Jenny Macklin is right

Jenny Macklin has been criticised for stating the obvious – that she could survive on the Newstart allowance. Apparently this was an outrageous comment – even her office tried to extinguish it.

For the billions of people who live on less than the Newstart allowance, it would seem a King’s ransom. For the billions of people who have died, it is a King’s ransom.

Sure, I wouldn’t like to live on the Newstart allowance, nor would Jenny Macklin. But that’s not the point. All of the 330,000 people receiving Newstart are able to survive on it, otherwise they would have moved to the local cemetery. There are an estimated 182,000 long-term Newstart recipients – surely they are surviving on Newstart, or are we now paying Newstart to dead people?

Macklin should have expanded on her comment. Yes, she could survive on Newstart. No, she wouldn’t like to live on Newstart, but her ambition was to have Newstart recipients move into jobs and to enjoy higher living standards.

When the ABC conducted a poll to ask whether Newstart should be increased it asked the wrong question. It should have been: how much would you be willing to pay to increase the Newstart allowance:

Option 1: I want a tax cut – reduce the Newstart allowance

Option 2: Leave it as it is

Option 3: I would be willing to pay an additional $100 per annum to increase Newstart

Option 4: I would be willing to pay an additional $1000 per annum ….

(etc)

If people want to increase Newstart, a voluntary tax would provide the means. As for me, I’m happy to cut Newstart by 25 per cent, provided labour market regulations are liberalised so as to provide employment opportunities.

About J

J has an economics background and is a part-time consultant
This entry was posted in Federal Politics, SJ. Bookmark the permalink.

81 Responses to Jenny Macklin is right

  1. amcoz

    SJ, your last sentence says it all, as anyone who has employed anyone these days under FWA knows that it is cheaper not to employ, and least likely to send you broke. Particularly, for not knowing what to pay and being fined, or paying too much for not knowing that it’s fine not to pay too much as long as you don’t breach those Futile Wasted Asshles’ rules.

  2. Craig Mc

    As someone who has never been (and will never be) given NewStart when unemployed, the allowance as it is seems like a fortune.

    I live next door to welfare for life types. As far as I’m concerned, the dole and single parent pension can’t have been cut enough until they get off their arses and get a job.

  3. Rabz

    All of the 330,000 people receiving Newstart are able to survive on it, otherwise they would have moved to the local cemetery.

    Or the DSP, of which there are now around 825,000 recipients.

    DSP is of course, significantly more per week than Newstart.

  4. Chris M

    Well put. She failed to make the point that the dole is not for ‘living off’ but is intended to be a temporary and limited financial assistance between jobs.

    The governments problem is not the rate of the dole but the high minimum wage and the anti-employment regulations in place which greatly reduce the number of entry level jobs. The government will only pay $35 per day for the dole but declares illegal an employer offering a job at say $90 per day.

  5. Pickles

    The rightness or rong ness is of no moment to me. They and their camp followers have made the rules of political and policy discourse. If a pollie makes a “gaffe” then all pile in. No need for any rational analysis. Do unto others etc.

  6. Token

    Well put. She failed to make the point that the dole is not for ‘living off’ but is intended to be a temporary and limited financial assistance between jobs.

    It wouldn’t have mattered what she said, the welfare industry and their proxies in the media and parliament do not like the idea getting out that their class of clients are more fortunate than more than 75% of people on this planet.

    Those same people also back open borders…

  7. JC

    Terje

    What’s the point? Really, i don’t quite see the point of pulling those chains and making them bark.

    You’re not changing hearts and minds by the way.

    I used to think it was good to debate with the other side, however after Finkelstein and the broad silence on the left there’s no point. You mock them and attack their belief system pretty much as often as you can.

    There’s also scope for the Fisk Doctrine too.

  8. JC

    Or the DSP, of which there are now around 825,000 recipients.

    Is this a joke? There are 825,000 people on this? Fme.

  9. candy

    If the Coalition promised to put New Start up a bit they’d be a shoe in at the election.

    I understand both parties are now contemplating some changes as they’ve realised the significance of the issue in the electorate.

  10. NoFixedAddress

    Sure you can survive on Newstart, and of course it is an allowance between jobs.

    But can you live on it and jump through C/L hoops and apply for jobs?

    And DSP recipients!!!! 825,000 recipients, or 3.75% of the population.

