2nd May 2017
Gaming the welfare system to face Budget crackdown
vintage image of men looking for work

Measures in next week’s Federal Budget are expected to curb the number of people on Newstart Allowance who turn up only to their final welfare appointments in order to keep their benefits.

A pattern has been identified whereby a number of Newstart recipients failed to turn up for appointments throughout the year, only to make the last one to ensure their Newstart payment continued. An even greater number have been flagged for unusual behaviour, attending appointments at regular intervals to ensure payments continue.

Furthermore, a small number of people were flagged as re-engaging with Centrelink every 56 days to ensure their payment continued and repeating this six times. Although payments were suspended, they were subsequently reinstated and back paid.

In overall percentage, such behaviour accounts for three per cent of the almost 760,000 who receive Newstart Allowance.

Human Services Minster Alan Tudge promised financial retribution for those who were flouting the system. “We need to close these loopholes so that job seekers can’t get around their obligations,” he said.

“We need a system that recognises that some have serious issues in their lives and need assistance. But for those who are gaming the system, we need to introduce stronger, more immediate consequences.”

What do you think? Will there be measures in the federal Budget 2017/18 to stop the ‘gaming of the system’? Or will people simply find other ways to flout the rules?

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    COMMENTS

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    Paulodapotter
    2nd May 2017
    10:09am
    As soon as there's a "crackdown" it's those that need the assistance provided by welfare that will suffer. Instead of putting counsellors in the mix to ensure people are meeting their obligations, governments bring out a big stick that ends up beating up the wrong people.
    Polly Esther
    2nd May 2017
    10:21am
    "The one bad apple spoils the bunch"
    Yes you have summed it up correctly Paulo.
    Pass the Ductape
    2nd May 2017
    4:45pm
    Not saying there aren't those out there who cheat the system, but isn't it a pity the average 'Joe' isn't also able to crackdown on those parliamentary members (100% of them by the way) who continually wrought the taxpayer in their capacity as a 'representative' of their constituents. They have a bloody cheek if you ask me.... Sanctimonious mongrels!
    MICK
    2nd May 2017
    7:34pm
    This 'crackdown' occurs at regular intervals bit nothing much ever changes. Just sabre rattling the government hopes will scare people into behaving. Never works.
    It's not rocket science. If you want to fix a broken system you make changes to attack the rorters, not those who have nothing to hide. Too hard for governments and this one will be no different.
    Nan Norma
    3rd May 2017
    10:12am
    Ducktape you are so right. The parliamentarians are already paid huge sums of money and still wrought the system even worse. So which is the bigger thief?
    dougie
    2nd May 2017
    10:46am
    The Media in general were shouting about this from the rooftops a couple of weeks ago, saying how bad it is for our economy and demanding retribution against all who rort the system. This is something that I agree with, however wait until the Government installs the action against these rorters and hear the claims from the do gooders of pain and suffering that these poor little lost souls are being put through.
    I know of some of these people who have made statements like " They can knock me off benefits and I will object and be reinstalled with back payment and to keep me going I will go out and steal a couple of cars and strip them, I can make more in a couple of hours than they pay me."
    " Looks like I will just have to sell a bit more of the good stuff for a few weeks until my appeal is heard.'
    Statements like this were made to me frequently as a contracted Case Manager, and do you know they were perfectly correct in what they said, and Case Managers were reprimanded for making the recommendation.
    If there is to be a crackdown make it hard and determined on those who rort but always treat those in real need of support with compassion and understanding. However draw a wide line through the middle and separate the wheat from the chaff and ignore the bleatings of the do gooders who want to feel wonderful because they have helped the downtrodden.

    I saw my parents suffer through the Great Depression with little or no help from the Government. I saw my father ostracised because as a father of 7 during the Coal Miners Strike in the Hunter Valley, t went out and trapped rabbits to feed his family. No help from Unions but the officials all kept their pay.

    So my friends all that I can say is "Get a Job" -" Any Job" just do not expect the government or the taxpayer to fund your life of idleness and life of bludging on society. Those who bludge and do not contribute in any way can only be considered as "barnacles on the backside of prosperity.

    Sorry if I sound bitter and hard but There is a need for those who are fit and able to be out there doing something with their lives.
    Slimmer Cat
    2nd May 2017
    12:18pm
    Well said Dougie, no argument there.
    I've had Centrelink ring me to find out why I did not employ XYZ.
    I replied I'd never heard of XYZ. XYZ obviously went to the phone book opened it and took a stab and claimed he'd applied for a job and had been knocked back without being given a reason. No job was advertised and none was available. Don't know what happened to XYZ.
    tj
    2nd May 2017
    1:23pm
    Cheers Dougie ,on the money there
    Triss
    2nd May 2017
    1:42pm
    I'm by no means a bleeding heart but let us at least acknowledge that there are not enough real jobs for everyone.
    I've no doubt that the majority of people on this site had jobs that they trained for and got a certain amount of satisfaction from. That isn't the case nowadays as company after company has closed down and gone overseas leaving hundreds of employees in the lurch. Every month full-time jobs disappear in favour of casual jobs which give no satisfaction or proper income.
    This is more the situation that will bring Australian economy to its knees as people will not be able to service mortgages, they'll pay less or no tax.
    Yes, there are bludgers, but let's not tar and feather people who are not bludgers, even if they're turning down a few casual hours work in the hope of getting a full-time job.
    Slimmer Cat
    2nd May 2017
    2:49pm
    You will never get a job if you do not have qualifications if you do not make and effort at doing something. Recently had a conversation with a young woman in a local shop who told me she had three jobs, the one she was in which was part time in retail, she stacked shelves in Woolworths 11 pm to 6 am and worked in a restaurant over the weekend. She said there were lots of jobs out there if you are willing to work. Her efforts managed to get her a full time job as a receptionist BUT she intended to keep up her job as waitress in the restaurant in the evenings as you never knew when you could be out of a job.
    Rae
    2nd May 2017
    3:29pm
    Yes Slimmer Cat I stayed in Stanthorpe recently. Lovely town with cheap housing and needing 72 semi skilled workers right now. People might have to move, reinvent themselves and stop the victim attitudes.
    Retired Knowall
    2nd May 2017
    5:10pm
    If jobs are so scarce, why do need to IMPORT 457 Visa workers?
    Triss
    2nd May 2017
    8:52pm
    I still say that getting a job is not always as easy as you think. CentreLink are often not realistic when they hand out a job vacancy to a client. Job applicants have been sent for jobs they have no qualifications for so when they arrive for their interview they don't get the job. If the cost of travel halves the money they're getting then they don't have a choice but to go back on the dole.
    I have retrained three times in my working life and have never been on the dole but I hope I'm rational enough to be able to see another person's point of view and to acknowledge that everyone's circumstances are individual.
    TREBOR
    3rd May 2017
    2:33am
    My ex-boss's husband was unemployed, he was a farmer for generations - they sent him to do a calligraphy course - he applied for the police academy, got through, and was offered a job he was unsuited for as a police officer - he couldn't see well enough to read a number plate or a street directory.

    Someone tell me what is going on here....
    Anonymous
    3rd May 2017
    7:59am
    A fellow I knew was sent to a job where the abuse of workers was absolutely horrendous. The manager (female) sat on a veranda sipping cocktails and if she deemed anyone was 'slacking' even for a minute, she sent a man to warn them she would sack them and report to Centrelink that they did not want to work. The pay was minimum wage and the workers had their pay docked for every conceivable ''error'' or ''misdeed'' - mostly invented! The work was extremely physically demanding and the rules regarding breaks were not observed.

    My fear is that is we are too aggressive in demanding people work at ''any job'', there will be more of this kind of exploitation and abuse.

    Also, we need to recognize circumstances and particular disadvantage. Those who had stable upbringings and fair opportunity in life will always find it easier to find work. How reasonable is it to suggest that someone who was abused, deprived, uneducated, and has psychological issues as a result, should take ''any job'', no matter how unsuitable? Some of these people are highly intelligent and talented. Wouldn't it be more sensible to assist them into programs that help them develop and use their talent? Why aren't they offered counselling to resolve their psychological issues?

    I agree that the unemployed should be incentivized to find ways to be useful to society, but the big stick approach isn't the right solution. The genuinely disadvantaged need help, not penalties. They need compassion and understanding and support.

    If we could just find a way to distinguish the genuinely disadvantaged from the bludgers... But I suspect the bludgers are well able to continue rorting the system. They know all the tricks - especially how to fake disability and escape work obligations completely.

    I know one who has claimed disability for 30 years but is completely fit and healthy. Recently filed an Affidavit claiming she needed wheelchair accommodation, but her Facebook page has her dancing regularly and running a marathon. She won a limbo contest while supposedly ''crippled''. Nobody chasing her! She's learned all the tricks. The real bludgers all do.
    musicveg
    3rd May 2017
    1:55pm
    I agree Rainey, more support and education. As for the lady who goes dancing and has disability, maybe you need to dob her in so she will get checked out. Or maybe she has some other type of unseen disability and is genuine. She is probably in the too hard basket at this stage.
    Anonymous
    5th May 2017
    8:21am
    I'll dob her in, musicveg, and nothing will happen. Those who rort in the way she does are the ''untoucables''. It's the honest but genuinely disadvantaged who are attacked in these ''crackdowns'', because they are the ones who don't know how to play the system.
    Ted Wards
    2nd May 2017
    11:13am
    I think also now that we have several generations on newstart who blatantly refuse to go get job, we also need to crackdown on this as well. Newstart shouldn't be so easy to get in the first place. If the pension is a burden to tax payers and these are people who have mostly paid tax, those who refuse to work point blank and contribute nothing to the tax burden of the working class shouldn't be getting assistance so easily. It makes it hard for those who are genuinely looking for work!
    TREBOR
    3rd May 2017
    2:35am
    No - we don't. We need a genuine opportunity for those people to get and hold a long-term job. Sorry 'bout that.

    Newstart isn't easy to get - it is, at the moment, an inevitable outcome from massive unemployment.

    Thanks for coming.. train harder.. there's always next week.
    Retired Knowall
    3rd May 2017
    7:04am
    If jobs are so scarce, why do need to IMPORT 457 Visa workers?
    Anonymous
    3rd May 2017
    8:15am
    I suspect the problem is not quite so much scarcity of jobs, but mismatching. And compelling the disadvantaged to take unsuitable work is not a solution. It will cause far more social problems - and thus economic - than it solves.

