Welfare payments: Dole bludger loophole to close

Newstart Allowance recipients are exploiting a loophole that allows them to refuse jobs.

According to a Herald Sun report, Newstart Allowance recipients have been exploiting a loophole in the system that allows them to refuse jobs without losing welfare payments.

The current system allows a Newstart Allowance recipient to turn down a job and to continue receiving payments so long as they add a small work-for-the-dole component to their program.

In 2015, 1412 penalties were applied to dole recipients that denied a job with an excuse that was considered unacceptable. Only 378 of the 1412 were actually served with penalties, with the other recipients able to avoid the penalties by exploiting the loophole.

There is currently a bill before the Senate to close this waiver loophole.

“There are loopholes in the system that are allowing some to get away with making insufficient or inadequate job search efforts without good reason,’’ said Employment Minister Michaelia Cash.

“Australia’s income support system is there as a safety net for people who genuinely cannot find a job – not as an option for those who refuse to work. Australians who pay taxes to fund our welfare system expect there to be safeguards to ensure that those who can work do work,” she said.

What do you think? Should welfare recipients have the right to decline a job they feel doesn’t suit them or their circumstances? Or should they simply be happy to have a job?

Read more from www.heraldsun.com.au





    COMMENTS

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    pete@nakedhydroponics
    23rd Feb 2016
    9:56am
    First close the 'loopholes' for employers paying less than the minimum wage.
    ray from Bondi
    23rd Feb 2016
    10:20am
    here here,
    MICK
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:29am
    And maybe close the loopholes for wealthy Australians to launder some of their money with the superannuation rorts. And then ban offshore Tax Havens.
    Whilst I would like to see the rorting ended from both sides of society I have noticed over the years that the well to do side always prevents the party from ending. Such is power and corruption mixed together as politics and who gets what they want.
    PlanB
    23rd Feb 2016
    2:54pm
    Hear hear from me too
    libsareliars
    24th Feb 2016
    1:08pm
    Spot on and hear hear from me too.
    Gra
    24th Feb 2016
    2:48pm
    Have to agree with you on that one Mick. Still, this loophole needs to be demolished, abolished, just plain got rid of. It's ridiculous that someone who supposedly is looking for work can knock jobs back. It shouldn't matter if they are skilled in work different to that offered, they should have to take the job whether they like it or not but keep looking for the job that suits them if they so wish.
    Something needs to be done too about making skilled welfare recipients relocate to an area where their skills are needed rather than throwing the door open to 457 visa holders.
    Dickb
    23rd Feb 2016
    9:59am
    I get annoyed when I see massive protests about something with placard waving protesters occupying outside of a building or in protest marches. How can many of these people be workers? I suspect many are on the dole. Shouldn't they be out actively looking for work not getting paid when protesting? Maybe Centrelink should suspect their dole payments if they are participating on protest marches but particularly where these blockades and protests extend over days
    Happy cyclist
    23rd Feb 2016
    10:07am
    Goodness, what a strange comment. Over years and decades many of the rights of workers have been achieved by protest. Its one of the fundamental rights in a democracy. Women would not have received the vote without selfless women protesting. Likewise if the government had listened to half the country when we got out and protested the Iraq invasion the world would be in a much better place and that has been acknowledged now by those same ex-leaders who led us into that fiasco. Protest is one of the most valuable tools available to 'ordinary' pepole. If people who are on the dole have the social conscience to protest in their spare time about what is important to them, good for them. Good for anyone who is passionate enough to try to make a difference. Afterall, one of the best ways to show the government know people have issues is the good old protest!
    ray from Bondi
    23rd Feb 2016
    10:21am
    I agree completely with sir or is it madam happy cyclist
    jackie
    23rd Feb 2016
    10:45am
    Many workers attend massive protests. I am one of them. Not everyone of us works 9 to 5. The people on NSA may have the time to attend protests but on an income of $489.70 per fortnight that would make it impossible considering they don't get paid to protest. I am sick of NSA recipients being targeted by this government that doesn't mind paying its Centrelink CEO a $7M annual salary. Realistically, the only political climate that creates work for all is a Socialist government. Capitalism thrives on poverty that is why work for everyone has never existed in its entire history.
    Pablo
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:05am
    I agree with you Dickb, if those protestors were to spend as much time looking for a job then our country would be a lot better off. Why should we pay good money for them to stand around protesting?
    Paulodapotter
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:09am
    Show me the evidence Dickb
    Pablo
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:17am
    Typical comment that I have noticed on so many leftist posts Paulodapotter, How about you try and prove that Dickb's comments are untrue!?
    MICK
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:32am
    You are trotting out the normal government line.
    I don't see anywhere mentioned in your advertisement about the wealthy having rorts and deductions/loopholes which governments pretend not to see.
    Your comment lacks transparency and THE FACTS.
    East of Toowoomba
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:35am
    Dickb - people who are unemployed can spend hours applying for work, say 30 mins to an hour for each application and if they applied for say 10 jobs per week, they would still have time to do other things. After all, how many job applications will result in an interview? In my experience, about one in thirty!

    When you are not working and living on a restricted income you have lots to keep you busy, including looking for work but there's no way you could do it all day, every day. It's just not possible so why shouldn't you join a protest, go for a walk or a swim if you live near a pool or the beach. I can't see why you think people on Newstart shouldn't enjoy life and participate fully in their community, just like anyone else.

    Your comments make you sound like a Nazi - instead of discriminating against Jews or Muslims or blacks, you seem to be advocating that people on the dole should be discriminated against. Even the term "Dole Bludger" is offensive and discriminatory.
    Queensland Diva
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:35am
    And you Pablo are typical of the right. So you prove that they were on the dole.
    Pablo
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:42am
    Good try Queensland Diva, you show me your proof and I'll show you mine, I am not going to get caught by all your typical leftie tricks!
    SGW
    23rd Feb 2016
    12:01pm
    Totally agree with happy cyclist
    Aravis
    23rd Feb 2016
    12:23pm
    You might like to consider that for every available job there are hundreds of people looking for work. It is clear that you have no problems; your lack of compassion for those in difficult circumstances is sickening.
    And also, far too many of the available jobs are totally unsuitable for many. You want to apply for a job so far from your home that you couldn't afford to get there? Or for one that provides you with almost nothing in wages? Or - the list can go on. Your lack of empathy is very nasty.
    Mygasheater
    23rd Feb 2016
    12:24pm
    Those leftist, radical, protesters, the Knitting Nannas, should be out their applying for jobs rather than protesting about CSG mining.

    These women are clearly just protesting to avoid their obligation to be out there attending job interviews. They abuse dole benefits to pursue a childish, immature whim and disrupt legitimate businesses and inhibit profit generation by multinationals. The government ought do something and close the loopholes and gaol them for a very long time.

    There is a real demand for tea cosies and beanies make by skilled hand knitters so it's not like the jobs aren't there.
    Adrianus
    23rd Feb 2016
    1:14pm
    Dickb nimble Dickb quick
    Think of the money we have spent
    On the Dole Bludger recipient!
    Oil the wheel that does not squeak.
    I say give more to the sick and weak.
    retroy
    23rd Feb 2016
    1:15pm
    Jackie
    Surely he does not get $7M salary !

    Did you make a typo?
    Pablo
    23rd Feb 2016
    4:45pm
    MyGasHeater, sarcasm is the lowest form of wit!
    Gra
    24th Feb 2016
    3:38pm
    Jackie, anyone who has studied economics knows there has to be a certain level of unemployment for an economy to prosper. If there weren't any unemployed there would be no incentive for employees to perform to their best ability.
    I believe your claim re hank Jongen's salary is a huge exageration.
    JAID
    23rd Feb 2016
    10:02am
    I support Michaelia Cash's "...safety net...not for those who refuse work..." interpretation.

    Just the same, no matter what scheme it is called a 'work for the dole" component where possible carries pretty obvious benefits, not least in reinforcing the recipient's confidence in their own capability.
    MICK
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:34am
    The Howard government tried it. It failed. Apparently the dole bludgers who were put on the scheme did not want to turn up and when they did did not want to work.
    I would think that the reaction would have been obvious. Did not happen!
    Mygasheater
    23rd Feb 2016
    12:29pm
    There is hundreds of thousands of jobs for people who want to work.
    I mean those on the dole have high levels of skills to fill those jobs.

    Who wouldn't be happy to have that kid who left school last year do brain surgery on them. Brain surgery, it's not rocket science, just watch a couple of videos on YouTube and Bobs your uncle.
    Anonymous
    23rd Feb 2016
    2:02pm
    Said tongue in cheek, I assume, Mygasheater? Those who pay attention to FACTS, know that there are hundreds of thousands more unemployed than there are job opportunities. Every applicant is competing with several hundred others. But the self-opinionated privileged here want to bash the poor unfortunates who keep missing out.
    Anonymous
    23rd Feb 2016
    2:24pm
    Mygasheater, you should have viewed YouTube a bit longer, as it is quite evident that you botched your own DIY cranial capers. You prattle on without any logic on every topic where I see your fratulent name.
    Pablo
    23rd Feb 2016
    4:43pm
    MyGasHeater, sarcasm is the lowest form of wit!
    doclisa
    23rd Feb 2016
    10:07am
    I think the term 'dole bludger' used in the article implies that old system the rich have for stigmatising the poor.
    We are not rich, in the unfair system perpetrated on us, we will never be rich or even have enough not to worry!. So why are we playing by their stupid rules that are all about keeping wealth in the hands of a few, therefore profit, and efficiency dividends! Efficiency is a bull**t term meaning that there is no saftey net! No help! No community. According to statistics Gina Rienhardt, personal wealth at 19 Billion, receives government subsidy of 1.7 Billion. Close that loophole first oh conservative government of mine!
    Anonymous
    23rd Feb 2016
    10:15am
    Well said, doclisa. So much emotional BS about a tiny minority who don't want to work - with accompanying cruelty to the disadvantaged who DO want an opportunity but don't get one - but we can give billions to the fabulously wealthy, let corporates dodge tax obligations in the mega-millions, grossly overindulge the wealthy with superannuation tax concessions that are disgustingly unfair, and massively overpay inept fat cat CEOs, bureaucrats and politicians.

    But the privileged will always persecute the down-trodden, and make disgustingly dishonest excuses for their abuse, bending the minds of those who can't think clearly enough to reject lies and propaganda. And the many just plain selfish and greedy self-obsessed who have no idea what it is to suffer major disadvantage will keep condemning and abusing the down-trodden and applauding their persecution.
    Paulodapotter
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:10am
    Agreed!
    Wstaton
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:10am
    And of course Rainey while quietly rorting the super system, CGT, Negative gearing, "et sic porro" (and so on)
    MICK
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:37am
    Doclisa: the answer to your question as to why we are playing the game which the rich always win - because people are conned by slick advertising and mostly vote Labor or Liberal. That is how the bastards beat us. Honest. Do something different and send them out of politic rather than just out of government. They will soon take notice!
    Old Man
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:55am
    Facts please doclisa, Rinehart is worth $11B and her subsidy has never been actually itemised but has always been shown as a part of subsidies to mining companies generally. It should be pointed out that the "subsidies" reported are not exactly that but a return of fuel excise. Fuel excise is charged to help maintain our road systems and as mining companies don't have their large equipment using the roads, they apply for a refund of the excise.
    Mygasheater
    23rd Feb 2016
    1:07pm
    doclisa,

    We must distinguish between the "deserving rich" and the "undeserving poor" before handing out very generous taxpayer charity.

    The deserving rich win every time, given billions and millions with no string a attached but make the pittance given to undeserving poor subject to rigid conditions. Where benefits can be remove by a minor bureaucrat at any time, with no right of appeal.

    Yep, that's fair.
    Mygasheater
    23rd Feb 2016
    1:33pm
    Old Man,

    When I drive my car in and out of my driveway, a private road, shouldn't I be entitled to a rebate on the fuel excise?
    Pablo
    23rd Feb 2016
    10:07am
    These bludgers should not be allowed, under ANY circumstance, to refuse a job offer. You are right Michaelia Cash, Australians who pay taxes to fund our welfare system expect there to be safeguards to ensure that those who can work do work. The taxpayers of Australia are sick and tired of funding those that bludge on the system. The dole is there to just tide you over until you find a job, NOT for you to bludge it for doing nothing!
    Anonymous
    23rd Feb 2016
    10:20am
    Obviously too privileged to ever understand, Pablo, that 90% of them desperately WANT an opportunity, but refuse work that is totally unsuitable for them or that they cannot perform (due to physical or mental limitations). There are very few ''bludgers'', but once you take an exhausting, soul-destroying job, there are huge limitations on your capacity to look for better. The people you are condemning are mostly heavily disadvantaged folk who have been disenfranchised by a society that lacks compassion and is geared to keeping the disadvantaged down (''in their place'') for the benefit of the privileged. There are very few who enjoy doing nothing, and fewer still who are happy to live on the pathetic amount the dole offers and suffer the stigmatisation of unemployment.

    Get a life, Pablo! You are far too judgmental and cruel.
    Happy cyclist
    23rd Feb 2016
    10:29am
    Actually Pablo we pay taxes to support all the services that each and every one of us benefit from. The tiny tiny proportion of my tax which goes to welfare for others is also a safety net for me should I too fall on hard times. I agree completely with RAINEY, you are "far too judgmental and cruel".
    Pablo
    23rd Feb 2016
    10:52am
    Obviously you are happy for people to rip off the system, so I wish you luck when your welfare payments have been reduced because there just isn't enough to go around.

    "far too judgemental and cruel" eh! What about if you had a business with a lot of employees and each one of those employees was stealing 1 pen a week! Just think about what happens to the bottom line when people steal from you! This is no different from what I am talking about.

    And ... I thought it would be obvious from the way I wrote this that I am not referring to those who are genuinely looking for a job, but it seems I need to spell it out clearly in words of one syllable or less!

    I don't care what excuses these true bludgers (again, not the ones genuinely looking for a job) give, they should be taken off the dole if they refuse a job offer.
    Paulodapotter
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:11am
    There's always demand for one legged Lion Tamers.
    Wstaton
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:18am
    I don't think anyone likes people rorting the system Pablo. That why we don't like some of the rich doing so deliberately with the so called tax breaks ripping off the taxpayer much more than the small number of so called bludgers are.
    MICK
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:40am
    A few very good comments.
    Whilst it would be pretty unfair to expect a former high flying CEO to accept a job as a toilet cleaner I would think that most people who refuse a job whilst on the dole just want a free ride....whilst being a free agent. As always there should be some common sense used (very short supply in the Public Service) and if the job is not unreasonable then the person should be made to take it or lose benefits.
    Aravis
    23rd Feb 2016
    12:26pm
    Ugly, Pablo! Turn you spleen onto the wealthy bludgers for a while.
    Mygasheater
    23rd Feb 2016
    12:32pm
    Hey Pablo,

    There's a slight problem, there are more people unemployed that there are vacant jobs.
    Pablo
    23rd Feb 2016
    12:43pm
    Grow up Aravis and Mygasheater! If you'd read all the comments you would have seen that I believe all of the rorters from BOTH ends of the spectrum should be shut down. And MyGasHeater, you obviously didn't read what this article is all about - it is to do with PEOPLE APPLYING FOR JOBS or not, as the case maybe. Nothing at all to do with "more people unemployed that there are vacant jobs' - check it out mate and start all over again with your
    leftie drivel!
    Mygasheater
    23rd Feb 2016
    1:12pm
    Pablo,

    I have a young nephew who was "breached" (benefits suspended) for six weeks for failing to turn up for a job interview. It didn't matter that on the way to the interview he was hit by a tram and broke his leg and ended up in hospital.