    How about focusing on some of the institutional rent seekers who live off the misery of people that are not as articulate or educated or capable to do some tasks.

    How many people are employed in whatever departments currently control the unemployed and disabled?

    Where are the fucking jobs for people that, for whatever reason, can’t get a job.

    The fact of the matter is that this government, and prior, have pissed taxation revenue against the wall in their own mad schemes to make society a better place.

    Get rid of 90% of the crap legislation that is supposed to be making this a better society.

    And as a challenge to all you clever bastards out there, tell me how many disabled people are employed by Macklins Mob?

  11. Rohan

    As someone who’s tried to employ the long term unemployed in the small chemical manufacturing company, all I can say is there is a reason why they are unemployed. In the last 18 months I’ve started no less than 10 for the same position, not one has lasted more than 5 months, over half less than two days.

    I’m thoroughly sick of the lack of commitment these people have. My last attempt lasted only a day, with the individual coming in on the second day ranting and raving about the “extreme health risk” of one of the chemicals we use he read about on a conspiracy website (I do a complete induction covering all aspects of the position with every new employee, with the main focus on OH&S even though the inherent risks when handling these chemicals are low, and I also discuss the chemicals with every applicant at the interview stage). My production supervisor told him to wait for me to arrive to discuss his issues. When I went to talk to him, he’d disappeared. When I called he hung up the instant I identified myself. I did have the last laugh, as all this was reported to the employment agency who filed a report to centrelink. His benefits were cancelled imediately. Merry Christmas and happy new year.

    The other applicants are even worse, no one teaches them the basics of how to do a job interview. The role we have is unskilled, so no one expects them to be polished like a white collar applicant would be, but seriously, some basics wouldn’t hurt. One applicant when asked about referees from prior places of employment told me to contact one business owner, but then arced up and retold how pissed off he was in the manor the boss fired him and how he let his former boss know in no uncertain terms!!!!

    There is a reason why they’re unemployed.

  12. Andrew

    All of the 330,000 people receiving Newstart are able to survive on it, otherwise they would have moved to the local cemetery.

    I think that is a very naive comment. Clearly those people do live on it, but living on just the $35 and nothing else results is a very low quality lifestyle and would not leave room for very much at all. On the other hand, these people who do receive these payments also do get rent assistance and utilities assistance to help them.

    I said in another article on this blog that I think the Government should increase the payment, immediately enforce the work for the dole but pay them that higher amount for a shorter period of time therefore the payments are properly quarantined from dole bludgers who take advantage of the system.

  13. “Is this a joke? There are 825,000 people on this? Fme.”

    Mate, it’s the holy trail of welfare. No more pretending to look for work. Seriously. I know this to be fact.

  14. MattR

    Where are the fucking jobs for people that, for whatever reason, can’t get a job.

    In China and India. Minimum wage here is $16 per hour, someone with no valuable skills, training or experience needs to be worth $16 an hour in order to get a job.

    Also, if you DO hire someone, you are basically stuck with them because you can never fire them, pretty much no matter how bad they are. Why would anyone hire an unskilled, inexperienced worker in this country?

  15. Chris M said it. I think it was John Humphries who said the Government (ie taxpayers) are morally obliged to pay the dole because of the Government minimum wage labour floor price (imposed by unions to restrict the supply of labour and keep wages high).

    It would be better to remove the floor price and subsidise employers to employ low productivity workers.

  16. candy

    “Mate, it’s the holy trail of welfare”

    So true. Almost the minimum wage with all the benefits. The government has been putting people there instead of New Start for years.

  17. JC

    Rohan

    You’re lucky. At least they show up for interview. My family has a small business hiring low skilled labor.

    Most of the losers don’t even show up at the appointed time. You call them and they say they changed their mind .

    Getting one day out of them suggests you must have a gift. :-)

  18. C.L.

    Option 1: I want a tax cut – reduce the Newstart allowance

    Option 2: Leave it as it is

    Option 3: I would be willing to pay an additional $100 per annum to increase Newstart

    Option 4: I would be willing to pay an additional $1000 per annum ….

    Option 4: Tax the rich.