    Trebor is right. We need genuine opportunity for people to get an hold a SUITABLE long-term job. And we need the ''holier than though'' more privileged to stop taking their privilege for granted and bashing those who have been seriously disadvantaged. Living on Newstart is not an appealing existence. Only the desperate will accept that option, and it's a selfish, screwed-up, abusive society that has made them desperate. So maybe start addressing the problem rather than the symptom?
    musicveg
    3rd May 2017
    2:06pm
    Yes if people were not continuously sent to jobs that they can't do properly or are very unhappy to do, they will lose hope and incentive and avoid getting a job. Training and support for them to find something that will be their long term future is definitely the way to go. Years ago I did a couple of courses in computer work which did not help me to get work but helped me personally to grow and understand computers. I am not sure if they are even doing these type of courses anymore.
    niemakawa
    3rd May 2017
    2:26pm
    @musiveg. What is needed is a course on " get on with life and stop whingeing". Today as industries and technology are progressing rapidly it is no longer expected for people to have a job for life mentality. Many people may not be totally happy in their job or occupation but that is no excuse for abandoning the task at will. People really need to toughen up and take hold of the situation instead of jumping ship at the first opportunity. There are training courses available which are geared to meet the demand of industry of today. Some will be be dropped and new ones added as industry demands change.
    @Rainey you refer to mismatching. There will never be a perfect match so people have to realise this first and foremost. Pandering to their needs is not being helpful. Desperate to avoid taking up challenges is more like it so any excuse will do and the gullible in our society treat these unemployed with kid gloves.
    Rae
    3rd May 2017
    4:59pm
    I agree niemakawa. Most people are not really all that satisfied or happy with the job or management but they get on with it. I had whole years where my job was appalling and really stressful. Perseverance seems in short supply today as does patience.
    Anonymous
    5th May 2017
    8:36am
    You misunderstand me, niemakawa and Rae. I'm not referring to people who have a reasonable but less than optimum opportunity. I'm talking about people who are forced into jobs that are totally unacceptable and soul destroying in every way. Obviously, both of you have enjoyed substantial opportunity. Yes, you may have persisted in less than ideal situations, and you are to be applauded for that. But you've clearly never experienced the kind of disadvantage that leads to complete desperation, nor been compelled to work at a job that totally destroys you, without even the slimmest hope of improvement - often BECAUSE you accepted this soul-destroying job that effectively imprisons you, making you too tired and lacking in freedom to investigate other opportunities, to learn new skills, etc.

    Training courses? Yes, if you have money to pay the fees and income to survive on while completing them. The reality for the genuinely disadvantage is very different from what the advantaged perceive. Of course most people are unhappy to some extent with their job, but get on with it. But put them in a job that poses serious risk to their health; that puts them in genuine danger unnecessarily; or to which they are so psychologically unsuited that they suffer a mental collapse...a job from which they see no way to ever escape. Will these ''holier than though'' then persist? I think not.

    Sorry, but you just don't get it, and not surprisingly. You have to have been there and experienced it to understand.

    I am aware of many who ''game the system''. Most of them learned to out of sheer desperation, because there was no other way to survive in a cruel and uncaring world when you are born ''on the wrong side of the tracks''. For goodness sake, stop persecuting them. They've suffered enough!

    BTW. I confess to having ''gamed the system'' at one point - for a short time. It was the ONLY way to survive at the time. I repaid my debt. I climbed out of hardship and ended up running a business and paying employees, and heaps of tax. I am still working way past retirement age, and paying heaps of tax. If I hadn't ''gamed the system'', I would never have made it to where I am now. I would have struggled in lifelong poverty. My children would not have got a university education. Best thing I ever did was ''game the system'', both for me and for the country.
    Old Geezer
    5th May 2017
    3:57pm
    Rainey I have done many jobs that others would not over my lifetime. My kids chose not to have a uni education but today have very well paid jobs and very profitable businesses. Far too many people today with far too many bit of useless paper who know very little. School teachers would have to be one of the worst.
    Anonymous
    6th May 2017
    9:41am
    As usual, OG, you demonstrate such self-obsession that you are completely and utterly incapable of comprehending my comments.

    IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU. It's about the wider population and the system. It could be fixed if arrogant, self-opinionated arseholes stopped ASSUMING that everything was about them and everyone's experience of life was the same.
    Farside
    8th May 2017
    7:55am
    hey Ted, "those who refuse to work point blank ... makes it hard for those who are genuinely looking for work" – how? There are fewer jobs than unemployed so why not give jobs to those who want them?
    The Black Fox
    2nd May 2017
    11:36am
    So we are to continue to belt the small people over the head while promising the big players 50 billion in tax cuts. And when will we see some real sort of government response to the massive overpayment of CEO's of public companies? And what about the rip offs such as the "gift" to Adani which will allow them to potentially ruin the Great barrier Reef in pursuit of old coal technology? Tell me when this government is going to get its head out of the backside of big business and stop bashing the poor? What world do our LNP politicians live in?
    Alexii
    2nd May 2017
    1:22pm
    Fully agree with you. But it's easier for government to bash the poor, to tax lower and middle income earners who don't have tax lurks and perks than to ensure the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes and to make big business, especially international ones, pay any tax at all.
    dougie
    2nd May 2017
    4:41pm
    It is not easy for any Government to crack down on rorters and bludgers and unfortunately there will be some who do not deserve to be in the same bin who will be included. However they can soon have the matter righted and be back on track. Unfortunate but redeemable. What riles me is those who pose at being unable to work for a variety of reasons, which they share amongst themselves, and keep those who deserve help out of the help and assistance which should be provided but is not because of those rorting the system.

    How many of those who were called to account because they received unwarranted payments have been found to be not guilty of such fraud and more importantly how many were guilty of ripping the system off?

    Give those in need a help along and those who rort the system nothing If they see fit to break the law to survive then give them the maximum penalty as the alternative, WORK, is not so bad. It may even give them a little backbone and pride in themselves.
    Anonymous
    3rd May 2017
    8:33am
    Agreed, dougie, but the problem is that nobody can reliably determine who is rorting and who is genuinely disadvantaged. And I can tell you from extensive painful experience that your claim that ''they can soon have the matter righted and be back on track'' is grossly ill-informed. No redemption for many who have to battle Centrelink - ESPECIALLY the genuinely disadvantaged, who lack the support network, knowledge, and psychological disposition to be able to fight for their rights.
    Crowcrag
    2nd May 2017
    11:43am
    I like what .dougie says. Someone who has worked in the system has heard all the stories. My only corollary is that if these lowlifes - lowlives ? - do not get an allowance, will they automatically turn to crime thereby costing us more in police work and maintaining them in the prison system - if they are caught!
    niemakawa
    2nd May 2017
    4:48pm
    Tag these "lowlifes" so they will always be under surveillance. Harsh maybe but the softly softly approach has never worked and it never will.
    TREBOR
    2nd May 2017
    5:27pm
    Argh, Aye! Brand 'em with a hot iron and tear off their hands.... that'll prevent 'em becoming criminals so they can starve in silence once their benefits are cut off!

    There are plenty of sicko's out there.... some of them come here for a rant.....
    niemakawa
    2nd May 2017
    7:41pm
    @TREBOR. I am glad that you agree, but branding is a bit too harsh, try to show a little compassion for your fellow man. Yes they are all sicko's those "lowlifes" but with a push and a shove they should come out alright.
    TREBOR
    3rd May 2017
    2:42am
    Like you - I was being sarcastic.... niekie....

    I think a stint in the gulag would help as well... if that doesn't work, there's always Carousel......... or Soylent Green with fine music of their choice....

    As a footnote, I have a niece who has had 7-8 kids, is a drug addict infected with AIDS - and still drops kids to get baby bonus and C'link.... all the kids are taken away at birth....

    Open your eyes, people - there are some truly savage situations out there. I don't have an answer for that one in my own family other than keeping my distance - but for those dumped without valid reason?

    I have all the time in the world.
    Crowcrag
    2nd May 2017
    11:43am
    I like what .dougie says. Someone who has worked in the system has heard all the stories. My only corollary is that if these lowlifes - lowlives ? - do not get an allowance, will they automatically turn to crime thereby costing us more in police work and maintaining them in the prison system - if they are caught!
    musicveg
    3rd May 2017
    2:12am
    Of course they will turn to crime how else will they survive if they lose their welfare. Training is what is needed, some people don't even know how to work let alone have the skills or confidence, or even the right communication skills. When they feel no one cares then they don't care about others either.
    niemakawa
    3rd May 2017
    2:24am
    @musicveg So you advocate crime as an answer? Communication skills, that is why we have schools, but too many "students' do not care about learning or others. Thy are at fault nobody else.
    TREBOR
    3rd May 2017
    2:47am
    I don't think music is advocating crime as the real alternative - he/she is suggesting alternatives.. while realising and accepting that lack of alternative WILL lead to the development of a criminal underground of many stratas, and will inevitably change our society in the future - not always for the best of our descendants.

    I want my grand-children to be in a society in which the genuine people hold sway - and the criminal class are definitely second - and I don't want to see them living under the cloud of government by descendants of those who have been criminal.

    It is no secret that the Mafia in the US got its start in prohibition, and so did the Kennedys......

    Is that really what you want?

    Sometimes 'socialism', with its hidden agenda, has its merits.
    musicveg
    3rd May 2017
    2:54am
    No I am being realistic, if there is no welfare how will these people survive? I remember a time you could leave your handbag at the table when you got up for a dance at a pub and no one would touch it. Stealing is so common now, so why do we want to encourage more desperation? It scares me how much crime has increased in Australia over the years. Schools are failing a lot of kids to fit into the real world.
    TREBOR
    3rd May 2017
    11:23pm
    Took me years to start locking the doors of the house... old country boy - not used to them big city ways.
    Farside
    8th May 2017
    8:26am
    Ghandi observed “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”.

    Many of the opinions on this forum suggest Australia still has a long way to go in this regard however it is questionable whether such opinions are truly representative of the majority of Australians. Fortunately reality is not so bleak and for the last hundred years or so our governments have for the most part been able to rise above such selfish attitudes and implement social security safety nets that although not perfect are better than those available in most countries. As Kim Beazley recently said "fairness is hard wired into the Australian brain".
    KSS
    2nd May 2017
    1:17pm
    Amid the recent controversy over that very young couple whose baby has been taken from then and its whereabouts kept secret from then, there were several other very young 'couples' who had also had children at the age of 15 or 16. One such couple were now about 17 or 18 and on their second child already. When the reporter put it to them that they should be trying to get a job, their response was words to the effect that "Yeah maybe. But doing a job is for others not for us. We don't want to work we are doing OK on Centrelink benefits".