    Even when Drs certificates were given to Centrelink, his benefits were not reinstated for that period.
    jackie
    23rd Feb 2016
    3:18pm
    Mick Many are sitting on NSA because they don't qualify for a DSP but are too sick to work. They seem to only give the DSP to drug addicts/alcoholics and healthy Muslim males with cash in hand jobs theses days
    Pablo
    23rd Feb 2016
    3:24pm
    MyGasHeater, I can make up as many untrue statements as you can! My guess is that he was breached and then you all came up with this ridiculous excuse!
    Anonymous
    23rd Feb 2016
    6:04pm
    Pablo, that's a disgustingly cruel and nasty assumption to make and you have absolutely no basis for making it. Do you know the saying? ASS_U_ME's make an ASS out of U and ME. And you are showing yourself to be a PRIZE ASS (and a nasty one at that!)

    23rd Feb 2016
    10:10am
    Generally speaking, I think people should accept whatever work is available, but there are exceptions where compassion and understanding is merited. Highly intelligent, capable people who have suffered extreme disadvantage can suffer serious mental illness as a result of being forced to work in boring, mind-deadening jobs that offer no future. Our focus on insisting fancy pieces of paper are the ''be all and end all'' in job hunt is socially destructive, depriving people of opportunity and the nation of talent. We need to review the way we deal with some - particularly older and experienced people - who lack formal qualifications but have evidenced capability and are now being discriminated against because of age and lack of formal education or training.

    Additionally, jobs are not not always what they seem. I know one unemployed man who took a job in desperation but subsequently quit because the employer was downright abusive and not compliant with health and safety regulations, but despite many, many complaints from employees, somehow this employer continued year after year to get away with appalling treatment of employees - most of whom were desperate for work and willing to suffer quite shockingly-bad conditions, but ended up quitting despite the penalties. Just one example of the abuse - the employer's wife would stand on the verandah and scream threats and swear at workers if they stopped to wipe perspiration off their brow, to swallow a mouthful of water, or to adjust a load. This was in a stinking hot climate and the work was extremely heavy and physically punishing. Workers were threatened with sacking and a report to Centrelink that they were ''lazy and indolent'' and ''deliberate troublemakers''.

    The other factor I think isn't taken adequately into account is a person's capacity to assess their own capabilities. When people refuse a job because they know they won't be able to do it, it's often hard for outsiders to assess accurately whether the refusal is laziness, unwillingness, or a genuine informed decision that seeks to protect both the employer and other job-seekers from disadvantage and the applicant from intolerable stress and damage to their self-esteem.

    Unemployment is a complex problem that can't be fairly dealt with through rigid rules or careless judgments. Those who have never experienced severe disadvantage in the job market simply cannot understand how unemployment, under-employment, and unsatisfactory employment can all be thoroughly psychologically devastating, and unsuitable employment can be physically devastating as well as totally soul destroying,

    We should encourage a healthy attitude to the obligation to work and contribute to society, but we should be very wary of judgmental attitudes and ill-conceived notions about something the more fortunate cannot hope to understand.

    It's sad that any system is going to either hurt good, innocent people who already suffer huge disadvantage, or allow a few lazy folk to get away with bad behaviour. Personally, I'd rather suffer the latter. It will only ever be a small minority and the accompanying cost will be small (though many will quote uninformed anecdotal evidence seeking to prove grounds for their objection to someone getting ''free money''). I'd rather suffer a small imposition on taxpayers than a cruel system that destroys those who face major life challenges.
    Wstaton
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:27am
    Well said Rainey, In addition people forced to work in a job completely unsuitable to them suffering mental and physical anguish eventually become a cost to the state under the health system. This ends up costing the taxpayer more than the pittance of the dole.
    Anonymous
    23rd Feb 2016
    2:08pm
    Yes, Wstaton, or they do as many I know have done. They commit suicide in desperation. And I guess some here would cheer and say ''one less for the taxpayer to support''?
    Adrianus
    23rd Feb 2016
    5:52pm
    Rainey, those "Highly intelligent, capable people who have suffered extreme disadvantage can suffer serious mental illness as a result of being forced to work in boring, mind-deadening jobs that offer no future." Would they feel much the same way if they had increased taxes on their super?
    Personally I think they should face their fears like we poor souls who aren't highly intelligent. Diversity is the spice of life.
    Anonymous
    23rd Feb 2016
    6:17pm
    Frank, they don't HAVE any super, because they've never had a decent break in life. And many of them have faced their fears and tried very hard to overcome their disadvantage. But society continues to kick those who are down, and self-serving egotistical pricks whose only worry is the tax they pay on their fat super endorse kicking the disadvantaged hard. After all, while the government is kicking the downtrodden, they are leaving the self-serving rich pricks alone to enjoy their unfair gain, aren't they?

    The callous and uncaring here just don't get that there's a massive difference between ''bludgers'' (of which there are undoubtedly some) and people who want to work, but desperately need a break in life - a break that is more than just an offer of a shit job that will destroy them both physically and psychologically.

    As I've said elsewhere, we would do better to stop bashing the victims of society's failure and start focusing on creating opportunity. There are going to be some 800,000 unemployed and goodness knows how many under-employed no matter what, until we fix some of the underlying economic problems we are struggling with. Bashing the victim won't change that! Maybe if we abandoned this stupid ''trickle down'' theory that has proven an abject failure and started concentrating on healthy social policy and everyone paying their way in society we might actually make progress toward a solution. But my, my! The privileged would NEVER want that, would they? Pay their way? NO WAY!
    Adrianus
    23rd Feb 2016
    6:40pm
    Rainey there is enormous opportunity.
    You have been looking in the wrong places.
    If you cant see the opportunity then don't blame someone else. Learn how to see your opportunities.

    Yes highly intelligent people may not have acquired this skill. If so it's about time they started to learn. Their lives depend on their own skill sets. Not what the government can do for them. Not what someone else can lay on a plate for them.
    If these people you talk about are your children, then I'm sorry for you.
    I'm sorry that you have not taught them the basic fundamental skill of recognising opportunity.
    I expect you will respond to me with more negativity. :(
    Anonymous
    23rd Feb 2016
    6:56pm
    Frank, you are full of it. There are more than half a million less vacancies than people wanting jobs, despite people who are only employed one hour a week being classed as ''employed''. There is NOT enormous opportunity, no matter where you look. There is a stuffed economy in which technology has displaced labour and greed has destroyed both incentive and opportunity. And there is NOT much opportunity for a great many to develop skills late in life when they have suffered huge disadvantage in earlier years.

    It's NOT about wanting anything on a plate. And no, I'm NOT talking about my children - who were all very gainfully employed and making good money until a few years ago when one had to give up work to care for a seriously disabled child (Some call her a ''bludger'', but they wouldn't know what hard work is!) The others are still making good money. They are lucky. They HAD opportunity and guidance to know how to take advantage of it.

    But it's time the egotistical privileged stopped their stupid assumptions and took a look at how life really is for the disadvantaged. If we stopped judging people and started trying to understand the challenges they face and address them constructively, we might actually create enough jobs to go around. But no! It's ever so much easier to bash the victims of social failure than to admit society got it wrong and take the risk that some of the greedy might have to give a little to solve the resulting problems.

    And by the way, nobody knows more than I do about finding or creating opportunity. I went from disadvantaged orphan living in abject poverty with no education to CEO of a public company. So don't tell me about not seeing opportunity. I know it can be done. I also know how devastatingly hard it is and that not everyone has either the mental capability or the emotional stamina to survive the horrendous climb out of hardship. People whose self-esteem has been totally demolished over and over again, who have no education, no skills, and no guidance or mentors have every cause to be negative. And only a cruel insensitive arsehole would treat them with the contempt and arrogance you display.
    Adrianus
    23rd Feb 2016
    7:35pm
    I don't believe you Rainey. You sound intelligent enough, but someone with your negative outlook and contempt for others would not have made it to CEO of a Public company. Especially on your own.
    Anonymous
    24th Feb 2016
    10:09am
    Frank, I have neither a ''negative outlook'' nor ''contempt for others''. What I have is experience in the real world of hardship and deep compassion for and understanding of people who have suffered disadvantage or who face significant challenges that restrict their ability to do what the arrogant and self-opinionated 'successful' folk insist everyone SHOULD be doing.

    I've seen both sides of the coin. I've benefited from extremely hard work and great determination, but I was lucky to have a strong mentor who taught me to believe in myself and never give up, and who gave me the tools to overcome hardship. I had a very long, hard climb and a lot of knocks on the way. And I haven't made it to where I hoped to be at retirement age (thanks to a lot of dishonest rich people who are quick to condemn ''welfare bludgers'' but who cheat, lie and steal without restraint to fill their own coffers!)

    I've been very close to a lot of people who haven't had that good fortune - people who have been trampled on all their life and convinced that they are worthless and useless and not deserving of respect. People who don't know what it is to be loved and respected. It's easy to say what those people SHOULD do, but it's not easy to walk in their shoes and understand just how hard it can be when you have no money, no emotional support, and the voice in your head is telling you you are worthless and useless and it's no good trying. Add the voice of your neighbour calling you a ''dole bludger'' and accusing you of stealing his precious tax dollar, and the voice of the privileged worker telling you what you should have done (that you had no hope of doing due to hardship) and what ''opportunities you are missing'', entirely through your own stupidity or uselessness (as if others would know what opportunities you HAVEN'T been presented with), and I can understand some people just giving up.

    It's true that we make our life through our choices, but what the self-righteous forget is that some people never have the opportunity to learn how to make good choices. When you suffer abuse, extreme poverty, ill-health, AND the cruel condemnation of the more privileged who THINK you should be able to JUST DO XXXXX, but have no idea how hard it is from where you are standing, you not only can't make good choices, but you give up wanting to. You just feel as though it's all hopeless. And yes, some people develop a view that if it's okay for all these judgmental people to trample on them and make their life a misery, it's okay for them to take the bastard's tax dollars and just do their own thing. Tit for tat. Been walked over, bashed, thumped, cursed, ridiculed, bullied, condemned. Why the hell care about the pockets of those who mistreated you or what THEY think you ought to do?

    If society stopped judging and condemning and started trying to understand and help, we might make some progress in resolving the problems the arrogant and self-righteous rant on about. Bullying and condemning will only make it worse. The current prevailing attitude seems to be that we should remove incentives and rewards for battlers and punish the victims of society's failure to feed the greed of the selfish privileged. Keep the poor down so the rich can keep feeling superior. Well, it will come back to bite. It will NEVER solve the current economic problems, but it WILL create social problems of enormous magnitude. It may well lead, again, to revolution or war. It will likely drive huge increases in crime and health costs.

    I don't care what you do or don't believe about me Frank. I am who I am and I've done what I've done and people can like me or hate me, believe me or call me a liar. I don't give a shit about people who don't know me or their uninformed opinions. I don't even care about those who DO know me and pass judgement. But I will NOT remain silent while judgmental privileged people condemn others they know nothing about and speak in support of attitudes and policies that are cruel and unfair and that destroy people who are deserving of respect and a helping hand and destroy what could be a beautiful and prosperous society if only greed, selfishness and self-righteous arrogance could be stamped out.

    Yes, there are people out there who don't deserve the taxpayer's charity. There are people out there who could do better for themselves with a little more effort. But you haven't walked in their shoes and you don't know what they are struggling with. It's so easy to judge, and so hard to understand.

    I will maintain my belief that the best remedy for our economic problems is to stop bashing the victims of social failure and start at the top, accepting responsibility for those who have much much more than they need to give a little for the better good of all. And that DOES NOT mean taking the small rewards battlers who have tried hard but not quite made it to self-sufficient retirement need away from them. It means those who have WAY MORE THAN THEY NEED doing the giving - the people who won't suffer an ounce of hurt by sacrificing a little.

    Hold out a helping hand instead of stepping on someone and cursing them and you might be amazed at just how quickly their attitude changes. Love and respect are great healers. Calling someone a ''dole bludger'' or telling them their income is '''welfare'' and they are therefore second class citizens, or they haven't achieved well enough to be entitled to enjoy a fair reward for their efforts (so they must give back all they have struggled to earn) is guaranteed to yield the result I suspect the rich secretly want - to make the social problems far worse and the poor into an underclass who have no opportunity and no hope.
    Adrianus
    24th Feb 2016
    11:37am
    Rainey, I certainly cannot argue with any of that :)
    But why do you insist on standing on the mountain of morality and defending your ground with abuse, insisting that you and only you can understand hardship?
    Your background is not that much different to mine and yet I have no hatred for anyone. Not those who are (confirmed) dole bludgers and not those who pay $60m for a house. I know more about life than you give me credit for and a lot more about human nature than you realise. I certainly know what it's like to be unloved and lacking in self esteem while not knowing what that meant at the time. I left an abusive home at 14 and found out what it was like to be homeless and unwanted. I had no idea about welfare, I kept to myself and didn't trust anyone. My schooling may have stopped at 14 but my education continues to this day. When I look back, I am surprised at how successful I became, but then again, I did the jobs others weren't prepared to do.
    Rainey I think you confuse words of encouragement from others as a lack of compassion.
    If you convince people their lack of success is the fault of others then they will expect others to make it right.
    There are plenty of able bodied able minded unemployed who can be productive if they want to take matters into their own hands. Smothering them with kindness and compassion is not being kind to them. Sure it may make you feel good. I learned this lesson the hard way.
    I've lost count of the number of people I've helped get on their feet to lead happy, productive, financially successful lives. And yes it cost me a lot of money. I'm not concerned about the money in as much as I paid for the lessons. You see we both have been over compensating because of the path our lives have taken.

    In many cases honesty allows people to know where they stand.
    Welfare is welfare. You can see it as you describe or you can see it as a helping hand for those who really need it from a country which appreciates their contribution? Your choice?
    The fight to hang onto that desire to succeed is a real battle. It's tough alright as you are well aware.
    What would you rather have? A tough fight which leads to your desired outcome or lack of desire/activity which leads to the outcome of others?
    Anonymous
    24th Feb 2016
    2:09pm
    Sorry, I don't agree that 'welfare is welfare' Frank. I think society has a debt to those it has seriously disenfranchised, especially when it has done so to the unfair advantage of the more powerful and privileged. And I think society has an obligation to ensure people enjoy a fair reward for their efforts, even if that means that sometimes taxpayers who have been much more fortunate have to stump up a few dollars to enable a system that maintains incentives and rewards.

    Honesty is all very well, but it's NOT honest to call someone a ''bludger'' or a ''cheat'' or to say their reasons for doing something are ''facile'' without bothering to investigate in detail and consider the very many complex issues that affect a life-changing decision.

    I fought a tough fight, and it brought rewards (for a time. Looks like those rewards are going to be confiscated in the name of GREED and ill-conceived economics). But not everyone is capable of a tough fight - at least not without a great deal of help. It's too easy to put failure down to ''lack of desire/activity'', but that may be an entirely unfair and cruel judgment of someone who has loads of desire, but just can't see answers to problems that are overwhelming them.

    People will lead financially successful lives when they are given a degree of freedom, respect, and support to make the RIGHT decision for them - not as a result of being bullied into accepting utterly unacceptable, demoralising and physically and emotionally destructive work offers just to satisfy the demands of a selfish society that lacks compassion and won't even try to understand people's private challenges.
    Gra
    24th Feb 2016
    3:46pm
    Just because a person takes a job that isn't entirely suited to them does not mean they have to stay in that job. There is nothing stopping them pursuing the type of work they are qualified for. Too many refuse jobs simply because they think the job is beneath them.
    Anonymous
    25th Feb 2016
    7:14pm
    Unfortunately, Gra, that's not quite accurate. Once someone takes an unsuitable job, it can be a thousand times more difficult to find a suitable position. Tiredness and frustration, shortage of time to look for opportunities, limited ability to take time off to go to interviews, and inability to travel long distances due to work commitments all contribute to making it harder. Then there's the reality that employers often prefer unemployed applicants, have a loyalty to other employers and don't want to take their employee away from them, and are suspicious of workers who switch employment and judge them as disloyal, flighty, uncommitted, etc.