  19. Skuter

    DSP is of course, significantly more per week than Newstart

    And of course, the disparity increases over time due to the different indexation methods (based on male total average weekly earnings for DSP vs CPI for Newstart). The other big incentive to go from newstart to DSP is the difference in activity requirements. DSP recipients have to do far less than newstart recipients to satisfy centrelink.
    One aspect of this debate that is seldom discussed is that while the rate of newstart is low, recipients get a concession card which enables holders to get rebates and concessional rates on public transport, electricity, water, rates, etc. So the cost of living for a welfare recipient is lower than workers or self-funded retirees for example.
    Also, I have heard around the traps, but never seen much evidence either way, that for males that can only really access jobs close to the minimum wage, that they.opt for newstart because the child support agency cannot garnish newstart payments, whereas they can and do garnish wage earnings. By the time maintenance payments are taken out, those males are no better off from working.
    There are some very perverse incentives in our welfare system…

  20. TerjeP

    What’s the point? Really, i don’t quite see the point of pulling those chains and making them bark.

    JC – that’s pretty much my view of some people here JC. Not mentioning any names.

  21. NoFixedAddress

    @Rohan,

    There is a reason why they’re unemployed.

    I feel for you sir, and I admire your intent.

    And there is a reason why they are unemployed and unemployable.

    None of us like to consider that someone is ‘rent seeking’ off us.

    But we rejected the Hitler model of dealing with the unwanted in society.

    It would be far cheaper to just pay some people as little as possible and just go away and leave the productive people to get on with it.

    We could eliminate 90% of do gooder legislation.

  22. Sinclair Davidson

    Terje – you can’t tell the difference between libertarians and social democrats? Really?

  23. JC

    He’s ,not right nor left, sinc.

    He keeps saying that and predictably ends up in a ditch full of Mamure.

    Terje,

    If you can’t tell the difference you really shouldn’t be posting cmments as you’re of no use to anyone.

    And why the link? Who are you trying to impress?

  24. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    I thought Holy Trail was quite appropriate, Beer Whisperer. But possibly the Devil’s work?

    I have some long-term unemployed in my wider family… I help out a lot, financially and otherwise. I think families should help, and I know that for the lucky ones, many families do, often driven to despair by it as well. One of these guys has just defrauded my credit card for over $2000 bucks. I didn’t see the point in going off the air about it; it would make him worse and I can afford it. Just cancel the card; mea culpa for not seeing how he could access it through my efforts to help. He is ashamed and knows it was wrong. He is a sad case; completely homeless, whip smart, gambling problem, drugs, the works.

    I encourage (and offer where I can) short-term informal jobs or job seeking help to any of these people in my ambit. They generally can’t cope and they get into a psychiatric mindset of learned helplessness. They are damaged people, perhaps a screw loose too, but often nothing identifiable for DSP so they eke out a living around the edges of Newstart. Personality disorders, Asperger’s syndrome, acute oppositional behaviour – you tell me, I don’t know. Carrots generally work better than sticks at producing changes and one guy has changed and improved so much it is very encouraging.

    A lot of it comes from the culture surrounding them, a product of the past thirty odd years I think. I escaped it because I ran away and got educated (only to nearly get trapped in it again in another leftie form at university). They didn’t. I think a bit of compassion helps, but until we address from within the cultural mindsets of these sinks of hopelessness nothing much will change. Someone like Theodore Dalrymple should run courses for them, not the present lot of witterers. Candy also identified stable and affordable housing as a major issue: it certainly is.

    We all know jobs and relationship stability provide the answer. Getting them there is the problem. These are a couple of ‘lost’ generations, who do need help. But importantly we don’t need to make more of them. Culture must change. The rewards must change. Jobs must be there.

  25. candy

    All true, Lizzie, and your family members are so lucky to have you help out. It’s the ones with no-one who get into desperate straits.

    Labor could put New Start up a bit and weed out the disablity rorters. It’s all cockeyed the way they are doing it.

  26. Skuter

    Some good points there Lizzie. I think that once access to basics – stable housing, food, treatment for mental illness, etc. – are sorted out (easier said than done), then the best way of helping people is actually placing expectations on them. Set them challenges, help them develop the necessary skills if need be and watch people recover. I really think that part of the problem behind intergenerational poverty is that kids grow up not having any expectations placed on them. Of course they end up living up to those minimal expectations.
    What I find really sad is when parents can’t even be bothered feeding their kids before school. Whilst there are good intentions involved in schools providing breakfasts to kids, the already piss poor expectations on the parents get even lower…this is ultimately the problem with welfare. What was previously considered personal responsibility is now outsourced to the state…

  27. .

    The solution is, to stop taxing the poor.