    Supporting those genuinely doing it tough is one thing, paying out for a lifestyle choice is quite another.
    Old Geezer
    2nd May 2017
    2:08pm
    It more common than you think. Spoke to a mother recently whose 12 year old daughter came home from school and told her she was going to be a god mother as her bestie was going to have a baby.
    Misty
    2nd May 2017
    2:09pm
    Thay young couple certainly need pulling into line, this sort of attitude is just no on, one of them at least should be trying to look for work or volunteering with a charity to get experience.
    Slimmer Cat
    2nd May 2017
    2:40pm
    KSS it did not finish with them saying they were doing OK on Centrelink benefits, their next statement was they were looking forward to the government giving them a house.
    Sorry BUT children having children with no means of support but welfare is a means to generations of families on welfare with nobody in the family ever having worked or knowing how to work. The babies should be removed and put with families or couples who do not have children but can give that child a good upbringing and where the child will be respected for what it is and not the means of bringing in more money when you have the next child.
    Rosret
    2nd May 2017
    3:13pm
    It is an issue yet I am willing to bet these children come from the poorer areas where low income jobs are few and far between. They may actually be more gainfully occupied than their drug taking pass time cousins who are robbing homes to fund their needs.
    We have sent all our non skilled jobs overseas and automated so many more. They are often not suitable to work in customer service. It is not totally their fault. It's ours.
    We took away their responsibility to work, we took away their options for work and we haven't showed them a path to a better life.
    So before you all pass judgement think about your gift of birth right and how your parents facilitated your future and expectations.
    Paulodapotter
    2nd May 2017
    3:39pm
    Yeh, those poor bastards are all rorting the system. They deserve to be poor. We hard workers deserve to be rich, eh?
    Triss
    2nd May 2017
    5:08pm
    It's been going on for a while and it's not only the youngsters either. My daughter has always known that if she wants shoes on her feet she has to work for them but two or three of her friends' mothers had a go at me for allowing my daughter to demean herself by working at Hungry Jacks at fifteen yo. And that's going back twenty five years.
    TREBOR
    2nd May 2017
    5:30pm
    I think it's more of a conscription choice than an elected choice of lifestyle to go that way. The usual reason is loss of hope..... when there are no other options they might as well accept the lowest form of living in the land......
    musicveg
    3rd May 2017
    2:16am
    Slimmer cat, no baby should be removed from their parents unless they are being harmed. Would it not be better if they got some training about how to work, and juggle looking after their child/children?
    niemakawa
    3rd May 2017
    2:36am
    @musiveg. Not being educated is harmful, so children must be removed from parent(s) that are neglectful in their responsibilities. Children that are having children is a direct result of their parental upbringing.
    TREBOR
    3rd May 2017
    2:48am
    Music - read my post about my niece. I may love her as a niece - but condone or accept her actions and attitudes? Never.
    Anonymous
    3rd May 2017
    8:38am
    niemakawa, you have touched on a very delicate issue. Yes, children need protection and education, but taking a child from its parents has been proven to have lifelong devastating effects. Read some of the stories of stolen and ''forgotten'' Australians. Many have never been able to heal. You speak in gross ignorance when you attempt to imply simple rules should apply to such a complex issue.
    musicveg
    3rd May 2017
    2:15pm
    Yes I did read your post about your niece Trebor, and I think think it is really sad, maybe the problem is the baby bonus, I sure never got it 16 years ago. I was single, unemployed, had to look for work right up until I gave birth and only got about $700 to pay for all the things I needed.I didn't even have a car. I was fortunate to have my family help (not with getting a car, but picking me up and supporting me), but not everyone has that support. Current baby bonus is too high and tempting for drug addicts. More support for drug addicts are also needed, there are waiting lists for rehabilitation centers which some even rorting the system.
    Farside
    8th May 2017
    8:31am
    These personal stories are isolated examples and not representative of the fact that teenage fertility has been declining for the past forty years and is the lowest it has ever been.
    http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Latestproducts/3301.0Main%20Features42015?opendocument&tabname=Summary&prodno=3301.0&issue=2015&num&view
    tj
    2nd May 2017
    1:22pm
    Hope the next federal budget looks at clamping down on certain rorters who claim $293 per night to sleep in their own houses in Canberra
    Alexii
    2nd May 2017
    1:23pm
    hahaha - can you imagine?
    Old Geezer
    2nd May 2017
    2:02pm
    Who are they?
    TREBOR
    2nd May 2017
    6:01pm
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Australian_politicians
    DS
    2nd May 2017
    1:40pm
    Have worked since 16 years old and now 63 years old and have recently become redundant. I am receiving Newstart payments and have to look for 10 jobs per month and report to employment agency. WHY??? Would it makes more sense for 60 and over to go on a pre retirement payment and not have to deal with the crap from Centrelink and employment agencies. Just saying .....
    Old Geezer
    2nd May 2017
    2:04pm
    That's only a couple jobs a week so it is little for them to ask you to do for your welfare payment.
    Sundays
    2nd May 2017
    2:48pm
    DS, you can volunteer for 15 hours a week once you are over 60 and receive Newstart. No need to look for jobs which probably aren't there and you'll be doing a service to the community.
    Anonymous
    2nd May 2017
    2:57pm
    Totally agree with you DS and as far as theses employment agency's are concerned they should all get the bullet they do very little to help people get a job. As long as you front up to them occasionally they get paid for that even they do nothing to help.
    they cause a lot of the problems that center-link have to sort out .

    I have not had dealings with them myself but my son as dealt with Max employment and they are ripping of the government.with there pretension of helping people get a job
    we need an investigation into these agencies.
    Renny
    2nd May 2017
    3:12pm
    People on here have no idea how low the Newstart allowance is. Working for it is slavery.
    Renny
    2nd May 2017
    3:12pm
    People on here have no idea how low the Newstart allowance is. Working for it is slavery.
    Renny
    2nd May 2017
    3:12pm
    People on here have no idea how low the Newstart allowance is. Working for it is slavery.
    Renny
    2nd May 2017
    3:12pm
    People on here have no idea how low the Newstart allowance is. Working for it is slavery.
    Rosret
    2nd May 2017
    3:18pm
    Yes, Renny it is slave labour. I am not sure how they got away with it.
    I hope you can get a job soon DS.
    niemakawa
    2nd May 2017
    3:22pm
    @Renney, is the work, trying to find work, too hard? It seems from this report that many survive very well on the Newstart allowance, so one option is to reduce (by half) the allowance once a person has been unemployed for 1 year. That will give them an incentive to make more of an effort. The taxpayer cannot continue to keep paying so many people so as they can enjoy their chosen lifestyle.
    Hasbeen
    2nd May 2017
    3:28pm
    Not right Fair Dinkum in most instances. My wife was an adviser with one of the charity organisations involved in the new start system. They only got paid when they placed a recipient, & some small residual when they stayed longer than 3 months.

    She handled long term unemployed, longer than 2 years. She had about 15% she could help, who really wanted a job, but for various reasons were not being successful. Most of the rest either did not want any job, or demanded a top job before they would continue to turn up. 20% of placements lasted less than a fortnight, before just not turning up for work.

    She was always under pressure to earn enough from placements for the organisation to stay viable.
    Slimmer Cat
    2nd May 2017
    3:46pm
    If a job is available ANYWHERE you should have to take it. The rubbish we hear that you are not expected to take a job if it is more than 30 minutes travel from where you live. Never in our lives have we had a job or even school that was 30 minutes travel from home. Many people spend 3 hours plus, a return trip, a day traveling to a job and do not complain. We bring in backpackers to do jobs that our slothful youth could well do. Picking fruit for one and there usually is accommodation on the site.
    TREBOR
    2nd May 2017
    6:03pm
    $40 a week less than a politician receives for one night on the town in Cambra, tax free!!

    But those unemployed leaners can suck it up, right? and kiss the hand that both feeds them and bites them....
    TREBOR
    2nd May 2017
    6:05pm
    **face palms** Slimmer - how do you expect them to find, from $253 a week, the travel costs and the costs of setting up somewhere new, let alone eating before they get paid?

    What the hell is the matter with you... Queensland sun got you?
    Renny
    2nd May 2017
    6:14pm
    Sorry about the repeats not sure what happened. Hasbeen, I'm sure your wife worked hard but the owners of these agencies are made into multi millionaires. privatisation is a massive rort, although I'm syrecactual workers get next to nothing. That's the way the Libs work.
    KSS
    2nd May 2017
    7:52pm
    Fair Dinkum MAX Employment are probably the worst of the agencies. When I was having to go to them I ended up reporting them to Canberra with a long report on all the ways Max were failing in their contract to find people jobs and provide a personal service to the clients i.e. me! The final outcome of that was the branch I was at got closed down. I remember when I got a job through no effort on their part, they hounded me for details of the job including rate of pay and all because they needed it to 'prove' they had been successful in getting me into work. I refused to give then any details other than I had found work.
    Triss
    2nd May 2017
    9:23pm
    Slimmer Cat, when you and I started work jobs were easy to get if you left a job on Friday you'd have a new one by Monday. That isn't the case now, apprenticeships have been declining for years, Shopping centres have killed the High Street shops that employed people full time. Laws that were put into to place to help employees have had the opposite effect on employment opportunities with small businesses. Penalty rates, maternity leave, sick leave, wrongful dismissal court cases and the list goes on. Also I don't think this ridiculous trend of tattoooing every inch of skin is conducive to being given a job.
    Yes there are dole bludgers but there were even when we were young, I don't have the answers except that I believe a carrot is better than a stick.
    Anonymous
    3rd May 2017
    8:48am
    Have any of the ''holier than though'' judges here ever genuinely inquired of a long-term unemployed person why they don't work? You might be surprised at some of the answers if you can win their trust sufficiently to get them to drop the bravado and tell the truth. I guess bludgers and rorters exist, but I suspect they are few. Most are desperate people who just needed a decent break at some point in their lives and never got it.
    Old Geezer
    3rd May 2017
    11:01am
    Yes Rainey I went to a funeral of a family member and there was over 50 people there and I was the only one not of welfare. They all wanted to know when I got time to work and earn money as it was so much easier just to collect welfare instead.
    Anonymous
    3rd May 2017
    11:31am
    What rot, OG! You will say anything to try to score points, but hopefully nobody here would be stupid enough to believe you. Only one person at a funeral not on welfare, among 50! Only the biggest idiot in the world would believe that lie.
    Rae
    3rd May 2017
    5:17pm
    There is a great book called The Short Goodbye written by a journalist who lost her job in one of the regular downsizing events. Quite good read and details all the failings of the Newstart and Job Agencies. It is in the Economics section in the library system.

    All my kids were lucky to get jobs at 14 and 9 months by having my support to get them to and from the job safely. Not all kids have that start. That beginning looks great on a CV.

    Personally I'd like to see young unemployed formed into teams with trained supervisors to take them on work training programs set up by the government.

    Just the confidence,, training in dress, speaking etc would help.

    Some kids are so damaged they spend all of high school telling themselves and others they know it all but failing and failing and failing again.

    Tragic and nothing being done much about it.
    TREBOR
    3rd May 2017
    11:28pm
    Trebor History Class 101:-

    In 1972, broke and destitute, I started work on the Eastern Suburbs Railway Line in a tunnel gang, wielding heavy pneumatic drills - I had a dislocated collar bone at the time...... but I needed the work... and the income.

    Later moved up to accident reporting.... the gang I was in was blown up when a drill started again on a hole with an unexploded charge from the last shot... nobody killed, thank goodness.