    In a perfect world, everyone would take whatever work was available and then seek suitable work once employed, but I know thousands who will tell you from their own experience that it's nearly impossible once you've taken an unsatisfactory job full time or nearly full time to pursue a better opportunity - at least until you've been in the unsatisfactory job for more than a year.
    Julian
    23rd Feb 2016
    10:26am
    We live in a country in which welfare is not considered a privilege but a right. This has to change.

    We have a government who wants this to change, but an opposition who relies on welfare recipients for votes. Speaking with those on welfare , through the years, one clear message is common; they vote for the party who will continue to fund their lifestyle, not the one who wants to reduce their benefits and make them contribute.
    Pablo
    23rd Feb 2016
    10:59am
    Too true Julian, as I heard one politician say quite a while back, the dole is only there to tide you over until you find a job, not as something to live on forever.

    And yes, these welfare recipients do vote for the ALP/Greens because they know that they can then get away with anything.
    Paulodapotter
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:13am
    Now that must be well researched comment, Pablo
    Pablo
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:19am
    Well then, prove I'm wrong Paulodapotter!
    happy
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:39am
    Agree. Far too many unemployed refuse work that is below their dignity. Or does not pay sufficiently more than their welfare payment which they consider their pay.
    MICK
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:43am
    Your are on the money with a part of your post and then the other is a political advertisement. By all means attack Labor....but how about you start on multinationals not paying tax in Australia, offshore Tax Shelters and superannuation rorting by the well off. Not a word about RIGHT WING corruption so that the poor give to the rich.
    Mygasheater
    23rd Feb 2016
    12:41pm
    Julian,

    You are right. Far too many people see welfare as a right.

    Corporate welfare is rampant in the form of subsidies, tax breaks, government facilitated profit off shoring to minimise and or avoid paying tax.

    Generous tax breaks on superannuation, negative gearing, rebates on private health insurance, public funding of the top private schools, etc.

    All of the above groups see welfare as a right.
    Paulodapotter
    23rd Feb 2016
    1:20pm
    Of course welfare is a right for those can't find work. I tell that to my daughter all the time, but she refuses to accept chartity from the government. It's a matter of choice and no one should be ashamed of accepting a helping hand and willing to provide one when they can. Get off your high horses.
    Trevine
    23rd Feb 2016
    10:34am
    I agree with Pete. First close the 'loopholes' for employers paying less than the minimum wage.
    Paulodapotter
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:14am
    Right Trevine, no one is smelling of roses on this issue.
    Mygasheater
    23rd Feb 2016
    12:54pm
    Trevine,

    Underpaying employees is systematic theft with many facets. Firstly it theft from the employee and it reduces the amount of PAYE tax collected, lower superannuation paid for the employee. In the long term this results in lower retirement income for the employee.

    A lower wage bill reduces payroll tax payable so even less tax revenue collected, etc.

    Employers found to be systematically underpaying employee should be dealt with under criminal law not industrial law. Sentencing these people to five years in gaol would put an end to this form of theft.
    Pablo
    23rd Feb 2016
    1:09pm
    So MyGasHeater, following your logic means those rorting the welfare system should also be dealt with under criminal law and sentenced to jail!

    I'm sure you'll have a meaningless comeback, so let's hear it!
    Paulodapotter
    23rd Feb 2016
    1:22pm
    It is Pablo. Following the rules is not rorting the system.
    Pablo
    23rd Feb 2016
    3:27pm
    And, Paulodapotter, the converse is also true - don't follow the rules and you ARE rorting the system AS I ALREADY SAID! (Even though I have no idea what you comment was about, and you probably don't either!)
    Jake
    23rd Feb 2016
    10:38am
    I would ask, Do you know just how much the Dole is? And do you think anyone on even the Basic wage, can cope with the gaping difference. Mortgage alone will take much more than unemployment benefits. This is what needs to be fixed.. And I am also disgusted at the HAWKE revitalized Term of Abuse ' BLUDGER' We know where that term might be rightfully used and it's not for people out of work.. it's for those at the TOP WHO LIVE OFF THEM.
    Paulodapotter
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:15am
    Steady Jake, but you are right, living off the dole or a basic wage is no picnic.
    MICK
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:45am
    Eight young dole recipients shacking up together? Economy of scale. And get to hit the surf whenever they wake up.
    What a life....and you are paying for it.
    Pablo
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:58am
    Exactly Mick! So many people seem to agree with the dole bludgers while criticising the other end of society. BOTH ends of the scale need to be seriously addressed to fix up the country's bottom line.
    Mygasheater
    23rd Feb 2016
    12:58pm
    mick,

    You're on to something here. OAPs and superannuants could get a share house, 6 or 8 of them, chip in to cover expenses and the play lawn bowls or bingo all day every day.
    Paulodapotter
    23rd Feb 2016
    1:23pm
    You can have it Mick. Have you tried it?
    Jake
    23rd Feb 2016
    10:42am
    I want to talk about the link at the bottom of this article ' inviting to read further' You may well know that it leads to PAID PRESCRIPTION page. One cannot read further until one hands over money to what can be read for free elsewhere. Anyone who pays for news is a FOOL, you already pay for it in your taxes.
    Mygasheater
    23rd Feb 2016
    1:36pm
    Jake,

    It costs nothing to read New Matilda or th Guardian online.
    maelcolium
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:00am
    I find the timing of this earth shattering revelation curious. After support for the government has fallen back to where it began, with tax "reform" sidelined with a vaccilating PM, with the opposition taking the lead in negative gearing reform, we get a report on those evil dole bludgers rorting our tax dollars. Seriously? It's just more of the look over here diversion tactics by a government in trouble. Usually these reports are found to be a small minority who could be dealt with without all the fanfare. Insted of cheering on another round of dole bludger bashing, how about we focus on the inability of the government to provide real jobs for people to fix unemployment now risen to 6% and youth unemployment to 20%. Un=underemployment is running at 18% and yet the best our employment Minister can do is to spruik this story. How about doing your job Ms Cash?
    Paulodapotter
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:17am
    Fair comment.
    Old Man
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:33am
    Apart from the Public Service, governments don't create jobs, private employers create jobs.
    MICK
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:47am
    Yeah maelcolium. Sounds like a publicity stunt with this dead in the water government trying to get votes. What would get them votes is action BEFORE the election to get taxes out of the rich and multinationals, not counting the closing of superannuation loopholes for the rich and offshore Tax Havens.
    Let's have a real debate.
    Mygasheater
    23rd Feb 2016
    1:42pm
    maelcolium,

    Now, that would be very cynical of you to think that yesterday's opinion poll would have the NLP to target a hapless group like Centrelink recipients to demonise and divert attention from Malcolm Nopolicies.
    Rae
    23rd Feb 2016
    1:49pm
    Exactly maelcolium.

    Thank goodness we have unemployment benefits as without that money being spent in the communities a lot more businesses would be closing up or struggling more than they already are.

    It sometimes annoys me when I see new immigrants with 6 to 10 kids receiving welfare but even they are helping the money to flow around the system.

    Some people will always be unable or unwilling to work or will scam a system. Having a welfare safety net is a good thing.

    If we do have a rise in refugee or immigrant unemployment numbers the welfare system may not survive and that would be a terrible thing.
    Anonymous
    23rd Feb 2016
    2:13pm
    maelcolium, you are spot on, except that unemployment isn't 6%, because this lying government claims someone employed JUST ONE HOUR PER WEEK is NOT UNEMPLOYED. The true figures would likely show that the number of unemployed is approaching 2 million, with only a couple of hundred thousands jobs on offer. But that doesn't stop the self-serving here bashing the unfortunate who are disenfranchised by society, does it?
    loulbelle
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:08am
    I agree with all of Rainey's comments. I am unemployed and over 50 so finding a job is very very difficult. I also have physical restrictions owing to injuries to my knee and shoulder. Yesterday I was offered a job to empty sanitary bins for commercial properties. My physical incapacity's unfortunately would not allow me to undertake this job. My skills and qualifications are way above the selection criteria for this job but I would have done it if I wasn't a risk to my employer. Simply just to work. It appears to me that anyone on Centrelink benefits is classed as a dole bludger.

    Consideration needs to be taken for those that are but they are the minority.Also volunteering for an organisation Centrelink pays you $20 per week. This barely covers your transport costs. However helping a not for profit organisation can be a very rewarding experience.

    Personally unions fought long and hard to ensure equality in minimum pay rates. To me it is a form of slave labour where the employer (mostly the bigger multi-million dollar companies eg 7 eleven) use this to further increase their wealth. Again the rich grow richer and the poor poorer. This initiative is in urgent need of review. To be unemployed is bad enough but being called a dole bludger is even worse!
    Paulodapotter
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:18am
    Very fair comment, loulbelle
    MICK
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:50am
    This government and the Howard government a few years before it have a very stringent policy which they refuse to put away: LOWER PAY RATES FOR MOST OF THE POPULATION.....other than the rich who get tax deductions.
    After a lifetime you see you get to recognise the real crooks and understand that the system is geared up to the well off.
    Charlie
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:14am
    Why do they keep offering permanent jobs to people who don't want to work.
    Take 3 or 4 age pensioners and let them do the job on casual rates.

    Why am I not surprised to find something else that Centrelink didn't do right?
    loulbelle
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:29am
    Totally agree with employing age pensioners on casual rates. Another problem is when you turn 50 you aren't old enough for access to your superannuation. I have to wait 7 years before I can even begin to think about it. It is near impossible to be on a disability pension. Centrelink over-ride the doctor's reports and won't grant you a disability pension. You can't pay your mortgage or if you have a car it is very costly to run. I have worked all my life and paid a significant amount of tax but it seems like we are the forgotten generation.

    Does the government want us to be homeless, living on the streets and barely being able to live on the Newstart allowance?

    I have applied for 100s of jobs and without success. I wish the pollies could live on Centrelink for 6 months and see how they like the experience.
    Wstaton
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:33am
    Yes Charlie offer the pensioners the sanitary job. And then reduce thier pension becuase they are earning.
    Anonymous
    23rd Feb 2016
    2:16pm
    ''Does the government want us to be homeless, living on the streets and barely being able to live on the Newstart allowance?''

    YES! That's EXACTLY what this cruel government and it's self-serving supporters want, Charlie. Sick, isn't it?
    Ayin
    23rd Feb 2016
    2:35pm
    Charlie
    Why not simply have aged pensioners fill the seats of government and utilize the great fountain of knowledge that they have. I am sure they would be happy to do this for the country so long as out of pocket expenses were covered. No helecopters required?
    Anonymous
    23rd Feb 2016
    6:08pm
    Why not stop bashing the aged and let people who wore themselves out slogging away in unsafe or unhealthy work conditions for decades retire on a fair pension so that there are job vacancies for younger folk who need a job? Why not encourage and help parents of young children to provide one full-time carer while the other works?

    We don't have jobs for everyone. Technology has reduced the demand for labour. Support those who can play a productive role without working and those who are past working age or ill or disabled, and leave the jobs that do exist for the healthy younger folk.
    Old Man
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:14am
    It seems that some replies have a misunderstanding of the problem. It's not a dole bashing exercise, it's not attacking the majority of job seekers but it's aimed at a very small group. These are the ones who have applied for a job, been successful and have declined the offer for various reasons or refuse to apply for work which suits their qualifications.

    The loophole was put in place by the previous government and needs to be either removed or amended to stop the very few who, apparently, are rorting the system. As with all legislation, there will always be loopholes and it is quite often necessary to plug those loopholes to make it work under the spirit of the initial legislation.
    Paulodapotter
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:22am
    Fair comment, Old Man, but as an issue, it is small bickies when we see companies like 7/11 and Dominoes engaging in outright theft of thousands with little consequence. (Tip of the iceberg too)
    Pablo
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:23am
    Exactly Old Man, you have said it much better than I did!
    Old Man
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:40am
    See Paulodapotter, you have made a generalisation by roping in all employers with the small minority of exploitative employers. You may note that those you have mentioned are being brought before the relevant courts. Most employers value the worth of their staff and understand that they are the most important asset they have.
    MICK
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:53am
    Gee Old Man, you mean Tony Abbott missed something when he undid hundreds of pieces of (Labor) legislation?
    When you talk about a "small number" of rorters you may wish to mention the same on the top end where fleecing the tax system is a fine art and every trick and dishonest rort known is employed. So do you want these left alone?
    Sundays
    23rd Feb 2016
    12:14pm
    I agree Old Man. Close the loophole. I can't understand why it is being held up by the senate. I have real sympathy for genuine job seekers on benefits but If you are physically able to the work, then you should take the job. I've had jobs I didn't like, but they provided much needed income, There are now families where no one has ever had a job, or wants one and this attitude does not help the country. I live in a tourist town, and the hospitality sector is always looking for workers.
    MICK
    23rd Feb 2016
    12:51pm
    What do you pay then Sundays? No not the top rate....the bottom? If you honestly answer that one I am sure you'll provide the answer to your own question.
    Mygasheater
    23rd Feb 2016
    1:28pm
    Oldman,

    If the loophole was put in place by the previous Labor government, the Coaltion must have voted for it otherwise it would not have passed into law.

    Gee, I wonder how hard it would be for the NLP to put up legislation to close the loopholes that allow big business to "rort" the system through tax minimisation and or tax avoidance. Too hard I guess.
    Anonymous
    23rd Feb 2016
    2:20pm
    And please tell me, Oldman, who makes the decision whether someone is rejecting a job for good reason or not? Oh, probably the same twenty-three-year-old rich bitch dripping diamonds who decided a 64-year-old Forgotten Australian, abused in an orphanage, forced into military service, suffering PTSD as a result, then seriously injured in a work accident, could be ''phased back into full time work'' at age 68 if he was FORCED to do 3-days a week voluntary work and have physiotherapy and counselling at his own cost.

    Spare me the ''holier-than-though'' preaching about your comments being focused only on the ''bludgers''. There are very few of them, and in most cases they are impossible to identify. It's easy to judge, but not nearly so easy to KNOW.
    KSS
    23rd Feb 2016
    3:26pm
    Anecdotal evidence Rainey?
    Sundays
    23rd Feb 2016
    5:07pm
    Sorry Mick, pay what? Do you mean tax? Well used to be heaps because I had jobs where there were no salary sacrifice arrangements. As a mostly self funded retiree, not much but no rorting either. However, I personally know people who could work and chose not to. One prefers their own little eBay business which flies under the radar, the other is not a morning person and wants to stay home to look after her now teenage children. The cafes here can't attract staff as they would rather go surfing etc.
    Anonymous
    23rd Feb 2016
    6:34pm
    Where's the evidence that any sizable number are bludging, KSS. The statistics say that's just not true. Official statistics say that despite classing people who work only one hour per week as ''employed'', we still have nearly 800,000 unemployed, and if every job vacancy were filled tomorrow with someone from that number, there would still be some half a million without jobs.
    bartpcb
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:18am
    Those on unemployment benefits should be required to take employment so long as taking that employment does not leave them with less money than on the 'benefit'. And before anyone suggests it, the answer in not to reduce the benefit to send it even further below the 'poverty line'. The answer should be to raise salaries to a level that once tax etc is removed, the minimum 'net' is 66% above the benefit.
    Paulodapotter
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:23am
    Fair comment
    Oldpom63
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:21am
    I would like to be able to receive job offers, I never get to the offer stage I always get the "thanks but no thanks" emails back from the jobs I apply for.
    please send me the job offers that get refused !!!
    There should be no discrimination of any kind but I suspect that I am being age discriminated ( I'm 63) and Centrelink say I have to look for work, I wish they would tell employers that!
    Paulodapotter
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:28am
    It's the same at both ends of the age scale.
    loulbelle
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:31am
    Totally agree with you. I have at least another 20 years work in me and the same as Oldpom 63 if by some miracle you are invited to an interview the panel takes one look at you regardless of your skills and experience and you may as well forget that job.
    East of Toowoomba
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:49am
    Loulbelle and Oldpom63 have you thought about being upfront in your application letter and stating your age.