    When the Greens demand a $50 a week increase, offer a $100 per week tax cut for the poor…and everyone else, actually.

    If you got rid of tariffs, the carbon tax, parallel import rules, excise taxes and payroll taxes, the working poor and those on the dole would be better off.

    That doesn’t even consider how the excessive and usurious taxation on residential property development filters down to the poor in terms of higher rents.

    We will never get rid of unemployment as a chronic problem as long as we have minimum wages and excessive occupational licensing. You have to remember too licensing kills of many small businesses – not just locking people out of work or better paying jobs.

    I can see validity in John’s claims about morality. The bizzare thing is the left believes you are better off to receive the dole than to receive $1 a week less than the minimum wage.

    The sad part is as occupational licensing and the like permanently puts people out of work, they learn helplessness and so will their children born into generational poverty.

    Do we want to be like the UK or Singapore in a few decades?

  28. Kaboom

    I blame the reversed “Social Safety-Net” for all of this.

    Reversed?

    Look, we all know that the primary raison d’etre of all social security transfers and payments is to keep the middle class coddled in the illusion that the untermenschen will not be rioting and come gunning for bear.

    Personal or familiar responsibility has nothing to do with it, and every socialist government fervently hopes that it lulls the middle class into a false sense of security.

  29. Kaboom

    “Familial”, not “familiar”, dammit!

  30. Splatacrobat

    The dole should only be temporary. Six months max over a two year period before being able to reapply. This way it will discourage loafers from doing only a day or a week’s work.

  31. Kaboom

    Hmmm, re-reading that, I may not have been too clear in my post.

    My premise is that socialists create an underclass of dependants, who consitute a loyal voting bloc.

    This is done by stealth – minimum wages, capital controls, business regulations etc.

    The socialists justify the payment (i.e. bribery) of the dependent class by formenting the fear that if we did not have such a social safety net, there would be blood on the streets.

  32. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    I really think that part of the problem behind intergenerational poverty is that kids grow up not having any expectations placed on them.

    This is where I am really trying to help, because there are two little kids involved (not mine, I do hasten to add in case anyone thinks that; mine are very well-cared-for upper middle-class kids, between me and my ex-husband and both of our new spouses). For the two little ones in public housing that I know ‘Aunty Lizzie’ pays for Karate lessons, music lessons, swimming lessons, school clothes and requirements, lots of books to read, and an x-box and any other heart’s desire for Christmas. They will not grow up deprived, nor without a sense of how things could be otherwise, including how important it is to go to school and pay attention, have ambitions, pick up your things, eat your breakfast and eat your greens. Dad says so, they tell me. I sometimes stay with them in their awful environment when I go to Sydney to show them that it is good enough for me too (in spite of da Hairy Ape saying for God’s sake Lizzie go to a hotel).

    The Smith Family runs a very good program for this corrective sort of assistance for deprived children too, if anyone here feels like donating to it. Tackle the next generation.

  33. Monkey's Uncle

    I would be happy to support increasing NewStart allowance provided that it happened in conjunction with changes to the eligibility criteria, such as putting time limits on how long people could receive benefits. In many other countries, unemployment benefits are more generous compared to average wages but there is also tighter eligibility criteria as well as time limits. This would mean that people who are not just looking for a free ride but are temporarily jobless due to bad look would still be able to live with some dignity. At the same time, people would have maximum incentive to look for work from the start as they would know their benefits will run out in the future.

    Right now, unemployment benefits are not that high, and the activity requirements are rigorous enough, that I doubt many people would consider life on the dole to be more attractive than getting a job. Although for other benefits like DSP and single parents benefits, the payments are more generous and the absence of activity requirements means that for many people living off benefits is more attractive than getting a base-level job. For a certain section of the population, welfare dependence has become a lifestyle choice rather than a safety net.

    If unemployment benefits were significantly more generous they may create more of a disincentive for some people to find work. Which is why for those demanding more money for the unemployed, they should only be able to get their wish on the condition that they also agree to tighter eligibility criteria.

  34. blogstrop

    I remain unconvinced that even two people on $245 each, with several kids, a family home to rent or pay mortgage on, and other unavoidable expenses, is going to survive long on that amount. But the real point is that it’s not supposed to be an alternative to getting a job, just a helping hand. A single person might just survive, with a cheap share rental situation, or at mum and dad’s.
    The proposal that Macklin could cope is tenuous, but in the final analysis, who cares? The “cover up” against being attacked from the left media was the more interesting story.