    But men were men then.... aye... and the women loved 'em for it!
    niemakawa
    2nd May 2017
    2:30pm
    I'll believe when I see it. How many times have governments past and present said they would crackdown on those receiving the Newstart allowance. Maybe they should redefine the meaning " A Newstart to a life of luxury and limitless paid holidays"
    Paulodapotter
    2nd May 2017
    3:43pm
    Yeh, I wish I was destitute on a lifetime holiday. Oh what fun!
    Anonymous
    7th May 2017
    6:30am
    Obviously you've never been there, niemakawa. Nobody would choose that life. It's far from a life of luxury and it certainly isn't ''limitless paid holidays''. It's torture just trying to survive, and then you have to deal with idiotic heartless bureaucrats. So easy to be judgmental when you have enjoyed privilege. Walk a mile in the shoes of the disadvantaged and you'll soon change your tune.
    niemakawa
    2nd May 2017
    2:34pm
    Should have showed a photo of the current mob of unemployed, readily available at any Centrelink dole office. There is no excuse not to work, especially when so many unskilled workers are being allowed into the country.
    Rosret
    2nd May 2017
    3:27pm
    niemakawa, I took a friend to Centrelink and waited outside for a few hours. It was an eye opener. I sat with a young lady who was weeping inconsolably because Centrelink had rightly thrown her out of her housing commission home due to a "stacks on" drug party that "just happened" and damaged the house.
    Her face was damaged from past abuse from an ex husband and from the way she was speaking NO business could have her in their employ.
    A few school age boys you were obviously wagging class offered her a cigarette.
    I came away in disbelief. Throwing money at this clientele isn't the answer. Their entire lives need to be managed to get them out of this spiral.
    TREBOR
    2nd May 2017
    6:11pm
    All backwards as usual - so many unskilled workers coming into the country is part of the problem - stop blaming those with no job.

    Rosret - how would you resolve that young lady's situation? Trapped in that situation, where is she to go? Into another abusive relationship to put a roof over her head? Centrelink doesn't control housing..... so it wasn't them that turfed her for a mad party...

    Thank god my children are born and raised middle class....

    What IS the answer to this endemic and serial living down among the dead men? How do people get out of it? How do they break the cycle and find a better life with no opportunity?

    Maybe we should revert to Old Geezer's social triage and cut them off until they die outside our hearing and sight... as Untermenschen .... worthy only of a place on the Midnight Express to The New Lands....
    Triss
    2nd May 2017
    9:36pm
    I agree, Trebor, Australia doesn't have enough jobs for the people living here so allowing more in just exacerbates the problem.
    Also when someone gets rejected time and time again from job interviews their confidence begins to slide and it's difficult to remain optimistic.
    Unfortunately this dearth of jobs has been going on for about twenty years when firms closed up and took their factories etc overseas to where they could get cheaper workers.
    TREBOR
    3rd May 2017
    3:00am
    'reading' the situation posited by Rosret (WADR) - I see a situation of entrenched and endemic and even generational abuse - how does this woman get out of that? She knows nothing else, and being abused by the agencies of government will not change that.

    Unless they are shown that there is a Third Way - one not of abuse on the one hand and abuse on the other by being treated as scum - how will such people ever get out of the situation they were born into?

    Again - just like the situation of my own niece - I don't have the answer - but I do know that endless bullying and abuse, especially when coming from the very government set up to protect a person, will not alter that person's perspective or ability to change - but will only reinforce it.

    To flog a long running horse - it's like the government trying desperately and with all manner of abuse of civil rights etc, to curb 'family violence' and 'bullying' - by bullying those even remotely accused of bullying.

    It will never work, and the clear result is an escalation in violence - not the curtailing of it.

    Yeah - I'm 'left' of the Dalai Lama.... but not 'extreme left' as in Joe Stalin... just a softie with a brain - and there IS a Third Way, as the Buddhists say.

    That of neutrality and reason, as the people of the ancient spiritual capital of Viet Nam - Hue - found out in 1968 when they were massacred for not belonging to one side.
    Dabbydoos
    2nd May 2017
    2:42pm
    Like Dougie I worked in the industry of helping the unemployed find work. Many of them know the system inside out and quite right they do just pick a company from the phone book. I also had a candidate state it was his daughters birthday so he would have to go and steal a car to pay for presents. Parents also split ( on paper) if payments are cut and both claim single parent payments. The number of rorts by these professional unemployed people are endless .
    niemakawa
    2nd May 2017
    2:48pm
    And the Government(s) will do nothing to stop it, especially with a whole new group, who have special status, now on the bandwagon . More Government lip service.
    TREBOR
    2nd May 2017
    6:12pm
    They need to know the system inside out - starving slowly in darkest despair has a tendency to sharpen the mind somewhat....
    niemakawa
    2nd May 2017
    9:41pm
    @TREBOR very dramatic to say the least. Have you been down to your local Centrelink recently? There are no dress standards whatsoever. The Government must insist that when going to a centrelink office then business attire must be worn and full face shown at all times. No screaming children running around unattended, and all mobiles switched off.
    TREBOR
    3rd May 2017
    3:05am
    Dress standards for the indigent?

    As an officer, I long ago knew even before enlistment that the best course of action was to look at what a person was saying - and not the way they said it.

    Many a grunt coming in from the field may display 'hostility' and 'resentment of authority' and may be dressed like some dirty clown.... so you prefer to condemn them for that rather than what they actually have to offer?

    I think not..... I prefer to accept a man or woman on the basis of what they are without the trimmings - not as they present themselves.

    To see the unreality of accepting a book at face value - see our political class.

    Would you REALLY buy a used car from any of them?
    niemakawa
    3rd May 2017
    3:11am
    @TREBOR. Shorts and thongs for the PM maybe . More your style.
    TREBOR
    3rd May 2017
    6:19pm
    Sounds just right for the PM. But seriously - how does a person on Nostart buy a suit? And why wear a suit when going for a job as a brickie's labourer?
    niemakawa
    3rd May 2017
    6:43pm
    @TREBOR Charity shops have a wide range of clothes/accessories at very reasonable prices. Dress smartly according to the type of job. Not much to ask surely. Tattoos , body piercings, unshaven, unkempt hair do not go down well when going for an interview. Presentation and of course attitude are important. I do not know if it is now the case but Jobcentres/Centrelink provide a clothing allowance to those that have secured employment.
    TREBOR
    3rd May 2017
    11:30pm
    Could Mal buy shorts and thongs there? Rivers had suits for under $50....

    2nd May 2017
    2:46pm
    get rid of max employment they do nothing to help people get a job only interested in getting there cut for doing nothing. I also think they are a major problem for center link.
    they get i understand millions of taxpayers money for virtually doing nothing .
    Rosret
    2nd May 2017
    3:04pm
    At last,their words sound more compassionate and reasonable. Was it so difficult?
    Now they just have to fix the Robo-flop.
    Rae
    2nd May 2017
    3:18pm
    I think the initial interviewer should be fully trained and instructions issued in clear concise and written form.

    Every time I deal with any business I have to check and double check to save myself angst so I imagine Centrelink must be a minefield of disinformation depending on who you talk to.

    Just today I received info from the local council that would have cost me hundreds of unnecessary dollars if I hadn't checked.

    Computer driven data seems to becoming too complex for the ordinary person to navigate.

    Time to simplify and get some sort of order into the systems.
    Rosret
    2nd May 2017
    3:32pm
    Rae I think it's deliberate to keep the conditions and allowances obscure. Those in the system know how it works though.

    As for local council - tell me about it! That's why they have a really wide desk in their front office - so we can't reach over and.....
    Rae
    7th May 2017
    9:42am
    I'd like to get into the Council's Records section and sort out the mess that is obviously allowing whole reams of records to go missing.
    niemakawa
    2nd May 2017
    3:39pm
    I understand that Centrelink notify those on Newstart , who keep missing appointments, that their payments MAY be stopped, but rarely are. A tougher line of action is needed and those that continue flouting the rules must be told in writing that their payments HAVE been stopped, no ifs or buts. Put the ball in the recipients court, then they will see the error of their ways.
    Paulodapotter
    2nd May 2017
    3:48pm
    Yeh, the rotten so and soes. They can always steal a car to get to a job interview. No excuses!
    niemakawa
    2nd May 2017
    3:58pm
    @Poodapotter. I S and S.
    TREBOR
    2nd May 2017
    6:13pm
    **rolls about laughing** thanks, Paulo... carjacking might be better.. that way they can just let the driver go without too much interference...
    moke
    2nd May 2017
    4:23pm
    Not just the dole people who need handling, working in the system I came across a female claiming sole parent pension, she was working, living with a bloke that was working and she also had a housing commission accommodation used occasionally to make it look good. Just where do the rorts end
    niemakawa
    2nd May 2017
    4:39pm
    Who knows. Yet so many on these forums want the Government to increase taxes of the so-called rich , the ones already contributing far too much. Tax increases are not necessary, cut welfare to the bare minimum, no Newstart after 1 year (holiday) . Sole parent pensions ditto. No subsidies for childcare, no baby bonus, cut back on immigration of the unskilled ( including so-called refugees), cut Foreign Aid or better still make no contribution. Until drastic action is taken nothing will change. Australia is broke.
    Pablo
    2nd May 2017
    4:48pm
    Very well said Niemakawa! Our society cannot afford all of this welfare being paid out to people who make a decision not to search for work, particularly Newstart and sole parent pensions! No childcare subsidies and no baby bonus would be a good start!
    TREBOR
    2nd May 2017
    6:16pm
    You do get that - but genuine rorting is quite rare.... as low as 1% or so from some reports.... genuine mistakes should not be included.... now if Centrelink was re-combined to be a job agency..... people could come to an interview and receive referrals....... and The Guv would know exactly who they were referred to.....

    You no come in for interview without a note - go to the principal's office for a review...
    niemakawa
    2nd May 2017
    7:50pm
    @TREBOR Every person must be accountable and take responsibility for their actions. So anyone that consistently fails to meet their obligations with Centrelink deserve to have payments stopped. But of course this will not happen the Government and politicians more interested in gaining votes, they do not care if the country is broke. But that is part of the overall plan, for our Globalist Government. Labor/Greens are a member of that "club" as well, they will just go along for the ride. Australia is broke and no amount of taxation will save it. The NWO well under way, welcome!!
    niemakawa
    2nd May 2017
    7:50pm
    @TREBOR Every person must be accountable and take responsibility for their actions. So anyone that consistently fails to meet their obligations with Centrelink deserve to have payments stopped. But of course this will not happen the Government and politicians more interested in gaining votes, they do not care if the country is broke. But that is part of the overall plan, for our Globalist Government. Labor/Greens are a member of that "club" as well, they will just go along for the ride. Australia is broke and no amount of taxation will save it. The NWO well under way, welcome!!
    TREBOR
    2nd May 2017
    8:49pm
    Aye, m'lod - but that thin line between genteel starvation and becoming a criminal to survive is held only by those benefits - and the cost of trying to cut down criminal behaviour is far more than the cost of any benefits they might receive while not ascribing to some mythical set of standards...

    Which would you prefer? People living on a minimum without all these ridiculous pressures to abide by rules that lead nowhere - or to defend home and hearth against a rising tide of millions of criminals?
    niemakawa
    2nd May 2017
    9:45pm
    @TREBOR I see no starving people in Australia, generally speaking those on one form of benefit or another look quite well fed. Latest gadgets in hand and the tattoos to boot , which do not come cheaply.Time to re-introduce the "Press Gangs"!!
    TREBOR
    3rd May 2017
    3:15am
    So a single person with no support network from family, etc, living on $253 a week, paying rent and paying all costs to runaround looking for a job - ha sufficient 'discretionary income' to eat?

    I rest my case.

    Does anyone really - in the real world - imagine that someone would choose to live like that?

