unemployed. As we all know the best form of welfare is a job, and everything should be geared towards supporting capable people into work, even if they’re not capable because of some temporary problem like the loss of a limb or two. For some people, welfare has become a destination rather than a stop along the way. Too many people are led into lives of dependence and passivity, with insufficient incentive to make the most of their innate potential. For a start, as you all know, lots and lots of the unemployed are on drugs and we intend to show them lots and lots of love by drug testing them and cutting their benefits. If they have no money, then they won’t be able to buy drugs and, hey presto, problem solved.”
When asked if this would leave them reliant on crime because a lot of the unemployed were also dependent on food, Mr Sludge explained that this was exactly the sort of incentive people needed to find a job. “We need to remember that long term welfare dependence sucks the life out of people which is why we’ve introduced a points system for job seekers who fail to meet their obligations to look for work, attend meetings with job agencies, spending three hours a day on the phone to Centrelink to challenge their robo-debt, work twenty-five hours on a work-for-the-dole scheme and undertake training in something that’ll have them job ready, such as coal-mining.”
Mr Sludge went on to point out that the average welfare recipient was costing the government as much the people at the Hilton were paying for lunch. “And that’s not for the year! That’s EVERY week! And while you’re getting a terrific meal most unemployed people just waste their money on addictions like food, shelter and books. This is why we need to extend the welfare card, so that we can control their spending and make sure that they aren’t reading too much.”
Sludge then reminded those assembled of Scott Morrison’s assertion that people who are on the top tax rate are basically working one day for themselves and one day for the government. “People on the top tax rate never get any benefit at all from government services because they all attend private schools, private hospitals and they never use public transport or roads, so basically they’re getting nothing for the money they contribute in taxes.”
One person suggested that Sludge seemed to be implying that the government wasn’t spending the money very well.
“Of course not,” said Sludge. “We’re completely useless. That’s why we need to privatise everything. You can’t let us attempt to run things. Look at the mess successive governments have made with the NBN… Of course, we’re delivering faster and cheaper than Labor because we’re just so much better than Labor, but still we’re hampered by the fact that we’re a government and it’d be better if we just privatised the whole country and sold it to Adani. Of course, we’d need to offer interest free terms because they’d never be able to afford it otherwise.”
“You’ll notice that Infrastructure Australia has just released a report from someone who was a minister in the Kennett government. The report basically said that what he did when he was a minister was a great idea and public transport works really well now, because instead of having trains run late like they used to do under public ownership, private companies just cancel the train so that they can still get their bonuses. Anybody who thinks that privatisation hasn’t improved anything is just a socialist who can be ignored. Either that or they’re some academic that’s trying to get funding for some study or other and there’s no reason for doing that, because we already know what works and what doesn’t. And clearly people who are unemployed don’t work and therefore need to be told what to do.”
Mr Sludge then announced that it was time for dessert so he’d finish his remarks with a dessert themed quotation. “Marie Antoinette apparently allowed the peasants to eat cake which led to a revolution. We certainly won’t be making the same mistake and you hard working economic rationalists are the only ones we’ll allow to eat cake.”
Dessert was then served.