    You could word it so that it is an advantage saying something like "At age 51 (or 63) I have acquired a great deal of life experience and emotional maturity and derive immense satisfaction from working." That way the interviewer won't be surprised when you turn up for an interview because they already know how old you are and that you are keen to work, experienced and are most likely a good fit for their organisation.
    MICK
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:56am
    Feel sorry for you Oldpom63. You are airing the reason why I have advocated for years that retirees boycott any business which clearly discriminates against older Australians. Easy to set up a website (well?) and put the names of these businesses on there. The word soon gets around. And when business drops proprietors will get a cold message.
    Mygasheater
    23rd Feb 2016
    1:49pm
    Businesses don't say outright that you didn't get the job because of your age. To do so would be a breach of the Discrimination Act with resultant consequences if proved. The same with health or medical problems.

    The reason for the knock is usually because the person is "over qualified".

    These constant knock backs for whatever reason, sure grind a person down.
    Reeper
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:49am
    Missing is the fact the government is trying to close the loop hole, but the Senate is blocking it. Doesn't that tell you something........ For all you bringing up your Fairy Tales; the last leftist protesters brought to Court (attacking an old lady who was against refugees) they, their witnesses and supporters were all on benefits....
    MICK
    23rd Feb 2016
    12:07pm
    And the reason why?
    The current right wing government tried to introduce a Bill to keep job seekers off benefits for 6 months. Same government then tried to make job seekers apply for 40 jobs a week (that's over 5 a day M to F).
    So let's not slinging the dishonest right wing propaganda Reeper. Well...you are well known for it.
    Pablo
    23rd Feb 2016
    12:10pm
    This will always be the case Reeper, the lefties will do whatever they can to hand money out hand over fist to anyone who is AND ISN'T entitled to it. We're called Right Wingers because we work for a living and pay tax, and the lefties think the world owes them a living. Silly billy and all his leftie mates are responsible for the mess our country is in and continues in opposition to stop any of the Coalition's reforms.
    MICK
    23rd Feb 2016
    12:54pm
    Pablo: your comment is ill thought out. FYI I am not poor and I have worked more hours than you ever have in my lifetime. Instead of making dumb "lefties" comments start to debate honestly and hold both sides to account.
    Currently all we are seeing is one attack after another on the bottom end of society with mean attempts to pay the bottom of the heap nix. Never a word about the rorts at the top. Not exactly unknown and not exactly small amounts of money.
    Paulodapotter
    23rd Feb 2016
    1:26pm
    Comes with too many caveats Reeper.
    Wstaton
    23rd Feb 2016
    2:37pm
    Ha and now pablo Pablo that all those out of a job are lefties. No righties hey are out of a job.

    Only lefties are kicked out of a job if a company folds. Maybe you should ask all those righties who are out of a job who seem to be invisible.

    I gues when a lefty does find a job he/she suddenly becomes a righty.

    The mind boggles.
    Rod63
    23rd Feb 2016
    12:00pm
    To answer, your question - they should take any job they are capable of doing.
    Radish
    23rd Feb 2016
    12:28pm
    Also sticking to the question....I agree with Rod63
    Paicey58
    23rd Feb 2016
    1:07pm
    I agree also with Rod63.

    I do wish that people who post on here would just deal with the actual question asked and not go on and on about their own political agenda's. It gets very tiring reading the same rants not matter the question.
    Paicey58
    23rd Feb 2016
    1:07pm
    I agree also with Rod63.

    I do wish that people who post on here would just deal with the actual question asked and not go on and on about their own political agenda's. It gets very tiring reading the same rants not matter the question.
    Paicey58
    23rd Feb 2016
    1:07pm
    I agree also with Rod63.

    I do wish that people who post on here would just deal with the actual question asked and not go on and on about their own political agenda's. It gets very tiring reading the same rants not matter the question.
    Paicey58
    23rd Feb 2016
    1:07pm
    I agree also with Rod63.

    I do wish that people who post on here would just deal with the actual question asked and not go on and on about their own political agenda's. It gets very tiring reading the same rants not matter the question.
    Anonymous
    23rd Feb 2016
    2:40pm
    Paicey58, you have a bad stutter there old boy/girl.
    W.O.W! Spokesperson
    23rd Feb 2016
    12:44pm
    Willing Older Workers W.O.W!, is a social and practical support group for people who are over 50 and unemployed or underemployed. Our help extends to member's families because this situation impacts on the whole family.

    Our members want to work but jobs are scarce!
    If they are physically able to do a job, they'll take it.
    Many have experienced blatant age-discrimination. A large percentage of our members worked hard for years, saved, invested and now can't get any assistance from Centrelink. Deemed Asset Rich, Income Poor, they struggle to pay their bills, until they sell their assets. They get very little help (if any) from job search agencies and have to search for work on their own.
    They are the hidden face of poverty in Australia.

    As the Advocate for W.O.W!, I hear sad stories daily but it is rewarding when we can help people with food parcels or advocacy services. And sometimes we get job offers for our members. One lady came in very excited about getting a part-time job. It was not in her field of expertise, nor was her degree required for this job, but it was paid work and she was happy to be cleaning an office, including the toilets!

    So, if any of you are over 50 and want to join W.O.W!, membership is free and we can help you with food parcels, if you are Melbourne based. For people in other areas, we can research what assistance is available in your area and liaise with the local charity on your behalf. Advocacy (dealing with debt collectors, banks, Centrelink etc on your behalf) is available across Australia. For more information please go to our website or facebook page; send an email to wow.willingolderworkers@gmail.com or phone 0477 479 191.
    MICK
    23rd Feb 2016
    12:57pm
    Strategy for your organisation: start a database of businesses which refuse to hire a fair number of older workers. Get retirees to join and scan the list and REFUSE TO DO BUSINESS with these organisations. Then watch how quickly they start ending age discrimination.
    You only ever win a war when people join forces.
    JAID
    23rd Feb 2016
    1:19pm
    Good one Mick
    Adrianus
    23rd Feb 2016
    1:42pm
    mick, I think WOW is working on a positive approach. You can keep your militant negativity.
    Wstaton
    23rd Feb 2016
    2:46pm
    Naughty Mick, You should heed Frank. You should have also told WOW to include a list of those companies who do hire older people. That will even ot out.

    The thing is those who do, help people. Those you don't, don't help people.

    Now Frank may say these companies are not charities. (as many are oft to say) This isn't charity it is discrimination as those companies hiring older people have found they get a profound benefit from doing so.
    KSS
    23rd Feb 2016
    12:57pm
    Its always the case whenever these stories hit the headlines that people come running to parade their list of aliments that 'prevent' them working and 'justify' their dole acceptance. There are several examples in this thread.

    The fact is that if you are claiming NSA (or any other welfare payment) there are responsibilities that come with it. The main responsibilities for NSA applicants/recipients is that you look for work and accept work that is offered. There is only one other requirement and that is that the work you apply for must be any job you are capable of doing. And that means you cannot restrict applications to your specific field/interest/previous status/level. You could well be an astrophysicist with 25 years experience but you must apply for that deckchair attendant position if you are capable of doing it. Chances are you will not be offered the job but if you are, you must and should accept it.

    And before you all start hurling insults my way, I have walked in those shoes, I have been unemployed at age over 55, with the amount of NSA not even covering the weekly rent and making well over 600+ job applications before finally securing a job at a lot less money than I was used to, in a far more junior role in an industry I knew nothing about. But it paid the rent, fed me and settled the bills.

    I agree with those saying it is a payment to tide you over in hard times and not funding for a lifestyle choice. There is always some kind of work for those who really want it.
    Anonymous
    23rd Feb 2016
    2:25pm
    Really, KSS? Always work for those who want it. Yet with the government classing people who work just ONE HOUR A WEEK as NOT UNEMPLOYED, we have over 1 million unemployed competing for a couple of hundred thousand jobs. The facts don't support your wild and baseless claim, sorry. Anecdotal evidence doesn't cut it.
    KSS
    23rd Feb 2016
    2:38pm
    Rainey if backpackers can come here on a visa and secure work in a few days, then so could people on the dole if they really wanted work.

    Part of the problem is that people are too picky, too ready with excuses not to attempt to work, too ready to hop on the 'there's no jobs' bandwagon, too ready to refuse to look outside their comfort zone into areas they consider 'beneath them', unwilling to work in the next suburb because its too far away, all the while bemoaning the paltry sum they get from the taxpayer.

    Welfare is a safety net NOT a lifestyle choice. It should not be comfortable. It should not be on a par with working.

    I agree anecdotal evidence doesn't cut it so lets delete all of that from this thread including yours and see what's left!
    Wstaton
    23rd Feb 2016
    2:56pm
    That is the most stupid thing I have heard. Backpackers are here on holiday and travel around and take up any job that gives them a few more eccles to continue traveling arround. Now your out of a job may happen to have a family to support and you are expecting them to travel to far off places away from their familys with having to support two places of living. Most of the these jobs backpackers take are not exactly highly paid but they take them by choice becaause that is the current lifestyle they want to live.
    KSS
    23rd Feb 2016
    3:08pm
    Wstaton so what's to stop the unemployed youth of Australia doing exactly that? Go fruit picking, get a bartending job, wash dishes? Not all backpackers go to 'far flung places' at all. Look around Sydney, (or Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Darwin, Perth, even Hobart) check out Manly and Bondi beaches. You'll be tripping over backpackers all only too willing to get whatever work they can - mostly jobs Australians refuse to do.

    A pity more unemployed Australians don't have the same mindset.
    Pablo
    23rd Feb 2016
    3:39pm
    You are totally correct KSS, there are too many of the dole bludgers who won't take a job offered to them in the circumstances you note! People MUST be prepared to travel to get work (so many of the bludgers travel to AVOID work), they must be prepared to take on a job "below there station".

    Most older Australians (at least those over 40) grew up with an ethos that you don't take handouts and you work for a living, whereas the younger Australians think it is their right to bludge on the taxpayer because they don't even know how to spell J.O.B. or W.O.R.K.
    Anonymous
    24th Feb 2016
    10:50am
    You'd know, KSS and Pablo. You have intimate first hand knowledge, I'm sure, of all the so-called opportunities the so-called ''bludgers'' who LOVE living on peanuts and being cursed and condemned and bullied at every turn are rejecting without cause.

    Frankly, I wonder why some of those who do work bother, given the appalling manner in which battlers are treated in this country. I see people here telling them they have to die on the job so the rich don't have to pay taxes, they shouldn't be allowed keep the house they worked for 40+ years to pay for but have to hand it to the government in payment for a miserable little pension that they NEED because they were exploited and underpaid for 50 years, and if they saved a few quid they have to live on less than that pathetic pension or drain their hard-won savings so the rich can keep dodging tax obligations. I see them being told that the disabled are not ''sufficiently disabled'' (despite being in a wheelchair with major head injuries) to qualify for ''welfare''. I see them being told that if they accrue $15 million in super they should be worshipped and adored and given a $411,000 a year tax concession, but if they save $850,000 they should be called ''millionaires'' and given no concessions of any kind, no matter what their age, health and likely future needs. I see them being told they must give everything they worked for over a lifetime to the taxpayer and leave NOTHING to their kids. Oh, and they shouldn't expect to be allowed to travel if they are on ''welfare'' (but feeding the poker machines is okay!) Gee, why do people bother to work? It's a wonder to me that we don't have millions more on welfare!
    Rosret
    23rd Feb 2016
    12:57pm
    Of course they should have the right to turn down unsuitable jobs. The older we get the more difficult some jobs become. Even the distance from home becomes an issue. I didn't pursue New Start because its slave labor. The number of hours you need to work for very little pay is ridiculous. I am very sorry for anyone who needs to take it on to make ends meet.
    Wstaton
    23rd Feb 2016
    2:57pm
    Fodder for those companies that do not want to pay real wages.
    Adrianus
    23rd Feb 2016
    12:59pm
    I cant see that passing in the Senate.
    Bring on a double DD.
    Paulodapotter
    23rd Feb 2016
    1:28pm
    Be carefull what you wish for.
    Adrianus
    23rd Feb 2016
    1:45pm
    I don't want to see the Unions have another red hot go at destroying this country , but I think Australia has not yet learned from recent history. Sadly, we need another lesson.
    Rae
    23rd Feb 2016
    2:07pm
    Frank you realise this is a world wide first world situation.

    The average wage is now less in real terms than it was in 1971.

    For 45 years now neoliberals have been telling workers to tighten that belt and suck it up. And they have done so.

    Workers also believed the fairy tale about business profits supporting the communities and making jobs etc.

    Instead we have loads of debt and the economy is ready to crash.

    When you think about it, sharing all that productivity would have been very good for business. Full employment and rising wages and incomes is good.

    Instead we have depressed wages, failing business, deflation and people struggling.

    How much longer will the fantasy continue and the few earning millions keep us all believing an ideology that has failed.

    We have very few unions now unless you count the employer councils and associations and yet without them employers are badly using workers in many cases. There would never have been unions if employers did the right thing by workers.
    Anonymous
    23rd Feb 2016
    2:26pm
    Thanks Rae, for exposing the truth. Sadly, I don't think the arrogant self-righteous Franks of this world will ever listen.
    Adrianus
    23rd Feb 2016
    2:55pm
    Rae, I don't mind workers having advocacy.
    What I am against is the bloody crooks have got their own political party and the worker has become just another rung in the ladder to success.
    Just another rung to be stepped on or used for the purpose of political gain.
    Clean Event, Chiquita Mushrooms etc.
    You lefties would be nothing without your elitist messiahs and back room boys, who enjoy the spoils of victory and make sure the trickle down spoils reward ignorant supporters.
    Gee the Liberals have been neo for 45 years? And have been telling us to suck it up for 45 years? What does that tell you?
    I think you two are reading the wrong anti government propaganda. Got anything else apart from the "appealing to emotion, Bandwagon technique" ???
    Anonymous
    23rd Feb 2016
    6:37pm
    Sorry Frank, but ''elitist messiahs and back room boys, who enjoy the spoils of victory'' DO NOT ''make sure the trickle down spoils reward ignorant supporters''. They dodge tax, exploit and plunder and make the battling workers foot the bill to keep the country running, and bash the underprivileged when the government finds it hard to get blood out of stones.
    Mygasheater
    23rd Feb 2016
    7:19pm
    Frank,

    The Labor Party was formed by the trade union movement. The Labor Party did not form trade unions. Trade unions believed that representation in government was the only way to improve working and social circumstances of ordinary, working people.

    The purpose of the Labor Party was/is to look after the interests of working people. One of the platforms of the ALP was to introduce the eight hour day and social policies such as the old age pension

    As for the crooks forming their own political party, that would be Robert Menzies forming the Liberal Party with the specific aims of protecting the interests of the upper class.

    Trickle down economics, the policy where by the very rich are given significant tax breaks, limiting and reducing wages and reducing impediments to business. The beneficiaries will spend most of their wealth and the money will "trickle down" to those earning low wages. The exponents of this view were Maggie Thacher and Ronald Reagan and we live with the legacy of that influence today

    Trickle down economics has been a spectacular success by making the wealthy, very wealthy and the rich, mega rich. Those at the lower end have been pulled up financially. The Right demands that minimal wages be keep low, that penalty rates be abolished, that company taxes be reduced, that taxpayer money subside business. The most effective unions in Australia are those like the IPA, the BCA and the mining lobby groups, yet there is no demand for stricter controls on these vested interest groups.