  35. stackja

    “labour market regulations are liberalised” never under ALP. Voters seemed to not like choices with work. And some people lack life skills and need extra help.

  36. Jarrah

    “Look, we all know that the primary raison d’etre of all social security transfers and payments is to keep the middle class coddled in the illusion that the untermenschen will not be rioting and come gunning for bear.”

    It’s not an illusion. It does have that effect.

  37. Rabz

    For those wondering if there really are that many DSP recipients – here’s the source.

    827,460 recipients at 30 June 2012. The number of recipients peaked in January 2012 at around 831,000.

    Expenditure on DSP in 2011-12 was a phenomenal $14.55 billion.

  38. .

    I would be happy to support increasing NewStart allowance provided that it happened in conjunction with changes to the eligibility criteria, such as putting time limits on how long people could receive benefits. In many other countries, unemployment benefits are more generous compared to average wages but there is also tighter eligibility criteria as well as time limits.

    I could not support that with a clear conscience unless we removed the minimum wage and onerous occupational licensing.

  39. Skuter

    What a great aunty you are Lizzie!

  40. Nilk

    Internet has crapped it again, but Dot is right about occupational licensing. The regs for forklift & stock pickers are obscene.a 2 day course to learn how to drive a fork, photo Id which you pay through the nose to renew.

    It’s for a bloody forklift!

  41. NoFixedAddress

    you pack of fucking wankers

    stop taking money off people that can actually make money for themselves and others.

    wipe out 90% of the crap legislation that labor (who do they represent) and liberals have created

    fuck off every single ngo

    or tax the fuck out of them if you wish to persist.

  42. TerjeP

    Terje – you can’t tell the difference between libertarians and social democrats? Really?

    Sinclair – that’s a very strange question and I’m not sure where it stems from. For the record of course I can tell the difference. Can’t you?

  43. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    What a great aunty you are Lizzie!

    No Skuter, I have all sorts of guilts.

    It has taken me a while to realise how much family is family no matter what. When this little nine year old fellow gives up his bed for me in the room he shares with his brother (they have different mums btw, one of the mums is deeply schizophrenic) and sleeps on an airbed on the floor, and the two of them crawl in with me in the morning and ask me to tell them how I belong to them, and I tell them stories about my mum and dad, the stories they told me, and how they and these stories also belong to them, then the world is narrowed to its essence for us in that narrow little bed.

    I mentioned here I am drawn to read Hemmingway’s “The Sun Also Rises” and am at a stage in life where I can appreciate this tale of another ‘lost’ generation. A quote:

    “Enjoying living was learning to get your money’s worth and knowing when you had it. You could get your money’s worth. The world was a good place to buy in….. Perhaps that wasn’t true, though. Perhaps as you went along you did learn something. I did not care what it was all about. All I wanted to know was how to live in it. Maybe if you found out how to live in it you learned from that what it was all about”.

  44. DaveF

    The activity requirements are pretty rigorous, most of the long term guys will be constantly getting kicked off for a few weeks quite regularly. So they would average less than $345 a week over 12 months.

    Dot has it spot on: increase the standard of living by reducing the cost of living

    For example there is a very good reason childcare costs a hundred bucks a day – the rules about how many children each staff member can supervise. I picked up my little nephew a few times from his childcare place and was struck by how many women worked there, it is something like 1 for 4 kids.

    Now a kindy teacher manages how many? 20? and the kids are not much older.

    Reduce regulation and let parents decide the quality of care they can afford.

    And that is only one example.

  45. Skuter

    Lizzie, you are giving those kids the greatest gift ever – showing them that there is hope for a good life and something to aspire too. From what I have read here at the cat, you seem to have come from a bit of a troubled background, yet now you are living a good life and having fun. Good on you! Do not underestimate how your experiences rub off on them. A role model doesn’t need to be perfect. None of us are. Just show them the good side of humanity, with all its blemishes…

  46. Nato

    Cool post. It was only a matter of time until this post or one like it appeared here.

    Context?

    When I was renting with 3 housemates, Austudy was enough. Now that I live alone in a mortgage, Newstart is insufficient.

  47. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    A role model doesn’t need to be perfect.