    Anecdote:- I was the family genius - I had loser parents - I was slated for med school - I finished top grade high school at fifteen and a half - I was on my own from age sixteen with no support at all - paying board of $3.60 and receiving an income as a junior of $4.00.

    If it had not been for the boarding house set up by the a founding father of BHP - I would have starved.

    No med school - no nothing - just a hard road and supported by a decent man (a Lewis like one of my great-grandmothers - MacDonald of the Isles) who saw a better future for young men than starving in the streets.

    You cannot tell me that people choose the 'dole' as a lifestyle.
    TREBOR
    3rd May 2017
    3:16am
    ... or that they wouldn't starve without Social Security.

    I've been there - more than once ...
    niemakawa
    3rd May 2017
    3:19am
    @TREBOR, that was then. Today some (far too many) see the dole as a lifestyle.
    Anonymous
    3rd May 2017
    8:55am
    Wrong, niemakawa. I've been there too, and it's still happening today. People who see the dole as a lifestyle do so because they have been denied the opportunity, support and education that enables them to find and capitalize on opportunity. Seeing the dole as a lifestyle is a RESULT of a social problem that needs to be solved. These people are without hope. Instead of punishing them, we need to find a way to help them build hope and self-respect. We need to ensure they are given a fair chance to find a better way to live. You don't do that by taking their welfare cheque away! That just makes them more desperate and increases their hatred of society and determination to somehow beat the cruel system that is persecuting them.
    TREBOR
    3rd May 2017
    6:26pm
    Morrison's idea is to apply the whip and the bludgeon until they row harder in the galleys.... chain 'em to the oar so if the ship sinks through their incompetence, they will go down with it...

    Ah - those were the days - any good Christian could find a job beating time on the drum for those Infidels.... or walking the aisle laying on the lash.... coupla trustees to throw the dead and near-dead overboard....

    Many young Aboriginal people - an extreme end of what you are discussing, Rainey - see a life of crime as normal, and even as part of the 'war' against Whitey who's taken everything from them.

    The hopelessness and lack of horizon is one reason they figure so highly in substance abuse and prison.... mind you, the old redneck magistrate or local copper doesn't help, either... when it comes to charges and evidence - any dream will do.....
    Anonymous
    5th May 2017
    8:46am
    Not just Aboriginals, Trebor. Poor whites have been just as badly abused and suffered hideous injustice.

    History books lie about the ''stolen generation''. There were far more whites stolen than Aboriginals, and most of the child theft was for reasons of family poverty - not race, abuse or neglect. ''Child welfare'' officials were dishonest, negligent and corrupt and actually profited from removing kids, as did the churches that ran homes in which kids were hideously deprived and abused. And whites were far more likely to remain in these homes than to find good adoptive families where many Aboriginals were given a valid second chance to prosper.

    Then there are the children of young widows who grew up in abject poverty, often because their fathers gave their lives in military service, police work or rescue operations. Today, compensation payments are generous. My parents' generation had no such help. Life was very hard for these families, and the children suffered hideous disadvantage.

    Most of the posters here obviously have never experienced genuine disadvantage and are fortunate enough never to have had much contact with those who have. It's apparent from their comments that they live in a much rosier world than the one I come from.
    Old Geezer
    8th May 2017
    12:14pm
    They weren't stolen Rainey they were rescued for their own good.
    Pablo
    2nd May 2017
    4:27pm
    And about time too. I just hope that they are serious this time and get rid of the bludgers from our welfare system!
    niemakawa
    2nd May 2017
    8:18pm
    Unfortunately this problem will continue and persist indefinitely. The present Government, the opposition, Greens all talk but no action. Australia is broke and they have no intention in fixing it.
    Rae
    7th May 2017
    10:01am
    It can't exist indefinitely as the money has run out, the taxes just are not collected, the dividends go to the private owners now and fewer taxpayers are supporting more welfare dependents.

    Privatisation, globalisation, neoliberalism and huge immigration was always going to destroy the Welfare State.

    Not to mention 16 years of war over who gets to build a damn gas pipeline.
    DS
    2nd May 2017
    4:37pm
    Reply to old Geezers comment "only a couple of jobs a week for my welfare payment". So you are saying after 47 years of working and paying tax - I am not entitled to want to retire early at 63 years old and should find employment so I don't receive welfare payments. Excuse me!
    Old Geezer
    2nd May 2017
    5:32pm
    Yes you can retire at 63 but you are not old enough for the OAP. If you don't want to apply for the jobs don't apply for welfare.
    TREBOR
    3rd May 2017
    3:18am
    Sometimes, OG - you actually know the ropes! I'm proud of you.
    ex PS
    3rd May 2017
    7:10am
    You can retire at any age you like, as long as you can afford it. If you can't, you have to rely on welfare and have to comply with all the rules that go with it.
    It is only going to get worse with the government raising the eligibility for the Pension Entitlement.
    I remember when my Father lost his last job at 60, he was given his welfare payment and the reporting rules were relaxed because it was recognized that it was almost impossible for a person of that age to secure employment, I guess this current government thinks things have changed for the better since then.
    Anonymous
    3rd May 2017
    8:43am
    So it's okay for the accountants and lawyers who had privileged lives to retire at 60, but the poor uneducated waif who busted his guts carrying bricks and cement or digging ditches for pathetic wages until he could no longer survive a day of hard work is to be condemned to poverty and misery for the rest of his days as 'punishment' for not having been lucky enough to be trained for a more lucrative and less demanding job?
    ex PS
    3rd May 2017
    4:30pm
    I understand where you are coming from Rainey, I started work at 16 working in a factory making fiberglass mannequins, talked my way into a better job in a Hardware Store, went back to factory work because even though it was filthy, hard work it paid better. Worked in Private Industry for twenty years and ended up in a couple of management positions.

    It was in one of these positions that I was introduced to the idea of Super, and this is why I started planning for early retirement. After my third retrenchment because of businesses closing down due to amalgamations I went into the Public Service because I thought it was a secure job.

    I started at the lowest rung and over twenty odd years again worked up to management. Just as I don't blame people who have not been able to save for retirement I don't think people who have had the foresight to plan for early retirement should be blamed for their success.

    My late father in law was a delivery driver all his life, he invested in Super at an early age and retired as a self funded retiree, you do not have to be a professional on big money to become financially independent, you just have to forgo some instant gratification and plan ahead.

    I would have been classed as an under educated waif from the wrong suburb at 16, but I did not let that define me.
    Anonymous
    5th May 2017
    8:19am
    ex PS, your story and mine have some similarities, and I've been lucky to end up moderately well off in retirement. But I have seen too much of hardship to condemn those who haven't been able to rise above it. It takes an enormous amount of strength, courage and innate ability - and some good luck and good influence here and there - to rise above real disadvantage. Many just never get a break in life. Yes, it is possible to retire self-funded despite a meagre wage, but then you have the widow who raised a family on a pension and a little bit of cash in hand taking in mending. How does she invest in super? There are folk who lost their savings through investing in something that looked good but proved to be a scam, or through a business failure. You have folk who were impoverished by unexpected health challenges, accident, or family crisis.

    I agree with your views. I don't blame anyone for not being able to save for retirement (though many were able but unwilling and I resent them being government-funded while the savers are not!). I don't assume anyone is bludging or ''gaming the system'' without detailed knowledge of their circumstances and background, because I suspect most who learn to ''game the system'' do so out of desperation - seeing no other way to survive.

    I also agree that those who did have the foresight to plan and save should enjoy the benefit of their success. The assets test is patently inequitable and economically destructive. We need both greater incentives to save and plan and more help for those who, for whatever reason, seem incapable of it.
    Oldman Roo
    2nd May 2017
    5:16pm
    i really can not find any sympathy for young people who do not want to work or fail to attend job interviews .
    Likewise I can not accept excuses for these people that they may turn to crime as the precedent will obviously lead others to also choose a way of life at the expense of the taxpayer . Not at all conducive to for a sound economy .
    I wonder about what is really happening with the work situation almost on a daily basis when I have to phone service providers , large companies , Government and most of the time have to speak to someone with a strong foreign accent and very difficult to understand .
    I keep asking myself just what are the young Australians doing , knowing so many of them are unemployed . Perhaps someone can explain this phenomenon to me .
    TREBOR
    2nd May 2017
    5:18pm
    How does one go about 'gaming' a situation in which one is provided with survival income in return for there being no jobs to speak of?

    This whole guff would have far more credibility IF there were jobs available, but since vacancies lag behind unemployed and underemployed by around 20:1....... (pauses to let that sink in)..... there is no case for any 'crackdown'other than to feed the ridiculous attitudes of those who think people love to live on 1/6 AWE per week, and to pander to some ridiculous ideology of some myth of moral superiority accruing to this with......

    Morrison to a T - accruing wealth is the province of the godly, for without their accruing wealth, there would be no reward for being godly, and with wealth they could all, like Morrison himself, do good works for those less fortunate..... (bullschit, bullthit)...
    TREBOR
    2nd May 2017
    5:25pm
    Well - that rather miniscule in comparison amount that is genuinely 'rorted' falls into the category of being just a little more that goes pretty much instantly back into the economy and is absorbed by taxation in around twenty changes of hand, paying GST alone..... every expenditure incurs a tax - all cash returns to the government coffers via tax - UNLESS it is hoarded as 'dead stock' into non taxpaying or tax concession havens, including those offshore (as well as 'investment housing'. shares in certain circumstances, and so forth).

    It is Dead Stock and not Live Stock that is failing this economy - and even the scrawniest Live Stock is better than that kind of Dead Stock (not Farmer's dead Stock, which is tracties and so forth)...
    Renny
    2nd May 2017
    6:23pm
    ThIs is increasingly where I come to realise what young people say about greedy, nasty, racist old people is right. What a mean and nasty bunch of ghastly. Thanks Trebor and Paulo for your ability to reason and your compassion. The rest disgust me. By the way. Anyone worked out if Old Geezer is actually John Howard?
    niemakawa
    2nd May 2017
    8:10pm
    OG may have his/her faults but I find his/her contribution to these forums uplifting. Are you a snowflake or what?
    TREBOR
    2nd May 2017
    8:46pm
    I find OG's contributions side-splitting.... full of contradictions and Queensland facts - the ones that are only half fact so the hearer can digest it in one lump...

    On the one hand he is the saviour of the many who come to his door begging for help... on the other he would see the downtrodden run over by a bulldozer to stop their benefits... but then he'd expect that any Social Security paid to them in life would come back out of any estate they have.

    He's a grave robber by nature, and his every comment leads me back to the original position - he is a half-baked kid with a fantastic creative ability.

    I note that now our other scion, Bonny, now grows vegetables at the 'country estate' and gives them to the poor...

    Now - an interesting thought - here be a short tale:-

    Laird on horse:- "See here, my good fellow.. why don't you go and get yourself a JOB!"