    Real wages have stagnated, part time and casual worked has increased while full time jobs have decreased. This is a world wide trend The middle class is shrinking throughout the western world.

    The opposite of lefty socialism is neoconservative fascism. And fascism was another spectacular success of the twentieth century. A time echoes today with the derisive, wedge politics being played out in Australia today.

    Pick a target, preferably one that is weak and vulnerable in some way, demonise this group as being responsible for the ills of society. Stigmatise that group, legislate against them, marginalise them, isolate them, encourage the populace to vent their anger against them. This strategy worked in Europe in the 30s and 40s.

    I believe that Australia and Australians are better than that.
    Rae
    23rd Feb 2016
    7:25pm
    Frank.I wasn't referring to the Australian LNP at all. The neoliberal or neoclassical economic theory first surfaced in Austria and Chicago School theories of Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman who were monetarists and since 1971 have influenced policy creating economic chaos.

    I remember that it was Keating who first suggested we tighten the belts and as far as I can see we have never been told "well done workers, the economy if terrific now and so we will share some of all the gains with you". Never.

    23rd Feb 2016
    1:25pm
    Politicians reject doing work all the time and they still collect their (extravagant) pay. I can't see much difference here.
    Paulodapotter
    23rd Feb 2016
    1:29pm
    Politicians lazy? I don't think so, but they are no more hardworking than the rest of us.
    Anonymous
    23rd Feb 2016
    2:04pm
    Speak for yourself, no one else.
    Paulodapotter
    23rd Feb 2016
    2:35pm
    I was, but you aren't, Slow Eddie.
    Kato
    23rd Feb 2016
    1:32pm
    As the song goes. The heat is on. Another govt propaganda to conquer and divide. And hasn't it worked. Hot collars on here. A once famous person said shame shame . Well quite a few git sucked into this one????.
    Paulodapotter
    23rd Feb 2016
    2:36pm
    Who says they're dumb, eh Kato?
    Kato
    23rd Feb 2016
    3:04pm
    Not me paulodapotte. No mention of that there. The beat still goes on.
    geomac
    23rd Feb 2016
    1:37pm
    How is it a loophole if a good reason is supplied for not taking a job ? When the reason is not considered acceptable a fine can be applied. Now 1412 penalties seems a small number considering the number out of work and 378 of that number actually got a penalty. That would suggest that 378 had no valid reason while the rest passed muster after consideration. Anybody who has had dealings with centrelink on any matter knows that it is a pro forma process with little flexibility.There are about 800,000 unemployed in Australia and nowhere near that amount of jobs.
    KSS
    23rd Feb 2016
    2:16pm
    Reported 'good' excuses:

    "Shift falls on golf day." or "don't want to work hard."

    It is reported: 'Newstart Allowance recipients are refusing jobs that pay as much as $27 an hour and are then ­successfully requesting a “waiver” so they don’t incur an eight-week ­welfare ban.'
    and they do that by adding a minimal amount of so called 'work for the dole'.

    $27 an hour sounds like a good wage to me! Especially when compared to the single person's rate of $523.40 per fortnight.
    Paulodapotter
    23rd Feb 2016
    2:39pm
    How many hours a week offered KSS? Cherry picking pieces doesn't further your argument. Generalisations made from isolated examples are useless.
    Paulodapotter
    23rd Feb 2016
    2:40pm
    It merely reveals your own prejudices.
    Pablo
    23rd Feb 2016
    3:56pm
    And yours paulodapotter!
    Anonymous
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:30pm
    Tell me someone on unemployment rejected a reasonable employment offer paying $27 per hour, for a decent number of hours per week and with no scary strings attached, and I'll call you a liar. Nobody is going to live on the measly little unemployment benefit with all the onerous rules and social stigma attached to it, if they can earn $27 per hour. There would be a damned good reason for someone rejecting the offer. Maybe not one that's apparent to judgmental people who just want to bash others without considering facts, but a good reason none the less.
    Adrianus
    24th Feb 2016
    9:01am
    Rainey, can you name one of those possible reasons? I mean apart from someone being highly intelligent and having their feelings hurt?
    Anonymous
    24th Feb 2016
    10:39am
    Frank, you are far too arrogant, judgmental and self-righteous to even contemplate that a reason you haven't experienced personally could possibly have any validity. I could name plenty, but none of them would be acceptable to you because you are so damned superior and all knowing and holy. Maybe if you stopped passing judgement and actually ASKED some of those who ALLEGEDLY are refusing valid offers of work, you might learn a thing or two about the real world and the people who occupy it.

    Just one reason I can recall why someone I know refused a so-called ''good job offer'' - he'd happened to notice that the employer didn't follow legally required safety rules and had a pretty bad record of serious accidents - many leading to death. He'd seen someone close to him quit the job after being almost killed several times and suffering a debilitating accident, and getting $300,000 compensation that went to doctors and lawyers and left him in poverty. And he'd seen another loyal employee who'd worked there for 40 years and accumulated $380,000 in super retire (with serious health issues due to past accidents) with $90,000 because the fund managers ''made a few bad decisions'' (read, defrauded the members). He figured a salary about 10% more than the dole, which would leave him about 3% better off when the costs of going to work were counted, wasn't worth risking his life for. But of course privileged Frank would say he should starve if he wasn't willing to risk his life every day to save Frank a couple of tax dollars.

    There ARE lazy, indolent people out there. There ARE cheats. But the attitude I'm seeing here of victim bashing and denying that we have a social problem that isn't the fault of the victims won't help identify the real culprits (who are generally much smarter than the ones being caught by these ''crackdowns'') and won't solve the problem the victims are being blamed for.

    These crackdowns and attacks will hurt the wrong people and solve nothing, because they are based on flawed assumptions and arrogant judgmental, self-serving attitudes by people who have no clue about the real problems and are determined to deny them because the status quo works for them.
    Adrianus
    24th Feb 2016
    11:57am
    I would have accepted "high risk dangerous environment" as a valid reason. But because you were so abusive and condescending with your response makes me think that you are telling porkies.
    kev888
    23rd Feb 2016
    1:38pm
    Welfare payments are for those who perhaps through no fault of there own have found them self in difficult circumstances, Unlike the pension It is welfare not an entitlement. Its seems some are misinformed or have there head in the sand regarding available employment opportunities. We are constantly brain washed by govt that Aust must remain competitive in industry , that we live in a global society , that we are the lucky country. Lucky country we were perhaps but that is eroding every day by political persuasion . The fact is we do have a reasonable standard of living that costs us much in taxation to maintain such a said standard. Here the thing; who is prepared to lower that standard voluntary ? not many I suspect. It is impossible for Aust to be totally competitive in the market no one I know is willing to work for a bowel of rice , that includes myself. Further technical advancements are lessening employment opportunities every day thus there are less jobs to go around.If the government have not got it right now when will they and what are they going to do when the country is fully automated and there are no jobs for anybody? My god we cant freely enter the global society that we are constantly brain washed about to further opportunity with the travel restrictions being introduced that is if you are a pensioner, no more than 28 days out of the country and you loss the entitlement that you have paid for. For many of you out there that think we live in a democracy, think again , perhaps dictatorship is better believed. Summing it all, politicians are not the government they are the caretakers we elect , the citizens are government, unfortunately the divided and conquered we are , rich and poor there is. Poor there are and nobody gives a rats arse, an increasing % of the population are without and can not fine employment because the dictatorship we are under no matter what party is in power has and refuses to an knowledge reality................
    Justsane
    23rd Feb 2016
    1:43pm
    I don't agree with job seekers being penalised at all. I think the Job Network (or whatever it is called now) should assist the unemployed to get jobs suitable to their capabilities and interests. These days, with the internet, this should not be too hard to do. Do we really want people to be unhappy and dissatisfied in a job that they don't like? What a waste of life! And how long would someone stay in a job like that? Everyone doesn't like the same things. We all have diverse interests and talents. It shouldn't be hard to accommodate these. We should stop vilifiying those who receive these payments. It is little enough - too little - and it is all that they have to live on. 'Dole bludger' is a very nasty term, and totally inappropriate for those who are just trying to keep body and soul together while they are out of work (usually through no fault of their own).
    KSS
    23rd Feb 2016
    2:30pm
    "Job Network ..... should assist the unemployed to get jobs suitable to their capabilities and interests."

    Well NO! Job Network should make more of an effort to get people into work I agree. But it does NOT have to be an interesting job, it just has to be a job they are capable of doing!

    " Do we really want people to be unhappy and dissatisfied in a job that they don't like?"

    In an ideal world may be not. As it is, if they are in a job, they can always look for another more to their liking. There are millions of people who go to work everyday and don't always like what they do, but they do it anyway. It is an oft said truism that it is easier to get a job when you have a job. If you are unemployed you don't have the luxury of picking and choosing according to 'interests' or 'feelings'. You get a job to meet your bills, pay the rent, feed the kids ..... Then you can worry about getting the job you want and not just the job you need.
    Pablo
    23rd Feb 2016
    4:00pm
    Spot on, KSS.
    Anonymous
    23rd Feb 2016
    6:02pm
    KSS, I agree to a point. But it's actually NOT a truism that you its easier to get a job when you have a job. It is often very much harder. You can't go to interviews because you are at work all day. You are tired at night and often emotionally drained and depressed. You don't hear of job opportunities because you are working and not out talking to people and knocking on doors. If you have to travel a long distance to apply for work, that may be impossible when you are working in what is hopefully a temporary job. Some employers won't take you on if you are already employed elsewhere, especially if you've only been there a short time. They assume you are unreliable or change your mind often and flit from one job to the next. Some feel a loyalty to other employers, and some feel an obligation to taxpayers to hire someone who has no job in preference to someone who is already employed.

    I agree that many work every day in jobs they dislike. Many of them are so demoralized and depressed that their whole lives are a misery.

    While I don't endorse laziness for an instant, I do see that in some instances there is a genuine social benefit and fair justification for helping someone find satisfactory employment rather than just any old job.

    It is NOT in the public interest, and certainly not in any individual's interest, to force people into unsatisfactory employment. What constitutes unsatisfactory employment is hard to determine, but what is certain is that in more than 90% of cases, nobody in Centrelink, or in any bureaucracy, and very few among the judgmental public whinging about alleged ''bludgers'', have the expertise required to make a reasonable determination .
    Yutcha
    23rd Feb 2016
    2:11pm
    Rainey, your fair and balanced comments were truly refreshing to read after so many judgemental and hard hearted comments! Of course nobody should receive welfare payments that they are not genuinely entitled to. However I've had personal experience with many older workers unable to find employment after reaching their 50s and 60s. Without superannuation to fall back on these people are doomed to living in fairly extreme poverty until such time as they may be able to obtain employment or reach aged pension age which affords a lesser level of poverty! For these decent citizens who have worked hard all their lives and paid taxes to then have to carry the 'dole bludger' label is indeed unfair and insulting.

    Each generation works and pays taxes at least in part to ensure that the young, elderly and infirmed in our society can be adequately taken care of. It seems that nowadays with taxes squandered by successive governments and generous negative gearing and superannuation concessions given to the wealthy that those in our society in greatest need for care and compassion are being labelled as burdens to society. If this is the way our society is headed then sadly compassion and fairness are being traded in favour of meanness and greed.
    Paulodapotter
    23rd Feb 2016
    2:41pm
    Yep.
    UNCLE FESTER
    23rd Feb 2016
    2:12pm
    The question was:
    "Should welfare recipients have the right to decline a job they feel doesn’t suit them or their circumstances? Or should they simply be happy to have a job? "

    I haven't seen many answers but a lot of "what about the bosses? what about the Corportate Giants? what about the protesting workers" what about womens rights? what about ....?what about ....?
    As I remember it, it was the employer that made the decision to offer a job to an applicant and would do so in the belief that they thought the person could do the job. A person who turns down a job offer is clearly not interested in getting work and therefore should not be eligible for support from our welfare system.
    If it is not the job that they are really seeking but can do the work they should take the position and demonstrate that they are serious in their wish to work. It is also more advantageous, when applying for work in a chosen field, that a person is working at the time as it demonstrates a willingness to work to their prospective employer.
    Anonymous
    23rd Feb 2016
    2:30pm
    Uncle Fester, who judges whether or not someone can do the job? Who judges whether trying might be soul destroying or physically harmful. I'd love to see everyone working, but we have millions unemployed or underemployed and very few job vacancies, and NOBODY qualified to determine who is and who isn't able to do a particular job or what the potential damage would be to compelling them to accept work that might be totally unsuitable. A little compassion would be helpful here, and a little recognition of reality. Let's first fix the problem of lack of job opportunities, the rich milking the system, and education and skills training being often inaccessible to battlers. We'd do a lot more good and save a lot more taxpayer dollars by focusing on the right priorities, instead of bashing the victims of society's failure.
    Paulodapotter
    23rd Feb 2016
    2:42pm
    Right on, Rainey
    Adrianus
    23rd Feb 2016
    2:59pm
    HA HA HA!!!
    "Let's first fix the problem of lack of job opportunities"
    I would have thought if someone offered me a job that would be opportunity???
    This country is full of opportunity. Rainey you cannot help others see this if you cannot see it yourself.
    Pablo
    23rd Feb 2016
    4:04pm
    Well said Uncle Fester and Frank! Those that knock back jobs offered to them should be removed from the dole queue!
    Anonymous
    24th Feb 2016
    11:03am
    Of course, it wouldn't depend on the job, Frank, or you capacity to actually do it. It would be an ''opportunity'' for no better reason than that someone taking it, no matter what devastating impact on their life, might save Frank a few tax dollars. Who the hell cares about the outcome of forcing people into jobs that are totally unsuitable? All that matters is that Pablo and Frank and Uncle Fester keep their precious tax money and can hang on to their flawed judgmental attitudes and wrong beliefs.
    red 1
    23rd Feb 2016
    2:24pm
    close the loopholes all of 'em
    Paulodapotter
    23rd Feb 2016
    2:43pm
    Not possible in a free society, red 1
    SKRAPI
    23rd Feb 2016
    2:40pm
    They should be happy to have a job , U can always take a job & look around or work to achieve something better as I did when young , I had to keep myself as I didn't want to go home to elderly parents & expect to be kept , they had been through enough hardship At least U R earning an honest living . Yes they should be a lot more strict , too many bludging on the tax-payer Unemployed should have a damned good reason not to work. How would it be if all tax-payers refused to work.
    Paulodapotter
    23rd Feb 2016
    2:43pm
    Good advice if it applies, but one solution does not fit all.
    Paulodapotter
    23rd Feb 2016
    2:46pm
    Most unemployed do have a damned good reason not to have a job. People have lots of reasons "not to work". You being one of the former or latter perhaps?
    marls
    23rd Feb 2016
    2:50pm
    Thera massive Rorts in employing ppl casually My granddaughter works 3 jobs all casual but has never been asked about super or tax employers are making a fortune not paying super and tax my other young g/ daughter worked as an traineeship event mgt was only allowed to record her set hrs after 1yr the company owed her 3months of pay for time in lieu not to mention they did not pay super and took tax out but she never saw a tax assessment some many company's doing this to young ppl
    Paulodapotter
    23rd Feb 2016
    3:00pm
    This occurs regularly and I think most people with an extended family can provide an example. One example of statistics favouring vested interests is where "employment" means that a person is employed for a minimum of one day a week. It like being called "black" because some relation way back on the family tree happened not to be a white caucasion. I wonder if your granddaughter is included in our employment statistics as 3 employed people instead of one. On your issue, Marls, I sympathise with your daughter as this is a much bigger issue than the beat up on "dole bludgers".
    Paulodapotter
    23rd Feb 2016
    3:07pm
    Sorry, I meant "granddaughter".
    Mygasheater
    23rd Feb 2016
    7:32pm
    Paul,

    Centrelink defines employment as being employed for ONE hour, yes 1 hour, per week.
    Shirl's
    23rd Feb 2016
    3:07pm
    Absolutely The New Start needs a big overhaul as there is continual routing of this system its everywhere.
    Another area that needs attention is the checking of address as many use Grand Parents or other family members as their address which is not where they are living at all , another area as well I can give you many cases where a mother is claiming a single parents pension and her partner is on the dole or working this sort of behaviour is everywhere. I have worked since I was 16 and now 65 and still working. I do not mind my taxes helping any deserving [erson but Im feed up with the above please do more checking on these people they are everywhere
    Paulodapotter
    23rd Feb 2016
    3:13pm
    I had tenants that describe the case you cite. They got caught eventually and had to pay back thousands. What goes around comes around. You will never stop cheats in a free society, but they are never the norm and we should never remove our freedoms or our humanity because of the few. Too many want to remove what is good about our society because of the few who find cheating easier than contributing.
    jackie
    23rd Feb 2016
    3:08pm
    Spot on!
    Paulodapotter
    23rd Feb 2016
    3:15pm
    Gotcha!
    Young
    23rd Feb 2016
    3:35pm
    Everyone in Australia could be working at something if they wanted to.
    Penqueen1949
    23rd Feb 2016
    4:04pm
    Mygasheater are you aware that the Knitting Nannies are of senior pension age and many are also farmer and graziers wives?......These ladies are only trying to bring to the public attention the damage done to excellent grazing land by csg mining and franking......
    Anonymous
    23rd Feb 2016
    6:44pm
    Really, Young. So you have a magical solution for their being more than half a million fewer jobs than people wanting work, despite the lying government counting people as ''employed'' who only work an hour a week.