    Hooray! Thanks Skuter. I could have done more in earlier years I think. It is easier for me to help now because I have money, both that I have earned myself (via wages and investment) and via marrying Da Hairy Ape. So giving my time becomes important to me somehow.

    I don’t want to play my lady bountiful, just be a family member there to assist within reason and not make people feel beholden to me.

  48. boy on a bike

    Junior scored a part time job a few months back – something he can do during school holidays, on weekends and when he doesn’t have a full school day. (I know, I know – he should be hitting the books, but I think he’ll learn more working from lunch time on Monday than hanging around shooting the breeze with his school mates).

    Almost all his friends have jobs. McDonalds. Hungry Jacks. KFC. Stacking shelves in a supermarket. Cleaning cafe tables. 5 hours of effort on a Sunday afternoon will clear him nearly a hundred bucks, and the job requires no qualifications, no licensing and just a few basic people skills. Hell, even I could do it.

    Over dinner last night, he was moaning about being rostered on today and wanted do skip work and hang with his mates. He got a roasting for that and was told that he would turn up for work come hell or high water. When he moaned some more, he was told, “Welcome to the rest of your life”.

    If it wasn’t for his mum putting a size 9 boot up his arse at times like that, it would be easy for him to slide into being unreliable and useless. The problem with government programs is that none of them include a size 9 boot that can be applied as often as required.

  49. Yobbo

    $245 a week would be a fortune in most countries, but it’s not enough to live on in modern Australia, unless you have free rent.

  50. Yobbo

    Almost all his friends have jobs. McDonalds. Hungry Jacks. KFC. Stacking shelves in a supermarket. Cleaning cafe tables.

    And they’ll all be laid off when they turn 21 and their minimum wage goes up to $16 per hour.

  51. Skuter

    And they’ll all be laid off when they turn 21 and their minimum wage goes up to $16 per hour.

    Or more likely they’ll take the work ethic and generic skills they picked up from their retail/hospitality jobs and move on to better jobs like most people…

  52. Sinclair Davidson

    Terje – just wondering what this means?

    that’s pretty much my view of some people here

  53. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    More very cheap and cheerful well-run hostel-type shorter-term rental accommodation (studio unit, with cupboard kitchen and bathroom; maximum 6 month stay) would fill a tremendous gap.

    This stupid business of providing public ‘housing’ for people rather than giving them a helping hand to get some sort of accommodation and then get on their own feet with their own provision, is one of the problems. People once they have public housing, sit in it for years and create welfare sinks. My little nephews live among drug addicts and loonies running riot in uncontrolled circumstances; the police appear helpless. It seems there is no selectivity in what families and categories go where, either.

  54. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    More very cheap and cheerful well-run hostel-type shorter-term rental accommodation (studio unit, with cupboard kitchen and bathroom; maximum 6 month stay) would fill a tremendous gap.

    This stupid business of providing public ‘housing’ for people rather than giving them a helping hand to get some sort of accommodation and then get on their own feet with their own provision, is one of the problems. People once they have public housing, sit in it for years and create welfare sinks. My little nephews live among drug addicts and loonies running riot in uncontrolled circumstances; the police appear helpless. It seems there is no selectivity in what families and categories go where, either.

  55. Louis Hissink

    Temporary housing is called a tent.

  56. John Mc

    Totally theoretical stuff here:

    I think a smart and highly workable political system would uphold the notion of free movement of people and the right to space to exist within.

    To this end I think we should incorporate a system of public access routes around the country that people can use to travel along, and even stay along with certain conditions. They would be largely unmaintained and similar to perhaps the stock route system we have in Queensland and undoubtedly other states.

    You could travel along it using certain forms of transport: maybe walking, bicycle, horseback or horse drawn vehicle. Maybe you could use electric vehicles. Maybe you could even use motorbikes and offroad vehicles with certain rules (or maybe not).

    Along the way there would be free places you could stop and camp, probably as you choose just without establishing any form of permanent building. They would like the caravan parks you can see in the middle of nowhere: pretty much out of sight of everyone. not taking up space that anyone wants.

    This would almost certainly end up with people like gypsies. But it would be a cost-effective way to provide cheap transport to people who had different economic priorities than buying a motor vehicle. It would also provide a means for people who want to pursue a ‘homeless’ lifestyle to live. It would also uphold some very important liberal democratic principles like free movement of people and the right to exist.