    Wayside beggar:- "Ah, 'tis the truth of it, m'lod - them fancy jobs ain't fer the loikes o' me, they's fer the better kind!"
    niemakawa
    2nd May 2017
    9:34pm
    TREBOR, what a lovely ode t'is. The one thing today is that pride in oneself has gone. Bring back the birch in the schools and the ruler, get them while they are young, failure to do so will only make the queues at the welfare office so much longer. Have you ever heard of the saying "beat the living daylights out of you" . A form of discipline that was used and functioned very well. Today discipline (self or otherwise) is virtually non-existent, the results of which can be seen everywhere.
    TREBOR
    2nd May 2017
    9:43pm
    Can't see it getting any better in the short term.... needs some real forward planning.... and I've long said I don;t think the major parties have it in them to save the situation. all they do is react along ideological lines and push the ideology once the crisis is abated somewhat, but is still waiting to pounce again.

    I'm glad my children know what they are about. Son is a tradie and daughter is following her mother's footsteps in film.... and they have their mother's cousin who is a director n Hollywood. I keep telling them to use the family connections like a politician's brood....
    Charlie
    2nd May 2017
    8:14pm
    All things come full circle after a while. I remember My first dole cheque in 1970 that I applied for in absolute desperation because I was out of any kind of work. There was a lot of casual work that kept people going from one job to the next and the dole was a safety net that kept people off the streets. A person could get a job for a day, cash in hand, no questions asked, but now there's a lot more accident insurances and taxes. There used to be a lot more discipline in the home and teenagers couldn't wait to leave home, get a job and gain their independence, that was the measure of their manhood, now its getting a tattoo.

    Now we still see people living on the streets even when they get the dole because they cant manage their lives. There is generally a lack of personal responsibility. People come into the world with the belief that the world owes them. Refugees are attracted to countries with welfare, sometimes because there is the belief they can be paid just to live here and make children, because supposedly we are too infertile to make more than one or two children.

    Yes, I have claimed a lot of unemployment benefits, but I have also had two career jobs and had at least a dozen different kinds of employment to get through life.

    Yes the welfare system (or something) needs a bit of a shake up
    niemakawa
    2nd May 2017
    8:22pm
    They are certainly not refugees, economic migrants is a better way to describe them. Europe has been over run with them, most want to go to the UK for the same reason, the benefits, well it certainly cannot be because of the weather.
    Rae
    7th May 2017
    10:30am
    Gosh back them I was cleaning builders cottages during the huge construction boom and working three shifts in the TAB. The town couldn't get enough workers for low skilled jobs. Yes it was all cash in hand but the pay was very good.

    The freeways were being built as well as lots of other growth industries.

    Best job was selling watermelon slices at the weekend music festivals. We sold truck loads of them around the Central Coast and The back of Byron.

    Then again all this industrial relations regulation has crueler that sort of initiative. Bet you'd need a degree and a load of permits today.
    Rae
    7th May 2017
    10:36am
    I also sold vintage clothing at the city markets as I worked my way through uni. Hardly any girls went to uni back then. No it wasn't free and the government gave me $9 a week as an incentive. LOL.

    I never knocked back any legal job and also indulged in a couple of dodgy one offs that paid very very well.

    Bet a kid today could print up a flier and mailbox drop and find cash jobs in no time flat. Especially in areas with lots of elderly. Gardening, window cleaning etc at reasonable prices. But they don't have to do they?
    musicveg
    7th May 2017
    2:00pm
    Rae, it is not that easy these days with having to be fully insured. Kid's cannot do hardly anything legally these days without a whole lot of cash behind them first. No one wants to trust just anybody to do the work, they want certifications, recommendations, professionalism etc.
    Justsane
    3rd May 2017
    1:45am
    "An even greater number have been flagged for unusual behaviour, attending appointments at regular intervals to ensure payments continue."

    So doing this is supposed to be unusual behaviour. Give me a break! What else is an unemployed person who cannot find a job and needs to keep body and soul together supposed to do?

    I would like an Australia where the unemployed were not blamed for being unemployed. Other countries do not do this. Everyone knows that there are many more people looking for jobs than there are jobs to be had. Can we please, please stop this ultra punitive approach to job seekers, which has been going on for years.
    niemakawa
    3rd May 2017
    1:54am
    All they have to do is make an appearance and provide some evidence that they have been seeking work. surely that is not beyond their capabilities. There is a punitive approach to tax the so-called rich, but you would probably would agree with it.
    musicveg
    3rd May 2017
    2:43am
    I agree with you Justsane, that majority of unemployed are genuine job seekers, but lose their confidence very quickly after so many knock backs etc. Most delivery driver jobs are Indians, they also now run most of the petrol stations. Fruit pickers are mostly Asians. And every time you phone an "Australian' company they are mostly from overseas. These are just examples and are not meant to be racists, but to point out that jobs are more scarce than ever. We need training and job creation in sustainable industries, why are we not getting the unemployed growing food for example, we all need it and they could at least feed themselves fresh vegies and fruit. Teaching skills is what we should be doing not penalising them so they lose more hope and turn to crime. Crime will be their only option to survive if their newstart is cut off. And not to mention the charities already inundated with those seeking assistance.
    niemakawa
    3rd May 2017
    2:48am
    @musiveg. I am against mass immigration which is occurring in Australia. Nothing to do with being racist, but survival. Jobs for Australians must be given priority .
    TREBOR
    3rd May 2017
    3:20am
    ""An even greater number have been flagged for unusual behaviour, attending appointments at regular intervals to ensure payments continue.""

    Starvation does that - addles the brain on details, and makes it hard to find the energy to get out there....
    niemakawa
    3rd May 2017
    3:22am
    @TREBOR There are no poor or starving people in Australia. It is a myth.
    TREBOR
    3rd May 2017
    3:25am
    So tomorrow when you go out on the streets with no support network, no roof over your head, and $253 a week to live on - you will not find it hard?

    Get back to me in one week's time.... tomorrow is your fist day of living with no support on $253 a week.
    niemakawa
    3rd May 2017
    3:31am
    @TREBOR I will invest it wisely and come out a winner.
    Anonymous
    3rd May 2017
    8:30am
    Crap, niemakawa. Obviously you've never been in the situation Trebor describes. You can't ''invest'' when you have no food or shelter. And $253 doesn't go far. There will certainly be none left over to ''invest''. I sometimes agree with your comments, but you are obviously too privileged to have a heart.
    Charlie
    3rd May 2017
    11:18am
    Well, its not like there are no jobs being advertised, there are plenty on agencies like SEEK and a few others. I see the main problem is that people are not prepared to work in jobs that only pay a little more than the dole.
    Anonymous
    3rd May 2017
    11:26am
    You speak from ignorance Charlie. Yes, there are jobs, but are they SUITABLE jobs? And yes, there are some who are not prepared to work for pay a little more than the dole - rightly so when the cost of holding the job makes the net reward far less than the dole. Maybe we need to address exploitation before we condemn the disadvantaged? I' don't blame anyone for turning down a job they can't afford to accept. Nor do I blame anyone for turning down a job that is so unsuitable it demoralizes completely and destroys all hope. An unappealing job needs to be able to be used as a stepping stone to something better. Sadly, it is often the opposite. It imprisons. It denies people the time, energy and freedom to seek alternate opportunities, locking them in to misery.
    Rae
    7th May 2017
    10:44am
    Or it gives them a bit of money to get into something better Rainey. If I was suddenly on Newstart I'd be knocking on doors and businesses offering to do any job needed.Yes there would be knock backs but there would also be some work too. When was the last time a kid came looking to help you out for a few bucks?

    Then they do clean those windows or weed that garden, do a fab job and you are the CEO of blah and then give them a real break.

    It won't happen hanging around Centrelink.

    How do these new arrivals on 457 visas get work?
    Anonymous
    8th May 2017
    11:59am
    There's a massive difference, Rae, between taking the odd casual job to earn a few extra dollars and taking an unsuitable full-time job that locks you into a position where you have neither time nor energy to look for something better and you are restricted during business hours from making calls or attending interviews because you are at work. Plus, if you are asked what you are doing now and answer truthfully it goes against you as employers don't want to take you away from a competitor. Ask your boss for a reference and he gets angry that you only took a job as a stop-gap or stepping stone. In jobs that pay only a little more than the dole, you find yourself heavily behind financially due to the costs of holding the job, and you have no opportunity to pursue a better opportunity. I would turn down certain types of job offer if I were unemployed, because I would not be willing to lock myself in to something totally unacceptable and soul destroying, barring any chance to keep applying for more suitable jobs.

    I do not think the unemployed should be forced to accept ''any job'' when doing so effectively imprisons them and denies them any opportunity for satisfying work in the future. It's not a case of wanting the ''perfect'' job, but we should recognize that people need a job that is reasonably acceptable given their abilities, personality, health and family situation - or a guarantee that the job they take IS realistically a stepping stone and doesn't lock them in to an intolerable situation.

    New arrivals on 457 visas are generally working in conditions we Australians consider unacceptable and for below award wages. Do we really want to turn Oz into a third world country? Personally, I don't think we should be accepting immigrants to work on 457 visas, and I find it very disturbing hearing how these immigrant workers are treated. I sure wouldn't want my kids treated that way in a job, and unable to escape to find a better opportunity. I would rather encourage them to ''game the system'' as a stepping stone to a rewarding occupation. I did that, because it was the only way to achieve satisfactory employment. I'm glad I did it. What I did SHOULD have been legal, because it resulted in me starting a successful business and hiring people and paying taxes.

    I fear the solutions privileged people come up with are way too simplistic and conceived out of gross ignorance, If we really paid attention to the issues the unemployed face and resolved to solve the real issues, we would not support ''crackdowns''. There are far better ways, but they require a different perspective, and perhaps the privileged are just incapable of changing their perspective?
    musicveg
    8th May 2017
    10:12pm
    Well said Rainey, happy workers make productive workers, less sick leave, mental issues and hope for the future. Also with fewer jobs available the job seekers, we need to help people create work, not just find a menial task that helps a business make a profit.
    musicveg
    3rd May 2017
    2:49am
    Yes, there may be some welfare cheats but I don't believe we should treat all welfare recipient as though they are all cheats. Crackdown on those working whilst still claiming newstart. I am sure there are many businesses that run with cash in hand still. Also bring back the way Centrelink use to be, a job centre, where you could feel like you were getting help to seek work not just a place you go to convince them you are looking for work to keep your payments. The idea of privatising job providers is totally wrong. Young people who work in these places have no idea how to treat people, training is minimal and no life skills to understand people. You are treated like a number not a person.
    TREBOR
    3rd May 2017
    3:23am
    The end game is to define everyone on any Social Security payment as some sort of loser..... and to threat them as a vastly 'lower' class of human.. one day Morrison will find a way to build Konzentrationslageren... and he is well fitted to run them...
    niemakawa
    3rd May 2017
    3:29am
    @TREBOR humans are a species of animal. The survival of the fittest will always prevail. If that was not true then there would be no wars. Wars are the natural occurrence that humans use to ensure that the species survives. So best we send all the bludgers to the killing fields to maintain the status quo. Press gangs to the fore.
    Anonymous
    3rd May 2017
    8:10am
    So we are not the ''superior species'' we claim to be Niemakawa? I was taught that the ability to have compassion and empathy was a feature of human intelligence that places us well above most animal species.