    I'm sure Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison would be really happy to know the solution you THINK you have. Or is it just that like a lot of other ignoramuses, you make wild and baseless assumptions all over the place?
    Mygasheater
    23rd Feb 2016
    7:40pm
    Penqueen,

    I do know who the Knitting Nannas are and the terrific job they have been doing. I takes me hat off to 'em.

    One of the earlier posters stated that is was unemployed "dole bludgers" who make up protest groups instead of going to job interviews.

    It is people like the Knitting Nannas who stand up for their principles that are the "best" we should all strive to be.
    jackie
    23rd Feb 2016
    3:53pm
    Retroy Yes the CEI's salary is $7M plus he receives a bonus for every knock back. The rich are creaming our system and cause division and diversion amongst the masses because they are too stupid and ignorant to notice.
    Penqueen1949
    23rd Feb 2016
    4:10pm
    Fracking #
    Dot
    23rd Feb 2016
    4:40pm
    The Federal Government is stone broke and who do they target, that's right us who have worked and paid taxes all our lives and the Government rewards those thugs who have contribute nothing to this country and live of our monies that includes all refugees with their many children.
    The time has come for all dole bludgers made to work or else.
    The day of freebies must come to an end.
    Pablo
    23rd Feb 2016
    4:58pm
    Good on you Dot! Well said.
    Anonymous
    23rd Feb 2016
    6:22pm
    In regard to some of the ''refugees and their many children'', I agree. (I'd replace ''refugees'' with ''immigrants'' to be fair. Don't discriminate against genuine refugees please - if there are any here) But we have to be very careful who we assume is a ''dole bludger''. We have some 800,000 more job seekers than jobs, and that's despite counting people who work only an hour a week as ''employed''. So branding people ''dole bludgers'' is very much victim-bashing. It's cruel, unfair, and socially damaging.

    Before we bash the unemployed, we should do something about the economy that is denying people fair opportunity.
    Josie4
    23rd Feb 2016
    4:58pm
    Without protesting, we'd still have the VIetnam War
    KB
    23rd Feb 2016
    5:01pm
    My daughter finally got a casual job 5 days a week from 2 to 10 at night . The late night shifts are not suitable for young women. My daughter is not complaining and was happy to accept the job. The only time when there should be a waiver is when there is a lack of transport for shifts t that are late at night. Not all Centrelink recipients are dole bludgers. One job place has over 130 applicants To be fair most places offer you the choice of shifts so look to employers to change the system
    Josie4
    23rd Feb 2016
    5:04pm
    I work full time. Boy, there are a lot of people here who don't want to work and don't work. Lazy lot,

    23rd Feb 2016
    5:17pm
    Yes if they want to cut spending then look first at those working for us the taxpayers. Far too many on millions when the job isnt worth that amount liek CEO of Australia Post on around 3 mil and Centrelink 7 mil I mean how can they justify this sort of a wage. And dont say because private companies pay them. Thats up to shareholders to complain as it cuts down their dividends. No its our money paying all public servants and its too high for top end and departments head MPs Senators etc. Cut their pay. And when they say pay peanuts get monkeys. Well monkeys could do a better job all round today imho standards have dropped and rorting is a wealthy persons private income booster with off shore accounts and Trust accounts plus generous super etc cut these too. Stop blaming the age of the population as it doesn't hit home til 2040 by their standard. So its all a sop to keep their own pay increasing and funny how all parties and big business etc agree eh as long as their fat back pockets keep getting filled more.
    Mygasheater
    23rd Feb 2016
    7:51pm
    The payment of exorbitant salaries to CEOs is a relatively recent (less than 40 years) phenomenon. The demand for greater profits by shareholders has exacerbated this.

    The very same bankers who caused the GFC earn greater salaries now than they did before the GFC.

    Go to YouTube and search "The Super Rich and Us" for a good explanation of the growth of the super rich and how they arose.
    Tarzan
    23rd Feb 2016
    5:23pm
    Was this site set up by the A.L.P.? so many left wing and off subject rants. The subject is closing loopholes that allow people to make inadequate and insufficient job search efforts without good reason, pretty sad really, how about some moderation Mr Editor,
    Anonymous
    23rd Feb 2016
    11:37pm
    No, I think it was set up by the Lieberals to lie to the public to convince them to blame the victims of the government's failure for our economic malaise, instead of recognizing that people can't work if there are no jobs, so the government is to blame for the high welfare payments, NOT the recipients - most of whom want to work!

    There are some lazy people out there. There are some bludgers. (More of them are in parliament, government offices and good jobs in corporations than collecting welfare, I think!). There will always be welfare cheats while we have welfare - a small minority, because life on welfare isn't attractive. But most on welfare would much rather work if given a fair opportunity. What we need is a government focused on creating more jobs - not one focused on persecuting the victims of it's failure.
    Mygasheater
    24th Feb 2016
    1:14am
    It is actually the Australian branch of Dr Joseph Goebbels' Ministery of Propaganda and National Enlightenment.
    Adrianus
    24th Feb 2016
    9:18am
    Governments don't create jobs Rainey, but they can lay down some policy settings which affect an increase or decrease in job creation.
    Unless of course you are referring to growing the Public Service.
    I always thought the PS should grow in correlation to service needs?
    Even the anti government ABC fact checker couldn't poke holes in the success of an optimistic outlook on jobs growth.
    I think we're heading in the right direction. Especially when we reflect on the inadequate 80,000 in the ALP/Unions last year of government.

    "Yes, Mr Turnbull's numbers are correct, but there's more to it.

    Seasonally adjusted data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics Labour Force survey shows that the number of employed people did indeed increase by 301,300 between December 2014 and December 2015, whilst trend data showed a rise of 312,100.

    Experts contacted by Fact Check say the Labour Force survey is a net figure — the number of newly employed people minus the newly unemployed — and the number Mr Turnbull used does not distinguish between full-time and part-time jobs, but they agreed that the survey was the best source of data to measure jobs growth."
    -ABC Fact Check.
    JAID
    24th Feb 2016
    2:10pm
    Lookfar,
    I cannot debate your neo-liberals but reckon that what you say actually does motivate both sides of politics. It has done since federation and was evolved even in the fairly firmly entrenched Menzies era.

    The differences probably lie in how efficient each party wants to see it become or what is seen as constituting appropriate support of those things. Regardless of individal philosphy, the political will steps reasonably close to the popular consensus. That can probably be paraphrased as "We want health, liberty and dignity for all. We do not want people hungry cold, wet or suffering from conditions which we can reasonably aleviate."

    I don't know a liberal, labour or green politician who would not agree with that. Certainly what it takes to provide that is arguable and it always will be because our various needs vary.
    Tassie
    23rd Feb 2016
    5:51pm
    Didn't know this was new news..this has been going on for years...?..
    Lookfar
    24th Feb 2016
    8:47am
    You are correct Tassie, it has been going on for years, The Neo-Liberal movement, also called Egotisitic Anarchism, the "philosophy of moving all the money into the pockets of the rich, has been going onn for many years, and has been hugely successful, - only for the rich of course.
    Part of it's tenets includes dismantling the welfare state, so Neo-Liberal governments constantly snip away at the poor, the disadvantaged etc, trying to turn us againt each other, to better divide and rule, however they have no sense, except how to make money, - look at PNG, no dole there, everybody living in fortresses surrounded by razor wire which slows the starving down a bit so they get organised, do we really want that here in Australia? Australians will not starve gracefully, they will fight to the death, dole bludgeoners should think things through, the dole could also be seen as a payment to not be a criminal, remove it at your peril, fools.
    tactful
    23rd Feb 2016
    6:06pm
    It is about time all the loopholes were closed. Unemployed people who apply for inappropriate jobs, jobs which they are not qualified to perform, already get penalties as they are not looking for work they can do.
    The closing of this loophole simply means that after winning a job that they can perform, the unemployed person refuses the to start the job.
    This has nothing to do with wages, hours or anything else, these are genuine job opportunities that some unemployed are just throwing back in the face of an employer.
    The costs associated with advertising, screening and finally interviewing people is huge, after having made a decision and offering the job to someone you would expect them to be pleased, no they just say they do not want the job. The unemployed person has actually wasted the employers time, resources and money.
    This type of behaviour needs to be stamped out and must tougher penalties be put in place.
    Just to qualify myself, I worked for 20 years with Centrelink (DSS & CSDA), I saw many times people refusing to take a job, yet there were those who would have jumped at the same job, but couldn't because of literacy issues. Yes these issues were taken care of and the people got jobs or went back into full time study.
    Rae
    24th Feb 2016
    8:31am
    This experience makes you wonder if Singapore has it right. The government will give you a job at unemployment rates doing a task such as picking up litter or hand cutting strips of grass in cities.

    Very few people want that government job if they can take a better paying one.

    The employment agencies need to be paid on outcomes not client numbers. That would ensure extra effort to place job seekers.
    Including dealing with literacy and numeracy issues.

    There should be no sit down money at all.

    If unable to work through physical or mental issues then disability pension should be paid.
    Adrianus
    24th Feb 2016
    9:34am
    tactful, thanks for your input. As a MD of a medium enterprise I feel that I wasted 15 years trying to identify skills in employees and creating jobs to suit those skills. I tried an employment agency and they continually harassed the employee with the intention of churning to increase their own income.

    Rae, I agree. A trailing commission rather than giving these agencies $12,000 up front for getting someone a job.
    loulbelle
    23rd Feb 2016
    7:06pm
    Rainey you should run for Prime Minister!! I would vote for you!! Love your work - well said! :)
    musicveg
    24th Feb 2016
    2:32am
    Here, here! Go Rainey, the only one that makes sense on this subject.
    Boof
    23rd Feb 2016
    8:12pm
    I knew a young bloke in Coolangatta. He tried for a long time to get an invalid pension, without success. He was about 30 ish. Finally he got drunk and drove one tòo many times. He did 3 months in gaol. Within one month of his release. The inmates put him onto the right Dr. to go to, wot to do & say. Bob's Ur uncle. He now is on a pension & living in public housing. It's, not what U know, it's who.
    geomac
    23rd Feb 2016
    10:52pm
    Sounds fishy to me. For a start its not one doctor that the govt accepts but also their own doctor for a person to see. Public housing has a waiting list and while its not difficult to get on the list moving up to actually getting housing is years away.
    I don,t think Bob was his uncle but urban myth was his father.
    Jake
    24th Feb 2016
    7:28am
    I can only see that this article being placed on this website, has brought out all the Kick the crap out of those you can, because you are not one of them and you have some Hate about yourself and dumping it on others gives you some relief to your pain. There's a great saying, highly recommended. ' WEAR THE SHOES' Have a good day.
    Jake
    24th Feb 2016
    7:28am
    I can only see that this article being placed on this website, has brought out all the Kick the crap out of those you can, because you are not one of them and you have some Hate about yourself and dumping it on others gives you some relief to your pain. There's a great saying, highly recommended. ' WEAR THE SHOES' Have a good day.
    loulbelle
    24th Feb 2016
    7:35am
    Absolutely. Walk in a persons shoes before you judge and criticize. It is tough!! For everyone. The minority that cause the trouble need to be dealt with but the rest of us need understanding, support and a more importantly a job!
    Gee Whiz
    24th Feb 2016
    8:53am
    What about illegal immigrants who have been suckling on the welfare teat for years. Try doing anything about that and you are immediately branded a racist.

    Now another twelve thousand are on the way ,courtesy of the government and will immediately go onto welfare without paying one cent in tax.

    There is something seriously out of whack with a system that uses "political correctness" to apply advantages to one section of the population over another.

    Stories abound about one section of immigrants using their religion to secure extra welfare benefits unavailable to native born Australians.

    One rule should apply to all otherwise it becomes discrimination. And that (supposedly) is against the law.
    Anonymous
    25th Feb 2016
    7:59am
    I agree with you on this point, Gee Whiz. Immigrants who refuse to even learn our language, let alone respect our culture, should not be eligible for benefits.

    It appears even the skilled migration program, which one would expect to be highly selective and carefully managed to prevent a drain on our welfare system, adds to unemployed numbers. 30% of immigrants under the scheme are still unemployed after 5 years.

    We don't have enough jobs for Australians. STOP the immigration - and I don't just mean the boats. All of the immigration. Close the country until we can sort out some of the economic issues. Plenty of other nations have closed their borders. Try to immigrate to Japan!

    No, discrimination is only against the law if you discriminate against certain classes of people who have privileged status under the discrimination law.
    JAID
    25th Feb 2016
    9:36am
    I can't agree on that one Gee Whiz and Rainey. Immigration is a cross-fertilisation. It can actually help find answers. Granularity will mean some areas are compromised, some advantaged. Sometimes that can be foreseen and moderated sometimes not. There must be a reasonable balance somewhere but to stop immigration across the board would deny benefit that we have proven exist.
    MD
    24th Feb 2016
    9:49am
    Assumptions seem to be in excess as regards this article. I may have it wrong - again, not for the first time in my life either. This site, as I understand it invites 'all contributors' to submit - "what do you think". Each of us feels we have something to offer and no one person is expected to, requested or required to pass judgement on the comments of peers. I reiterate, this is a site for comment by invitation yet some approach the subject(s) as though it is a dissertation based on empirical evidence requiring "facts,proof" & etc. Are these requests a prerequisite to everyones' contribution ? Freedom of speech is (or should be) the overarching maxim as we each of us feel that we have something to offer and no person(s) have been requested or are required to pass judgment on their peers,much less personal slurs.
    In closing, if we (and thereby the Government/Departments) condone the unemployed "knocking back a job offer" - for whatever reason, suggests that the same job offer will be filled by somebody else from the ranks of the unemployed, regardless of it being "demeaning, repetitive, too hard, too far" or any other facile excuse.
    Anonymous
    24th Feb 2016
    1:49pm
    MD, your last sentence is correct. If people are allowed to ''knock back'' a job offer, it will be filled by someone else - potentially someone to whom the offer is far more suitable. Given that we can't find ANY job for more than 500,000 people, and well over 1 million are employed for far less hours than they want to work, maybe we are better off letting people who consider themselves totally unsuited for a role refuse it and having it go to someone who wants the job?