  57. Skuter

    People once they have public housing, sit in it for years and create welfare sinks. My little nephews live among drug addicts and loonies running riot in uncontrolled circumstances; the police appear helpless. It seems there is no selectivity in what families and categories go where, either.

    Public housing is a debacle in Australia. Once again, I come back to expectations. The expectations on public housing tenants are abysmal. They should be subject to regular inspections and should be made to pay for any unreasonable damage. If they keep damaging properties, then they should have any children taken off them and be relocated to a scummy area. The fact that a an individual or family can trash a place, receive no sanctions and get another public house while so many other people with genuine needs have to wait for years is just appalling.

  58. John Mc

    the police appear helpless.

    The police are helpless, and they have a different relationship to those communities than other wealthier, dare I say more law-abiding, communities.

    The cops just play around the edges. They may or may not come if someone is committing a crime and no one expects them to. And other than the guy who called them, no one wants them there anyway.

    It’s a different world that most ‘normal’ people don’t see or know, or want to see or know. And welfare is it’s primary fuel, in many cases it’s only means of existing in that form.

  59. boy on a bike

    And they’ll all be laid off when they turn 21 and their minimum wage goes up to $16 per hour.

    If Junior is still doing this job in 4 years time, his arse will be kicked from here to breakfast. It’s his first rung on the ladder. I’m hoping he’ll be starting up his first business by that age.

    I was particularly impressed with one of his mates – he starts at a fast food store at 0700 on Saturday morning. He has to be up at 0530 in order to prepare for and get to work. These kids have a work ethic, which means if they ever end up on the dole due to some misfortune, I doubt they will be there for long.

    On a long weekend, Junior is already earning $25 an hour.

  60. TerjeP

    just wondering what this means: “that’s pretty much my view of some people here”

    Sinclair – I thought it was self evident from the context. Just to spell it out I generally don’t see the point of engaging with JC. ie Yanking his chain and making him bark. It’s generally pointless. It was a round about way of asking him to talk to somebody else. Too subtle perhaps. Sorry if you read something more into the comment.

  61. Alice

    How did you get so damn polite Terje?
    Have you been hanging around in Quiggin’s bl;og too long where only the polite “pardon mes ” can speak?

  62. Alice

    Including Fran who can rannit on for ever politely with an inance load of garbage apparently acceptable to Professor Quiggin as long as it is nicely spoken and polite?

    Oh spare me. The left argument that has no balla from Prof Q? Terje who hangs out in left land because he is polite and really, frankly, has never had much of an argument ??

    Whats worse is the left right argument is well past its use by date anyway and Prof Q whould get on with his retirement.

  63. jumpnmcar

    If I have to be drug tested to keep my income then receiving my taxes should require the same.

  64. blogstrop

    you tell ‘em, Alice.

  65. Alice

    Blog – I will tell it how I see it (spelling erros and all).
    ie rannit should say rabbit above
    and no balla should read no balls.

    Im so over this fake left right thing by learned professors who should know better.
    There is no left right. There is just a mess to clean up and it would help not to have this post modern 60s / 70s plus “cultcha wars” crap going on from old Professors who keep writing the same tired “according to the right” or “according to the left”.

    I mean they just havent changed their writing style in 30 years.

  66. kae

    BoaB

    Mrs BoaB doesn’t have size nine boots – did she borrow yours?

    LOL

  67. Boambee John

    To quote that well-known conservative ben Chifley, “a hand up, not a handout”.

  68. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Skuter, what you say should happen with public housing tenants is of course the case, but it definitely does not happen. One outrageous tenant can ruin a whole small block and their ‘rights’ are paramount over the rights of others to live in peace and safety.

    I am hoping to get my little nephews out of this situation this year. But other little children there will not be so lucky. What on earth makes us think that this situation is any different to that of aboriginal children also caught up in the madness?

    No-one with any real vision or authority will act to change this defunct and unworkable system. At least the media give some public focus onto the aboriginal situation. Not so the hard cases elsewhere though.

  69. Yobbo

    To quote that well-known conservative ben Chifley, “a hand up, not a handout”.

    That only works if there is a job to receive a hand up too.

    I graduated high school in 1993. Unemployment for 18-24 year olds was running around 40% in the late 90s.

    Despite being pretty smart and capable of doing almost anything, I applied for hundreds of jobs unsuccessfully.