    Sorry, maybe I'm a little prejudiced in my views, having had extensive experience with the most seriously disadvantaged. I guess they should have all been exterminated - including my darling disabled grandson? I concede that maybe that would have economic benefits, but - sorry - I don't want to live in that sort of society. I'd much rather exterminate those who lack the ability to care for others.
    Anonymous
    3rd May 2017
    8:10am
    So we are not the ''superior species'' we claim to be Niemakawa? I was taught that the ability to have compassion and empathy was a feature of human intelligence that places us well above most animal species.

    Sorry, maybe I'm a little prejudiced in my views, having had extensive experience with the most seriously disadvantaged. I guess they should have all been exterminated - including my darling disabled grandson? I concede that maybe that would have economic benefits, but - sorry - I don't want to live in that sort of society. I'd much rather exterminate those who lack the ability to care for others.
    Old Geezer
    3rd May 2017
    11:05am
    Gee Rainey people really take advantage of you with most no knowing when to stop. I've heard all the sob stories and quite frankly I have a better one myself but I will not hang my dirty washing out for others to see. Many however delight in doing so as they carve sympathy over everything else.
    Anonymous
    3rd May 2017
    11:20am
    You certainly do have a sob story, OG. You are a nasty narcissist - a very sick and twisted individual indeed.

    My comment was that I have had extensive experience with the most seriously disadvantaged - not that people take advantage of me. But nasty narcissists can't read too well and certainly can't comprehend.

    Yes, I've suffered disadvantage and injustice - at a level you couldn't even imagine, OG, with your PRIVELEGED STATUS being university educated and having business-owning parents. But I rose above it and made a fantastic life for myself. I'm very fortunate that I was blessed with intelligence, courage and determination and I had some very positive influences and supportive friends at critical times in my life. But I have deep empathy for those who were not so fortunate. None of them crave sympathy - and I certainly don't. What they crave, NEED and DESERVE is RESPECT. They certainly won't get it from narcissistic self-serving pigs like OG, sadly.

    BTW. I don't ''hang my dirty washing out'', OG. I tell mine and other people's stories because it is beneficial for people to know about the mistakes society has made and the damage those mistakes have caused. History SHOULD teach us to do better. Unfortunately, there are too many arrogant, self-serving, egotistical pigs lacking in empathy and compassion who will never learn and will continue to commit the horrendously cruel acts that make life hard for others.
    musicveg
    3rd May 2017
    2:27pm
    Animals of all kinds do show compassion and co-operation even more so than humans. We are losing the plot. Greed is taking over. Everyone wants to be rich but not everyone can be, because who will do the dirty work for the rich? And everyone on welfare spends all their money to keep the wheels turning.
    I enjoy reading Rainey's posts thanks OG. I wish you two would stop attacking each other, we need more co-operation and understanding to find ways to solve the problems in Australia.
    TREBOR
    3rd May 2017
    6:34pm
    Niemie - we've spent thousands of years raising ourselves above the gutter and the jungle - are we to throw it away now over those unable to find a job that actually works for them? Are we to revert to the savage within us all the moment we come across a 'weak' member of the pack, where human nature is to turn on that member, kill him/her or drive him/her out to survive if they can alone?

    That is why we, as human beings, must use our minds and intellects to rise above the level of the animal within us all.... because the greater survival of the greater number benefits us all in providing security and opportunity to gather food.

    Leave the animal behaviour to those animals blessed only with instinct and limited reasoning.... we are supposed to be better than that.
    Anonymous
    5th May 2017
    8:08am
    This ''survival of the fittest'' approach ignores the reason why some are unfit. If society didn't render them unfit by cruel abuse, deprivation and injustice, there might be some validity in the claim that society should operate more like the animal kingdom. But when someone is rendered ''unfit'' because their self-esteem was destroyed by vile abuse after they were stolen from good parents without cause and institutionalized, is it reasonable to then suggest they should be left to struggle because a vile and corrupt society destroyed their ''fitness''. What of those whose ''fitness'' is destroyed by injury in war or policing or rescue operations? What of those whose 'fitness' is destroyed working in unhealthy or dangerous conditions so the ''fitter'' can get richer?

    In the end, 'survival of the fittest' means look after the privileged and to hell with the rest. It has nothing to do with creating a stronger or more capable society. The useless, stupid, destructive among the rich will continue to prosper regardless. ''Survival of the fittest'' means protection of birthright - a feudal society in which nobody can rise above the station they were born to.
    HarrysOpinion
    3rd May 2017
    4:59am
    Force the unemployed into occupation jobs that are available through retraining programmes if they want Newstart. If they don't want to, then no Newstart. Plus, there are many on Disability welfare who spend their payments on illicit drugs and alcohol. Many fall behind in rent, stretch their unpaid tenancy to the max and then move on again to cause another landlord a headache and financial disadvantage. It's a joke for these bludgers and it's these bludgers who make it hard for the genuine welfare clients.
    Anonymous
    3rd May 2017
    8:05am
    Agree with some of your comment, HS, but have you ever been in the situation of being unemployed with someone trying to force you into a job for which you knew you were totally unsuited. It's not always a matter of ''not wanting to''. It's a case of wanting a fair and reasonable opportunity to enjoy some of the benefits others in society take for granted. When someone has been seriously deprived, denied education, abused, or suffered serious injustice, I can forgive them for thinking it unreasonable that they should have to take just any grossly unsatisfactory job just to appease the more privileged. And I've seen cases where such forcing leads to serious mental illness, long term disability, and even suicide.
    We need to have some compassion. Many who are condemned for what appears to be ''welfare cheating'' just want a decent break in life. Yes, they are the 'genuine' welfare clients you refer to. The problem is that it seems nobody has the skills to reliably identify who is 'genuine' and who isn't.
    TREBOR
    3rd May 2017
    6:36pm
    Argh, aye, starve the bastards into submission... lay siege to them and force them to surrender.... then rape the prisoners and murder the women... wait a minute... that's not right somehow....
    HarrysOpinion
    4th May 2017
    1:25pm
    Rainey -
    “Someone trying to force you into a job for which you knew you were totally unsuited”
    - That’s what retraining for work skills is for – so one becomes suitable!

    “Appease the more privileged”
    - It’s not about appeasing the privileged. It’s about appeasing your own self-esteem, your creditors, and your landlord, your wallet and better prosperity.

    “We need to have some compassion
    - The existence of Social Welfare is the compassion to give unemployed people financial relief while they are applying for jobs. But, if they are not applying for jobs but rorting the system then these are the people who, have no compassion, have no conscious.

    “The problem is that it seems nobody has the skills to reliably identify who is 'genuine' and who isn't"
    - Yes, that is the problem and this problem must be focussed on.
    Anonymous
    5th May 2017
    8:00am
    HS, have you been there and done that? I think you would find that retraining is largely a myth. Suitable retraining is generally hideously costly. The evaluation process for retraining is seriously flawed and there is a great deal of corruption, incompetence and inequity. I do think we've seen improvements recently, but honestly to suggest people can retrain for suitable work is to live in la la land!

    Yes, it would be wonderful if people could all have the opportunity to work and gain self-esteem and load their wallets. The reality is that most who are claiming New Start DESPERATELY WANT that opportunity, but it eludes them. Walk a mile in their shoes before you condemn them. You will find things are not at all as they seem.

    Our welfare system is designed to do two things: to appease the privileged, and to keep the disadvantaged down. It is deliberately designed to maintain the social structure. There's no ''compassion'' involved. The handouts are at a level that protects the privileged without upsetting them too much. Don't believe that? Then you've never experienced disadvantage.

    Anyone who has experienced GENUINE disadvantage (and I'm not talking about the BS claims of people like OG who think growing up with business-owning parents and going to university constitutes hardship!) knows how damned hard it is to lift yourself up, and how the system works to try to ensure you stay down. Yes, some people do succeed to overcome disadvantage. I did. But anyone who genuinely rose above real hardship knows that 80% of the disadvantaged won't succeed - not for lack of trying, but because of the cruelty of the system and the enormous degree of strength, determination and innate ability needed to beat the cruel system.
    HarrysOpinion
    5th May 2017
    11:54am
    Yes, Rainey, I have been there and done that in my 60's years of age.. I have walked more than a mile in my own shoes, several times, so I know what what it's like. I don't agree with your negative opinion that the welfare system is a cruel system. The system is what it is. If a person is determined to find work they will eventually find work even if the distance of travel to and from work is uncomfortable. If a person agrees with themselves that occupation retraining will give them extra skills and hope in finding work than that is something they must agree with themselves that they must do. During the times of the great depression many husbands left their families wondering all over Australia in search of work. They didn't hang out for that right cushy job to trip over. They went out searching and grabbed any work even if it was for an hour or two no matter how uncomfortable or hard the work was. The genuine unemployed will always find work sooner ( if they retrained with skills where there is a demand for those skills ) or later and unlike the great depression days at least in the 21st century the genuine unemployed will be assisted financially to survive while genuinely searching for work while the bludgers, the crooks will be weeded out one by one and removed from the system or transferred into mental Disability category where compassion or social shame will take care of them one way or another.
    Anonymous
    6th May 2017
    9:35am
    HS, from your comments it's obvious you haven't ''been there and done that'' in the sense I refer to. Been unemployed, maybe. But obviously not suffering the devastating psychological damage that results from a childhood suffering major deprivation and abuse and a young adulthood enduring serious injustice. When you have no faith in yourself and no confidence in the system, it becomes very difficult to motivate yourself. People in this situation need help, not persecution. And just how do you retrain someone who is 50 years old, uneducated, has done nothing but heavy physical work since age 15, is now physically incapacitated, and is psychologically damaged? These are the people I mix with every day, HS. They have been tormented and tortured all their lives. They are justifiably filled with resentment of a society that shows no compassion or respect, but condemns them for suffering disadvantage.

    Then there are the younger folk who have grown up with abusive drug-addicted parents, been sexually and physically abused, and lived begging on the streets or in an out of prison because they don't know any other way to survive.

    Add to the mix the fact that many of these people are of superior intelligence, but they are being pushed around by people with fancy bits of paper and shit for brains, and they are being told that all that matters in the job market is that elusive piece of paper that costs the earth to obtain. Ability means nothing. They are pushed into menial, low paid work where they suffer unbelievable frustration, and while busting themselves working at crap jobs, they have no hope of finding the time or energy to study and they have no freedom to pursue an opportunity to do better.

    The welfare system is cruel and heartless and designed to keep people down. The reforms we need are not cruel ''crackdowns'' but programs that identify the issues people face and help address them. These people can be helped into productive and satisfying lives, but they need understanding and specialized help, not bullying, threat and condemnation.