    That's not to say I endorse indulging unreasonable expectations on the part of job seekers, but neither should we be too quick to try to compel someone to sacrifice all their aspirations and potentially their physical and/or mental health, not to mention the productivity and morale of the employer and in some cases the health and safety of other employees, by demanding people accept an offer of totally unsuitable employment.

    ''Demeaning, repetitive, too hard, too far'' etc. are not ALWAYS facile excuses. As much as they may appear unreasonable, they may be valid in some cases (especially ''too far'', where family relocation or separation might be involved or transport presents a genuine challenge).

    What I think we should be doing is pursuing Jaid's suggestion of implementing programs that seek to address the real issues of unemployment - the lack of skills, self-confidence, comprehension, social competence, etc. There are complex issues that genuinely restrict people's capacity to find work or to perform in certain areas of work and we need to recognize that we aren't all made the same. Because one person can cope with the stress of living in temporary accommodation miles from family to pick fruit at low piece rates, doesn't mean anyone can do it. Some people can handle being underground in mines or working at heights. Others simply cannot, and to compel them would put them and other workers and potentially by-standers in grave danger.

    If you take someone who has suffered deprivation of affection and guidance and verbal abuse and has been educationally deprived, but is actually intelligent, and force them into demeaning repetitive work, you reinforce their negative view of themselves and their lack of hope. I've seen that result in mental breakdowns and even suicides.

    It's just too easy for the more fortunate to make careless judgments based on anecdotal evidence and inherent prejudices. Sadly, those judgments almost always prove wrong, with often devastating consequences.
    bobby
    24th Feb 2016
    10:03am
    I think this a move in the right direction. I myself have worked in positions In which I was very unhappy, but I persevered and went on to better things. I think that it is easier to get a better job if you are already working, gaining experience, maintaining the desire to work.
    Employers do recognise employees who are trying to improve themselves and promote from within.
    Anonymous
    24th Feb 2016
    10:52am
    In what world does that happen, bobby. I sure never saw it! Worked my guts out and drove major profit increases and got walked all over.

    Sorry, you are talking about a very small number of employers and a very small number of lucky employees. For far too many, life experience proves the opposite is true.
    Adrianus
    24th Feb 2016
    12:11pm
    bobby, I agree with that.
    60% of employees don't like their job, however, those who make the most of their opportunities find the going easier after a while.
    Yes my experience is that employers do like to employ people who are seen to be having a go. This is why the government pays more to job agencies for the longer term unemployed.
    Anonymous
    24th Feb 2016
    2:26pm
    If 60% of employees don't like their job, Frank, we lived in a very messed up society that has totally lost the plot!

    Life isn't about working to be miserable and end up sick, discouraged, and frustrated that you have nothing to show for all your efforts.

    Some societies actually find ways to keep the majority happy and to be inclusive. They are the ones that aren't obsessed with indulging the greedy people at the expense of social health and widespread contentment.
    JoJo
    24th Feb 2016
    10:24am
    There may be reasons for some unemployed people feeling incapable of managing certain jobs they are offered e.g. lack of transport, depression and/or other mental health problems.
    A 'work for the dole scheme' like CDEP can be used in many instances - and is certainly used well in our small country town to benefit people who need help. It encourages workers - and helps them find confidence too.
    JAID
    24th Feb 2016
    12:00pm
    This has been a long thread. It is one which will resolve no differences.Review of constraints and effects and creation of approaches which have the power to change what we find ill in the progress of our society is more likely to prove valuable.

    This society offers a safety net to offset to a tolerable level the disadvantage unemployment can cause. Inherent is the understanding that recipients must want to gain employment. Not only employment with lavish return and other benefits but any employment they are reasonably capable of and which offers reasonable, satisfactory conditions.

    Society offers this out of a desire to see all able to achieve a minimum standard of life, liberty and paricipation. Acceptance in the same spirit is equally edifying. It would be demeaning, mean, to paint either use or provision in any light other than an attempt through consensus at making life better for all.

    There remain other factors which require other work. This may include confidence, capability, health and others. The availabilty of work and opportunity itself are also factors. These are not matters negating the benefit and they do not provide measure for criticism of individuals.

    In conjunction with benefits, a type of combination secretariate and training facility may be useful. Clearly, there are limited jobs to go around. It is in industry's benefit that employees are the best available. If payment of the dole were predicated on an amount of time where application skills mentoring, basic reading, arithmetic and writing skill development, an eye to opportunity and enancement of confidence could be considered we may have a hope of addressing some of the underlying inhibition to useful employment.

    These sessions may take something like 2 hours 2 days a week. They may use under-occupied school rooms after hours. They could even through flexible sillybus be run by teachers making up a fraction of the time many of these fall below the general community in total hours.

    The time could be used to consider the workplace, the labour market and the opportunities available; to consider self-employment opportunity. It could be used for putting together presentable applications, making contacts, email and phone calls. Contemplation of the market and assessing openings readily available, arguable or creatable and targeting them could be addressed. Assessment could enable separate resources to be brought to bear dealing with literacy, programming, confidence, presentation, health, money matters, lifestyle and the like. These should not be provided as a corrective means but as opportunity.

    As the breast, social security, the dole in particular would not just maintain life but become a platform for developing programs and tactics for interfacing with and exapanding options in wide directions. Unemployment is a waste of resource and intellect and one which often results in lowering of self-worth and with that capacity. It is also a condition which is likely to rise as systems are automated. We all have to adjust to fit changing conditions but as a country we can probably ease that adjustment and make it more available.

    Bludging can be removed from the vocabularly. It probably represents a small proportion of cases at the moment when other factors are accounted for. Where it does exist, exchanging it for areas people find valuable needs to be the aim.
    Anonymous
    24th Feb 2016
    1:34pm
    Well said, Jaid. Thank you.

    24th Feb 2016
    12:01pm
    I'd like to relate a story about ''dole bludgers''. Okay, this happened some 20 years ago, so maybe the system has improved (I doubt it!). A man quit a very dangerous job because he was so depressed and demoralized at working at something he hated and being rejected over and over for other jobs (often because he ''had a job'') that he feared his depression would lead to careless mistakes that would kill him or a work colleague. He was in poor health with respiratory disease, so moved to a warmer climate. He was denied benefits for a short time because he quit his job, and when he did qualify, someone named Frank, at Centrelink, said he shouldn't because he'd moved from a ''high opportunity'' area to an area of high unemployment (a coastal resort). Luckily, Frank didn't have the authority to decide.

    A year and a half on, this man had taken every crappy unsuitable casual and part time job he could source, but was still unemployed (though he'd claimed little in benefits due to working whenever possible). The government announced a scheme to help long-term unemployed people into their own business. He went eagerly to apply.

    In a small country centre, 260 people applied for that scheme. The assessors narrowed the field to 40 eligible applicants by disqualifying anyone who had worked even 1 hour a week in the past year, or whose spouse had worked even 1 hour in the past year. That was so ''the neediest were helped''. (Sound like a familiar message?)

    30 businesses were eventually funded and 25 went broke within 2 years. (Surprising, since the successful applicants were the ''needy'' who wouldn't take a casual or part time job offer). Of those who were disqualified, though, I personally know of 20 who went on the ''dole bludge'' (cheat) for up to 2 years, claiming benefits while working a business and refusing job offers. Every one of those people were successful by the end of two years and within 5 years were employing others. The man I mentioned at the start ended up hiring 16 workers.

    Now, I'm not suggesting that every unemployed person who refuses a job offer can or would do what these good people did, but it seems to me this is food for thought for people who make assumptions about people refusing work offers.

    By the way, to my knowledge another 25 went on to ''bludge'' for up to a further year before finding very good jobs that they worked in happily for decades - jobs that they would have had no hope of getting if locked into unsatisfactory and demoralizing employment. Some of these did courses while ''bludging'' to qualify for the jobs they wanted - courses they could NOT have done if locked into unsatisfactory jobs.

    The man at the centre of this tale will tell you every day of the week that he applied for hundreds of jobs and was knocked back again and again - often as ''too intelligent so likely to be dissatisfied'' or ''too experienced to fit in to the team''. Every job he did take was totally demoralizing and depressing, poorly paid, and in 9 cases out of 10 with an employer who broke the law on pay and conditions. If he'd remained in the job he quit he would likely have ended up crippled or dead (leaving a family on welfare) within a few years, and possibly caused a disaster that killed or injured others.

    His own sister still condemns him for quitting a ''good job'' and can't understand why he ''bludged on the systsem'' and ''put his family through hardship'' when he could have just kept on working for ''a fair wage''.

    Things aren't always what they appear. If you haven't walked in another's shoes, you don't necessarily know what their motives are, and you aren't necessarily qualified to judge what is best for them or for society. The answers are often far more complex than they appear. Simplistic solutions that suit the judgmental and arrogant privileged may well end up costing society a great deal more. And it's just possible that some of those disenfranchised by society due to an unfortunate accident of birth or misfortune might know a thing or two about their potential to achieve and just need a bit of a leg up to do great things. Forcing them into unsatisfactory employment might not save tax dollars at all, but might impose high cost on them and on society.

    I don't pretend to know the answers. It's a difficult dilemma. How do you sort the wheat from the chaff? Certainly no bureaucrat and none of the ''holier than though'' judgmental commenters here are capable. But what I do know is that the easy solution of punishing everyone who is disenfranchised by a flawed system is never going to solve anything.

    Of course all the Franks and Pablos and Bonnys will PRESUME to know the answer and to dismiss the story as BS, because they are SO SUPERIOR that they have divine insight.
    Adrianus
    24th Feb 2016
    2:00pm
    Why couldn't the Centrelink employee be called Bonny or Pablo??? :)
    Rainey, I will tell you what I learned from your little story....
    The failure rate was highest for those who weren't having a go.
    Anonymous
    24th Feb 2016
    2:10pm
    conversely, Frank, the success rate was higher for those who were able to have a go on terms that were acceptable to them, and not compelled to forfeit all their aspirations and desires and potentially their physical and mental capacity to be productive in society.
    bobby
    24th Feb 2016
    1:55pm
    Rainey. I guess I may have been just lucky, but I can't agree. I am 87 going on 88 and all my working life I found this (attitude) has worked for me. The world doesn't owe you a living, you have to make your own.
    Anonymous
    24th Feb 2016
    2:14pm
    Nobody said the world owes you a living, Bobby. I certainly don't think it does. But the privileged benefit very extensively and quite unfairly from community resources and the efforts of others. Why shouldn't the underprivileged expect a share of that benefit to enable them to pursue improvement in their lives that allows them to then contribute productively to the betterment of society? Why do we indulge the fortunate and victimize the unfortunate? The economic costs of indulgence of the fortunate are far higher than the cost of giving the unfortunate a go. Just look at the size of superannuation tax concession! We happily let someone on $900,000 a year retirement pension take $411,000 from the taxpayer's purse, yet scream blue murder when someone who has been knocked down by life wants maybe $30,000 once in a lifetime to help them get up again.
    Anonymous
    24th Feb 2016
    2:23pm
    And we applaud and kowtow to someone who saved $15 million - with vast help from taxpayers and the community at large - but we talk about taking houses off people who only earned a living wage, educated kids, paid taxes, but needs a pension in old age. We refuse a pension in old age to someone who struggled for a lifetime to accrue modest savings - potentially with very little or no help from the taxpayer - making them forfeit their savings to live, while grinning and claiming we have to have heroes for our young to look up to, so we must laud and over-indulge the mega-millionaires who are bleeding our tax system dry to hoard money they can never contemplate spending, just to indulge their pathological desire to have more to boast about.
    marls
    24th Feb 2016
    5:50pm
    Agree I know so many young ppl working casually in different jobs a few hours at a time tax is taken out of their wages and they never get a group certificate and employers not paying super no wonder young ppl don't want to work

    24th Feb 2016
    7:59pm
    I think what disturbs me about this article and the responses to it is that we appear to have a media frenzy over a few ALLEGED cases of benefit fraud that can be painted up to look sensational and get everyone stirred up and blaming and hating. In fact, they are anecdotal examples of things that MIGHT happen now and again in rare circumstances. But suddenly everyone on unemployment is a ''bludger'' and ''unwilling to work'' because of these few questionable examples that have been thoroughly sensationalized.

    The truth is we have at least a million too few jobs for people who genuinely want to work. If we ignore sensationalized anecdotal evidence and look at the facts, we see that the government and society have failed the unemployed dismally, just as they are failing the aged and the sick and disabled, battlers who want an education but can't afford astronomical costs, and people who need health care but can't pay extortionate fees for it. They have failed our young who need incentives to work hard and save and who want to retire at some point, expect fair rewards for effort, and want SOME of the good things in life - like a home of their own, and the security that a decent, caring society with a strong welfare safety net and good social services provides.

    Of course there are a few lazy people out there. There are a few cheats. There are a few people who blame others and rely on weak excuses to dodge their responsibilities. There are people who, if they tried a little harder, could solve their problems and get on in life.

    There are also wealthy cheats and fraudsters and bludgers on fat salaries doing nothing of use and businessmen who exploit and don't respect either their workers or their customers. There are politicians and executives and company directors who are greedy and incompetent and dishonest.

    But we pick on the unemployed. Why? Because like the old and the sick, they are an easy target. They have no defence. Their protests fall on deaf ears. The sensational anecdotes sound good and convince ignorant and selfish people to support a ''bash the victim'' and ''blame the poor'' campaign.

    The truth is far more complex, but never let the truth get in the way of a popular and convenient lie!

    Are you going to be conned by an inept government that has no escape from its own incompetence other than by blaming the victims? Are you going to swallow the convenient anecdotal and sensational BS that they peddle? Or are you going to stand up for what most of us decent folk believe in and demand they stop bullying the downtrodden and blaming the disadvantaged and start finding genuine, valid solutions to the problems?

    In other words, are you going to be part of the problem, or part of the solution?
    MD
    24th Feb 2016
    8:17pm
    Certainly the offering has been enhanced by the most recent contributions and given greater insight to this subject however, isolated example does not apply to every person or situation.In the "small country centre" case the given approach seemed to work for the selected few and for this reason should be applauded. So many undeclared variables may well have influence one way or the other on outcomes, e.g the number of other job prospects. Some may well ask why (of 260) people would all of them persevere in a town with limited job vacancies. The same will not necessarily apply across the board or for that matter to each and every poor soul registered for benefits,one size doesn't fit all. If this example were a universal panacea to address unemployment then (its) application would be instantly applied. To what purpose remains to be seen however, considering the number of available positions versus prospective applicants. Furthermore, how many folk consider themselves, seemingly for various reasons, locked into a job considered; demeaning, demoralizing, depressive or dead end. We've all heard the old adage - 'the other mans' grass is always greener' applies all too often UNTIL such time as we jump the fence and find it not quite as we imagined it to be. Everyone can, do or will find justification for respective actions, be it work, actively searching for it, or shirking and these are oftentimes reinforced by the company we choose. Tis far easier to stay in the comfort zone than strive to rise above it and no amount of training, education, coercion, promises or brow beating will prompt any individual that is not motivated. A wise individual alluded to this in an earlier comment.
    Anonymous
    25th Feb 2016
    8:11am
    Valid comment, MD. And if we could figure out how to make people move out of their comfort zone, we could solve a lot of problems I think.