    A lot of the people who are on disability pension now are forced onto it because they just aren’t capable of producing more than $16/hour in productivity for anyone. Which effectively means that it’s illegal to employ them in Australia. Taking away their dole after 6 months doesn’t solve that problem. Only reducing the minimum wage would.

  70. Yobbo

    And FYI, after hundreds of knockbacks, I finally found a job working in a video game store earning $220 a week. When I turned 20 they sacked me and hired another 17 year old.

  71. John Mc

    To quote that well-known conservative ben Chifley, “a hand up, not a handout”.

    Fuggin’ Chifley. Tory stooge and closet Ayn Rand fanatic.

  72. Skuter

    Skuter, what you say should happen with public housing tenants is of course the case, but it definitely does not happen. One outrageous tenant can ruin a whole small block and their ‘rights’ are paramount over the rights of others to live in peace and safety.

    So true Lizzie

    I am hoping to get my little nephews out of this situation this year. But other little children there will not be so lucky. What on earth makes us think that this situation is any different to that of aboriginal children also caught up in the madness?

    Of course there is very little difference between metropolitan and remote destitution. I don’t know what the answer is but sit down money is poison.

    Your example of breaking out of that situation is very powerful for those kids and your desire to help them is very admirable. But the kids left behind, well who knows what their future holds. I wish you all the best!

  73. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    I graduated high school in 1993. Unemployment for 18-24 year olds was running around 40% in the late 90s.

    Yobbo, my nephews’ dad was the same, only he had a marihuana problem, a record of family dysfunction and of complete school failure, a bit of something like autism (quite bright actually), and a chip on his shoulder. Apparently he tried half-heartedly for jobs, but was never even in the race. He became hopeless in his outlook and then a father of two to women who couldn’t cope themselves; then he suffered a severe injury which semi-incapacitated him phyically but not enough for the DSP which he was too proud to try for anyway. He’s been long-term unemployed ever since, with patches of shelf-stacking etc before his injury.

    Keating’s ‘recession we had to have’ was a bad one for the marihuana-affected generation of the 1990′s. Our times help to define us if we let them do so.

  74. Yobbo

    I never smoked marijuana, it was a pure problem of numbers.

    I’ve been successful at 80% of job interviews I’ve been to. But when I was 18, I sent out hundreds of job applications that didn’t even get me an interview. Most of them probably got lost in the shuffle and weren’t even read. That’s pretty discouraging, especially when we are talking about low paid, entry level jobs.

  75. tbh

    I was an undergrad in the early 90′s and the times looked pretty grim. I’m glad I was at uni during those years getting an education rather than trying to slog it out looking for a job.

  76. Leigh Lowe

    Australians all let us rejoice,
    We’re on the DSP,
    With golden soil and wealth sans toil,
    I’m glad I hurt my knee

    You think this is bad ….. NDIS will be DSP on fucking steroids.

  77. jumpnmcar

    Skuter

    Public housing is a debacle in Australia.

    So very true. But at least here in my area there has been a noticeable improvement in behaviour since CanDo announced ” 3 strikes your out “.
    He coped a lot of flack but it’s working.

  78. Alice

    Yobbo

    “And FYI, after hundreds of knockbacks, I finally found a job working in a video game store earning $220 a week. When I turned 20 they sacked me and hired another 17 year old.”

    My son had the same problem two years ago in hi9s gap year despite being very hardworking and running a paper run since he was 11 rain and shine. He might have been better off keeping that paper run because so many places want the newest cheapest lot of school leavers and only want to give them a shift r two a week.

    The early 90s was bad. I was working and going to uni part time and my company collapsed. I could see it was coming so I negotiated a redundancy pay privately with the GM (who was being pressured to find heads anyway) before anything became official and the men in black suits came to shut the doors. But my offer came with strings “give me time off to look for another job, a glowing reference and when I have a new job to go to my redundancy payout takes effect.” He agreed. We were all in the same boat anyway with pressure from corporate office and ultimately he (and all else) lost his job.

    My advice is if its looking bad, move before it gets worse. Dont hang around when you start seeing those HR guys in offices with people.

    These days redundancy pays are virtually non existent or very poor because everyone is on short term contracts (which dont give people the security to make big decisions in life eg getting married, having babies, taking out a mortgage).

    We have gone crazy with the casual contracts in Australia which is not ideal.

  79. kae

    Somone on a contract only gets a “severance” payout because the contract has been broken, they won’t get redundancy.

Comments are closed.