    Don't tell me about the Depression. My grandmother lived through it with a husband who could not find work of any kind other than trapping rabbits and swapping them for fish. They survived on home grown vegetables, eggs, milk from their own cow, and income she earned taking in ironing. She made soup and baked bread to feed men who couldn't find work of any kind. There were plenty who could not find work. But back then pieces of paper weren't nearly so important. If you could demonstrate ability, you might get a decent break. If we returned to that environment, we might see a lot of those who appear unwilling to work achieving real success in life.
    Rae
    7th May 2017
    10:53am
    Yes Agree Rainey the pieces of paper are often just an excuse for training institutions to get government money and leave youngsters with debt. A lot of those qualifications are worthless.
    ex PS
    3rd May 2017
    7:00am
    So 97% are doing the right thing. Why aren't we concentrating on the 3% and leaving the others to get on with it, if you clean up the 3% the rest will continue to maintain the status quo.
    Of 760,000 recipients 22,800 are doing the wrong thing, we have high unemployment, which means people who really want work can't get it. So how much time and effort are we going to expend trying to force people who don't want to work on to employers who don't want them in their organisation wasting their time and ruining their business.

    Is this about solving the problem or making the government look like it is taking a strong stance?
    Anonymous
    3rd May 2017
    8:01am
    Very valid thinking, ex PS. Sad that our politicians can't think as logically.
    musicveg
    3rd May 2017
    2:42pm
    Even media like to point out the 3%, take current affairs how many times do they do stories about welfare go to a Centrelink office and film a couple of people they think are rorting the system rather than talking to genuine job seekers and here how many jobs they apply for? We need to stop the 'looking for 20 jobs a week' pressure and then people could spend more time on training and education and looking for the real jobs. Centrelink are wasting too much energy and time on checking up whether people are entitled to their welfare, penalizing, interviewing, and then reinstating their welfare all for what? It does not solve the real problem. I have been to Centrelink interviews where every thing they did they could have done without me there and one even said i don't even know why they called you in, you can go now. After I wasted 2 hours of my day, getting there waiting to be interviewed and going home again. My closest office is a 20 minute drive away. Seems like the whole system needs an overhaul. And how much productive time is wasted in business telling the same thing to hundreds of job seekers every day 'no we don't have any work' and even if they did they would go to a job provider, who mismatches everyone anyway.
    Eliza
    3rd May 2017
    2:55pm
    I am all for able bodied people working to contribute to society and indeed their own lives and sense of self worth ... especially the younger ones. However THERE JUST ARE NOT THE JOBE OUT THERE.
    Please read the attached link.

    So we must find ways to encourage participation and contribution to society ... a lot of it starts from the cradle for kids who land in the wrong place ... it's up to society and in the main Governments to take appropriate ACTION
    I have said for a long time now that we must create compulsory training for our youth as they leave school to prepair them for forthcoming society. I would call it the PEACE CORE ... people could be taught/trained in all manner of jobs occupations and professions - and would be there to help in national emergencies- major storms, floods, fires etcetera - not only clean ups but re building both inferstructure and human victims.
    We canot standby and watch as our next generation slip down the drain ... and worse.
    There is so much more to say on the benefits across the board.




    http://www.news.com.au/finance/work/careers/australians-need-to-wake-up-to-the-robot-threat-with-five-million-jobs-at-risk-futurist-shara-evans/news-story/4b715d65a40cf955a4c7cbde9a92609d
    Eliza
    3rd May 2017
    2:55pm
    I am all for able bodied people working to contribute to society and indeed their own lives and sense of self worth ... especially the younger ones. However THERE JUST ARE NOT THE JOBE OUT THERE.
    Please read the attached link.

    So we must find ways to encourage participation and contribution to society ... a lot of it starts from the cradle for kids who land in the wrong place ... it's up to society and in the main Governments to take appropriate ACTION
    I have said for a long time now that we must create compulsory training for our youth as they leave school to prepair them for forthcoming society. I would call it the PEACE CORE ... people could be taught/trained in all manner of jobs occupations and professions - and would be there to help in national emergencies- major storms, floods, fires etcetera - not only clean ups but re building both inferstructure and human victims.
    We canot standby and watch as our next generation slip down the drain ... and worse.
    There is so much more to say on the benefits across the board.




    http://www.news.com.au/finance/work/careers/australians-need-to-wake-up-to-the-robot-threat-with-five-million-jobs-at-risk-futurist-shara-evans/news-story/4b715d65a40cf955a4c7cbde9a92609d
    TREBOR
    3rd May 2017
    6:41pm
    Well said, Eliza.... we have SES and volunteer Fire etc... a good start... maybe develop a sort of Land Army.....

    If I were a young guy now with no job, and someone said to me that I could be trained in rescue work etc, and would be paid for doing the work, I'd jump at it.

    This country has singularly failed in providing training in many fields, due to some obsession with 'private' job trainers etc, all ideologically driven by some sort of mantra about 'private enterpise is more efficient' - something the rash of 'privatisation' has shown clearly to NOT be the case.
    TREBOR
    3rd May 2017
    6:42pm
    The old chap who tiled the bathroom here was talking about training one of his young rellies in the work - he said it was not a job they could get a machine to do. My son is a tradie, and his job - the finishing part anyway, is impossible to do with a machine.

    5th May 2017
    8:56am
    So many self-serving hypocrites here! It's okay for politicians to rort the public purse and for taxpayers to dodge their obligations using any means available, but not for the poor struggling disadvantaged to do whatever they feel they have to do to survive in a cruel and uncaring world.

    What we really need is a change of attitude society-wide. Adopt the Japanese approach that paying tax is a privilege and you should pay as much as you can to support a healthier society. When that attitude is pervasive among the privileged, I think you'll see a dramatic change of attitude among the down and out. Most of them see nothing wrong with rorting a system that has dealt them such injustice and cruelty, while those who have ''had it all'' claim huge superannuation concessions and use every means available to pay less and take more.

    Personally, I think the most socially and economically destructive thing you can do is punish the disadvantaged for their situation. When we redesign the welfare system to give people a hand up instead of keeping them down, I'll agree with some of your harsh comments.
    Anonymous
    5th May 2017
    9:07am
    BTW. The requirements re job hunting are ridiculous. Requiring people to run around spending their miserably inadequate welfare cheque on phone calls, stamps and travel chasing totally unsuitable jobs when no reasonable opportunities exist is just another form of torture. I'm so glad none of you here have experienced this torture. Believe me, it changes your attitude.
    HarrysOpinion
    5th May 2017
    12:13pm
    As I recollect. I could walk into my Centrelink designated employment agency and use their their facilities to make telephone calls, send job applications via e-mail using the agency's computers including printing off resumes and if I spent all my welfare funds on travel to work appointments I was allowed some reimbursement for the travel when I produced my tickets as receipts. The requirements to earn your welfare is not ridiculous, it is a sign of your good genuine intentions in searching for work whilst on welfare Newstart support. It is not a torture, it's a necessity. The torture is being judged by the potential employer whether you have the skills for the job or not.
    Old Geezer
    5th May 2017
    3:52pm
    Rainey I was in a small rural town and there was even a office there where people could access computers and all the other resources required to fulfil their Centrelink obligations free of charge. No need to spend any of their welfare money on their obligations. If it is torture to do what is required then quite simply then don't apply for welfare. No pain no gain like everything else in life.
    Anonymous
    6th May 2017
    9:09am
    No office where I live. People have to drive 30 minutes or bus over an hour to the nearest C/link and it's usually so crowded they tell you to go on to the next one which is a further hour away by bus or 30 minutes by car.

    The point is, though, that if there are no jobs, it is torture trying to find a way to comply with requirements. Fine for those who are educated or have job skills. When a man who has no education and has done physically strenuous unskilled work for 40 years finds himself unemployed and physically incapable of further strenuous work, where does he go? Oh, yeah. Retrain for office work. What BS - even if there was any available. People in this situation deserve some respect and compassion. They've paid their dues. They have slogged their guts out for low pay because of a deprived childhood. They deserve better than being bullied to apply for 20 unsuitable jobs every week and paid a miserable pittance that isn't even enough to survive on.
    HarrysOpinion
    6th May 2017
    10:23am
    Rainey, I admit, that it's been 7 years when I last had to stoop low my esteem and seek Newstart assistance while it took me about 3 months to find a job. Perhaps, things have changed. But, during my tribulation I had great assistance from the employment agency that Centrelink designated me to report to. That agency was Mission Australia (MA) and they looked after me better than previous other job agents. When MA proposed retraining I gave myself hope and went through it with some expectation of job placement. After retraining I secured employment because I kept searching and kept applying. I had numerous rejection of my job applications during my unemployment because of my old age or because I was not local. I wasn't perservering because Centrelink made it a condition, I persevered because I made it a condition on myself. I wasn't prepared to give up. And, I am so grateful to MA for not giving up on me but giving me hope with retraining and treating me like a human being in need of work. I appreciate you have a different opinion, different experience, different situation but don't give up on your determination to find employment.
    Anonymous
    7th May 2017
    6:41am
    HS, I have a job, and I'm over retirement age anyway so I work by choice. I was describing the experiences of associates. The people I work with have suffered such serious abuse and deprivation that they have lost all hope, and neither Centrelink nor a job agency can realistically help them because they simply don't understand what this history of abuse, deprivation and injustice does to psyche. These people need hope. They need opportunity. They need compassion. They need reassurance that society cares what they suffer. The worst thing you can do is threaten them with loss of their meagre income. To them, that's just an assurance that nothing has changed and society is intent on continuing to persecute them forever.

    It's great that SOME unemployed are able to access support and retraining. My point is that for the most part the long term unemployed have far bigger problems than just not being able to find a job. And they are problems that very few have any understanding of.

    People stop trying because they lose hope. Many won't even accept an offer of retraining because they feel it's hopeless. When someone has been convinced that they are worthless and undeserving, they stop trying because they believe they always get what worthless, undeserving people get.

    We need to do two things to end long term unemployment: Find ways to create more jobs, and find ways to restore hope and confidence in those who have lost all faith in both themselves and the system. ''Crackdowns'' will only make things much, much worse.
    Old Geezer
    8th May 2017
    12:12pm
    Haha Rainey that's the worse excuse I've heard for laziness in awhile. Let's face it these people would not work even if there were jobs available.

    5th May 2017
    2:49pm
    so, a crackdown. closing all tax havens, abolishing negative gearing, restoring howard's 50% discount on capital gains tax, mining companies to pay tax here, abolishing subsidies to foreign multinationals and fossil fuels ....... the future's looking good.
    musicveg
    5th May 2017
    11:56pm
    Throw in the clean up bill of over a billion of tax payers dollars if Chevron get their way and drill for oil in the Bass Strait and have a spill.
    And Adani wants another billion to build a railway to contribute to climate change and damage to the Great Barrier reef (they have already had spill at Casey wetlands).
    Shirl's
    9th May 2017
    2:00pm
    Now this is interesting. Last year I requested figures of the following:
    1. The total amount paid to our Senior Pensions in a Calendar years by the government this does not include Single Parents Pensions, Disability Persons and Carers Pensions. To Time of writing no one has been able to come forth with this figure.
    2. I need to know how much the golden hand shake for Politician is costing the Tax Payer per Calendar Year
    Surely this is not difficult to give me an answer as Age Pensioners are lumped in with all the other Welfare Figures and blame for the exorbitant Billions that are paid. Our Senior Pensioners have served this country and deserve to be treated with respect and paid remuneration to be able to live without worrying about turning on a heater, Air condition or be able to purchase their food without worry
    Shame on the Politicians wake up


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