    Why do people persevere in a town with limited job vacancies? Perhaps because that's where they live and moving is expensive, risky, disruptive to children, etc. In one case I know, because health issues required a stable climate, without extremes of cold and heat through the year. Perhaps because living in a moderate climate is cheaper. There was a time in my life when I chose a location because the cost of living there was low (no heaters, warm clothes, air conditioning etc. required, vegies grew well, fish in abundance). I figured as long as I was going to be struggling to make income, I might as well be where spending requirements were lower. Yes, it was a high unemployment area. But I'd struggled for a decade in an area of high opportunity and high living costs, so why not move? Yet many would have condemned me and quoted my story as evidence of bludging and lack of motivation or unrealistic expectations.

    All is not always what it appears. I am as concerned as anyone here about the fact that SOME unemployed lack motivation and have unreasonable expectations or are just plain lazy. I also know SOME got that way because they were knocked down so many times that they just gave up. I'm sure SOME are chronically lazy and selfish and have unfair expectations of handouts. I wish I knew how to identify those folk reliably. Ultimately, that's my problem with the attack I see here, and with most of the ''clamp downs'' on welfare recipients. I've seen case after case after case of genuinely needy people being bullied, excluded, and deprived by over-enthusiastic response to a few sensationalized alleged examples of cheating. And you know what? From my observation, the cheats just keep getting away with it. I think the honest people are just too honest and the cheats are just too damned clever!
    JAID
    25th Feb 2016
    8:47am
    We do need more mobility, the comfort zone is a trap but the reasons for that, as you suggest are wide and various. The task of moving from one's small home town may appear impossible. Naturally, it is not but throw in not having any money to move with, having sick relatives to care for, children in school, whatever and perception can steel up.

    One thing somebody mentioned with some concern yesterday but in passing (you may have recoginised that I am fairly laissez-fair and this is a business friend) was that a requirement was imminent that failure to take a job available would be met with an 8 week suspension of benefits. This may even be what this thread follows and in that woudl indicate that I have both not been keeping up with developments and talking through my hat.

    To the point, how do we ascertain before cutting benefits that there was no valid reason to refuse a job? What is a valid reason? 8 weeks, if you have no money is a very long time. I have fasted for a month but doubt I would have lasted two. How do you look after your kids or appropriately participate in society? How do you shortcut that, make amends and survive even if you did unfairly refuse?

    We do need to make government and social security more efficient but risking peoples life, health and fair involvement in society surely isn't yet necessary.

    25th Feb 2016
    7:22pm
    Yesterday, a neighbour showed me a newspaper article reporting on these alleged refusals of work offers by the unemployed. She was incensed, and ranted for ages about how unfair it is to her taxpaying children to have to support these ''bludgers''. Like many here, she took the ''holier than thou'' judgmental position of declaring that the unemployed should be forced to take any job on offer or lose their benefit immediately.

    Funny thing I noted, though. She and her husband live in a $1.5 million dollar house that they built recently specifically to ''sink their money into a non-assessed assets so they could get a full pension'''. They gave $1.5 million to their kids before turning 60, with agreements that their kids would pay all their bills in retirement. They claim a full aged pension at the married rate, but have now applied for two singles pensions claiming (quite untruthfully) that they are ''separated''. They told me quite openly that they moved into separate bedrooms because they figure out that two singles pensions was ''a lot more money''.

    So the unemployed should be bullied into taking any job on offer and termed ''bludgers'', but it's okay for a multi-millionaire couple to rip off the taxpayer?

    I wonder how many other hypocritical cheats are bashing the unemployed, accepting this hyped up nonsense about them all refusing jobs for no good reason?
    ex PS
    1st Mar 2016
    2:41pm
    These people are just as much bludgers as those on the dole. I suspect that the government is just trying to create a large, cheap workforce for their principal campaign contributers. Ideally we can have a system where people are required to bid for jobs where the cheapest rate gets the job.
    SK
    25th Feb 2016
    11:16pm
    I am grateful for the NSA when I was made redundant. I was told then that it would be difficult for me to get a job since I am in the 50s & having only clerical experience. I persevered & took on any job I could get my hands on working at 3 different part time jobs outside my clerical experience including cleaning. I am lucky to be offered a full time job by 1 of the employers & am now still gainfully employed at 65. Now I am working in HR & I know for sure there are NSAs who comes in for job interviews with a "I don't care" attitude. 1 even said that she is only interested to work for 2 weeks & we can sack her so she can go back on NSA. Yes there are genuine ones & we are lucky to have found her. She is a very good worker. I am for closing the loopholes. Dole is to see you through hard times & your self esteem is more important than the dole. My tax contributions should be used to help the sick & elderly NOT dole blugers. And I am not envious of the rich cause most of them worked hard to be where they are.
    Not Senile Yet!
    26th Feb 2016
    12:35am
    Yep it is called old fashioned Politics......use propaganda and twisted truths to divide opinion and the Society so that they take different sides of a Black versus White Argument that is not real....just to stir up the blood...to suck in the nasties......and let it rip!!!!
    In theatre you would put the spotlight (or any light for that matter) on the area of the stage that you want your audience to look (be distracted by or to) so YOU the performer can do a quick change or manoeuvre that the audience won't witness!!!
    Politics is no different.....except the Right Wing Liberals are Masters at this trick......so much so that they keep doing it ,,.....over and over .......and the mugs on both sides simply get conned!!!!
    Remember......taking away choice....even if it is for what you think is the better good of all.......s the very start to the loss of your democracy.....your rights!!!!
    Name Calling I.......Dole Bludgers....etc etc......is just a different version of Hitler's hatred for the Jews.....or anyone who wanted to stop him doing what he wanted.
    Remember....always....that Hitler was a Liberal Extreme Right Wing Liberal disguised as a Nationalist.
    Remember also that the Free Trade Agreements......secretly being signed......by Party Puppets......are Not Free at All!!!
    We all know there is no such thing ....nothing is for free....especially in trade!!!
    Why does the Liberal Party only want to attack and Label the Lower Socio Economic end of our Society???? And in doing so Plead being POOR and in DEBT as an excuse????
    Yet now We all Hear they want to SPEND 2BILLION DOLLARS build and up dating our Defence Forces.......2 BILLION???? Yet they attack Pensions on the basis that they can't afford them???? What The?????
    ARE YOU ALL BRAINWASHED DEAD MORONS ON THIS SITE??????
    Can't you possible see a problem with this irrational thinking????
    As far as I can see we are not being invaded....rather we are being Bought!!!!
    Jolly
    26th Feb 2016
    7:14am
    Whoa, Not Senile Yet. You have a lot of anger there, my man. You must be an old union man or a Crazy Greenie.
    The point is we live in a society where Big Business is bribed to come and open up in our Country. We have 24 mill.people Our wages are the highest, our dole is higher, our pensions are sub standard, our houses are highest priced. We cannot keep this up. In the good ole USofA, the average wage is about $8 an hour, but there stuff is cheaper. The government does a lot of subsidising. And just because we have not had a world war for 70+ years does not mean that one will never come. So there you have it. And while I am at it 1. I will not apologise to the Aborigines for the Stolen Generation. 2. I will not apologise for 1978 - it was the times get over it.
    Anonymous
    26th Feb 2016
    10:02am
    Jolly, you are absolutely right in what you say, but although I don't share Not Senile Yet's anger, I see his point. Our taxing and spending priorities are all wrong. Now we have the government backing off from tax reform (except for ''minor tweaking'') and spending 2 billion more on defence - money we don't have, according to the Treasurer. Well, if it kept the enemy out, maybe it would be money well spent, but while we spend heavily on the war machine, we invite the terrorists in and make them welcome, and even give them and ongoing welfare handouts!

    The treasurer is obsessed with ''bracket creep'', which doesn't exist because wages aren't rising, and with tax cuts to counter the non-existent bracket creep. Meanwhile economists are saying the real problem is lack of demand, which the government isn't even attempting to address. Given that demand is the problem, it seems really stupid to slash the incomes of those most likely to spend (pensioners who have worked hard and positioned themselves ALMOST secure and comfortable, but lost out through falling investment returns) in order to allow the very rich to continue pathologically hoarding cash they will NEVER need to spend.

    Now, Frank will again accuse me (wrongly) of hating the rich. I don't. But we have a problem with demand because we are allowing the hoarding of cash by people who don't spend while cutting the spending power of people who do. Expert economists agree that extreme and increasing inequality is the root cause of our economic problems. So it seems to me there is a fairly simple and relatively painless way to at least drive improvement, if not solve the problem.
    Change the way superannuation tax concessions work so that only low and middle income earners get tax concessions - none for the rich - and concessions are more generous for LOW income earners, rather than getting more generous as you get wealthier (which is clearly absurd). Introduce taxes on superannuation pensions in retirement if they are over a very generous threshold, and possibly at reduced marginal rates until the income reaches, say $150,000, at which point the tax is the same as on employee earnings (or even more - since retirees need less income, and $150,000 a year pension is huge!)

    Another very sensible and productive change would be to abolish the very unfair pension assets test as it relates to over 65s (regardless of which pension they are on, as some are better off on disability or carer pensions than the aged pension) and introduce an income-only test with deeming on ALL assets (including the family home) over a very generous threshold (so most homeowners 'suffer no disadvantage) and a concessional loans scheme for those whose non-returning deemed assets disqualify them from receiving a living income. I suspect this would reduce overall pension costs substantially and benefit younger home buyers, by removing the scope to over-invest in the family home, and it would increase fairness dramatically. The only people it would disadvantage are those with very expensive homes (and they could still keep them by reverse mortgaging PART of them on concessional loan terms). Special hardship provisions should be included to deal with non-returning assets that can't be sold or converted for higher income - removing a current massive unfairness in the assets test that causes some people serious hardship. This should NOT be on the current terms of ''only if you have no other income'', but rather should recognize the overall income loss caused by economic changes or legal problems that convert some ''assets'' into liabilities.

    What we need in this country is leadership by people who are honest, innovative, and NOT committed to over-indulging selected power groups, but intent on devising real solutions. Good luck finding any such leaders in this selfish world! There are certainly none in parliament now, nor in the groups that purport to advise. Maybe it's time to throw out the ''pay peanuts get monkeys'' slogan and hire monkeys! They would cost a lot less and almost certainly perform a great deal better.
    MiningMagnet
    26th Feb 2016
    11:21am
    Once again the mainstream media feels brave enough to attack those least capable of defending themselves
    One thing the right-wing media does really well is the use of language to constrain or define the argument.
    The term 'dole bludger' acts to require 'defence' of an unreasonable usage of a system designed to help those least able to help themselves. At no time does the right-wing jargon seek to define the argument in balanced terms such as, say, discussing observations...
    -lower percentage of welfare recipients transgress than priests
    -a welfare cheat (multi-national corporations excepted) can only steal thousands from the public purse at best-a corporate cheat can steal millions and evade identification, justice or retribution
    -the laws pertaining to welfare recipient cheating carry relatively higher/greater penalties than corporate/stock market and other white-collar fraud
    -and we won't discuss what the banks do each day de-frauding their depositors by charging illegal fees, 'circulation fees' and other legalised theft (generally legalised after they are caught...hahahahaha)
    It is no surprise that when the Lib govt's approval figures are in retreat now that MT's true colours are apparent, this red-herring becomes a mainstream media 'concern'
    I would be interested to see how much public money has been 'fraudulently acquired' by the churches that used it to collect and abuse generations of children - let's see if recovering those billions ever makes it into the public arena with the same vehemence that the lazy, sinful and evil dole bludgers are regularly pursued
    Adrianus
    26th Feb 2016
    11:45am
    If something is wrong, it is wrong regardless of how many people are doing it. There is now a more recent legal precedence to support this.
    It's known as the Craig Thompson defence.

    Your description of dole bludgers as lazy, sinful and evil may also be wrong as Rainey points out they may possibly be highly intelligent and as a result simply more selective.
    Anonymous
    26th Feb 2016
    3:32pm
    It's true that a wrong is a wrong regardless of how many people are doing it, Frank. But what disturbs some of us is when the disadvantaged allegedly do wrong, there is far less tolerance, the penalties are far higher, and there is no room for doubt or consideration of extenuating circumstances. Conversely when the elite do wrong, we are bombarded with excuses and reasons why they shouldn't suffer or why it's the flawed law and not the perpetrator to blame.

    And I notice you insist on validating the term '''dole bludger''. Surely being highly intelligent and, as a result, simply more selective doesn't rule out being lazy, sinful and evil? The point some are trying to make is that a great many are falsely accused, and there are very few ''dole bludgers'' relative to fraudsters, thieves, perverts, and even incompetents who claim generous salaries for stuffing up and destroying other people's lives or wiping our their savings - most of whom are respected and whose wrongs are never detected let alone punished. It's just too easy to kick a man when he's down!
    Radish
    26th Feb 2016
    11:33am
    "What do you think? Should welfare recipients have the right to decline a job they feel doesn’t suit them or their circumstances? Or should they simply be happy to have a job?"

    My answer: I would take the job and stick with it until I found one that was more suitable if it was not exactly to my liking. I have done this in my youth and it also shows you are willing to work and it is all experience.
    geomac
    26th Feb 2016
    12:02pm
    I think people have lost sight of the fact that the number declining a job is minute. Not even 1%. Its a story that you have when the objective is not people who have declined but demonising all who are on the dole. After the choppergate storm there is still nothing to stop politicians rorting the system and the percentage doing it is far greater than the minute number of people who decline a job.

    27th Feb 2016
    7:50am
    http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2015/s4413998.htm

    Yep! The disadvantaged who can't find a decent job should have to take ANY job. And the above article reveals what we will see, frequently. Read it! And don't dismiss it as the exception or illegal conduct that will be addressed. It's widespread. Just ask some of those who are desperate for work and have tried a few of these jobs the ''holier than though'' want to force the disadvantaged into.
    Adrianus
    27th Feb 2016
    10:56am
    Rainey, I saw Fafita's pay slip the other day. I think from memory she filled 2.9 bins in a week at $68 per bin. There were transport costs deducted for only 4 days which could mean that only 4 days were worked.
    My attention was drawn to the deductions to try and gain a sense of how the farmer could justify these.
    $50 for health insurance.
    $80 for accommodation.
    $8 per day for transport.
    There were other deductions which I cant recall.
    After 10 weeks the running total was a $12 debit. My observation was that she owed the farmer $12 after working 10 weeks.

    I notice there was a Superannuation contribution of 9.5% I wonder if this amount makes it to their fund and if so does it form part of the $559m in lost super attributed to these kind of workers?
    Why not just pay them the 9.5% each week? Why make it hard for them to collect? My understanding is that they need to be back in Fiji before applying for the funds transfer to their bank account.
    I certainly think this is worth an investigation before the "holier than though" force more people into these jobs.

    Kind of reminds me of a few of the 350 jobs I've had. Bean picking was a tough job, especially in the rain. I got paid by the bucket.
    When times were tough you could pickup a one day labouring job. It was a matter of waiting outside the PO before the trucks pulled up at day break. You could tell just how tough they were by the number of willing workers waiting. A tip truck would pull up. The driver standing on the running board, leaning over the cabin, would shout "I need 3! I'll take you, you and you!" "his phone would ring to interrupt his thoughts. He then yelled, "OK I need one more!" "How long have you been waiting?" he asked. I knew from previous experience to say "not long" not wanting to let him think that I may be tired from lack of sleep or from waiting too long. Some would arrive at 4am just in case of an early start. Then off we would go to a demolition site for a full days work not stopping for morning tea lunch, afternoon tea, or prayer breaks. I worked as hard as I could in the hope that I would be recognised in the crowd and picked first. Anyway I'm rambling.

    Wonderful people, Fijians, with a big generous hearts. Everyone I've met. It's a shame if they were taken advantage of like this.
    I don't know the rules of the foreign workers program, but $50 pw for health insurance seems a tad high?
    If there are rogue farmers exploiting these workers then they should be dealt with as law breakers.