UN official slams Government for its attitude towards welfare

UN poverty envoy says Australians on welfare struggle daily to survive.

UN official slams Government for its attitude towards welfare

A senior United Nations official has slammed the Federal Government’s attitude towards welfare recipients as punitive, saying some Australians are struggling to survive.

Speaking on ABC Radio National yesterday, Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty, said there was an ideology in Government that some people were intentionally avoiding work.

Questioned about the $160 billion a year spent on social welfare, the Australian-born Mr Alston said it was not “unusual by international standards”.

“What I see is a series of punitive measures that are trying to reduce the number of people who are eligible for social security benefits, make it much more difficult to obtain them, extend the waiting period and so on,” he said.

“Some of that might be seen to be justified if there were major problems. But that is not the case. In fact, it is driven by a broad ideology that there are people who should be working, could be working, but are refusing to. I have not seen the evidence for that.”

Mr Alston said encouraging non-working Australians into employment required “appropriate labour market reforms to provide the safety net than enabled people to focus on getting and staying in employment, rather than turning it into a daily struggle to just survive”.

He added that the punitive measures went well beyond facilitating people to enter employment and could quickly become counterproductive.

Mr Alston has written to the Government a number of times over several years seeking explanations about its welfare policies. This week he wrote again, raising his concerns about the planned rollout of cashless welfare cards.

“What I see in Australia is the mimicking of American approaches, which are premised on resentment of people being on welfare, and an assumption they should be helping themselves,” he said yesterday.

“Whereas in Western Europe you don’t have any pull back on the commitment to a welfare state and that enables people to achieve full realisation that their health and security needs are met.”

Last year, Mr Alston questioned the now-defunct proposal to test recipients for drug use and reduce their payments if they returned positive results.

Yesterday, he said that if it had gone ahead, the testing would have “worsened the situation” for addicted recipients.

“The whole premise was flawed … (it would have driven them) to find often illegal ways of finding money,” he said.

“If you are going to start testing welfare recipients for drug use, it would be a good idea to start testing government ministers, too. We depend much more on them being able to perform their functions fully, efficiently and effectively.”

Do you think politicians should be drug tested? Is the Government mean-spirited in its approach to welfare recipients? Which ideology do you prefer: the American or Western Europe view of a social welfare system?

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    COMMENTS

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    Ted Wards
    2nd Feb 2018
    10:03am
    The Government are always "Blaming" people for something. Its about time they stopped blaming, pulled their whingy socks up and start putting the people first instead of policies and money. They are there to serve the best interests of the voting public, and quite often they are more concerned about saving money, but always have to spend on things like enquiries, and development and so on. Entirely agree with the UN Official in this case.
    jackie
    2nd Feb 2018
    10:38am
    Ted Wards...In our Age of Entitlement Government that will never happen.

    Looks like Australians need to move to Western Europe and leave Australasia to the Chinese.
    thommo
    2nd Feb 2018
    11:09am
    No Jackie,, we should be banding together and get rid of this LNP government, and any other govt that treats welfare recipients badly and unfairly..And we can start at the next election.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    2nd Feb 2018
    12:15pm
    Good luck with that as f we got such a government then country would be broke and in depression before very long.
    GeorgeM
    2nd Feb 2018
    1:09pm
    Agree with Ted Wards and thommo. Great to have this article bringing to our attention the actions by Philip Alston - should have been publicised much earlier as well. We seriously lack a Political Party to take up such serious reform.

    Of course, action is also needed to ensure funding - ensure all Companies and the rich pay their fair share of tax by implementing a Minimum Tax on Gross Income without allowing shonky deductions.
    Rae
    2nd Feb 2018
    1:42pm
    Big Bear the country is headed that way due entirely to the LNP's crazy ideology and policy based on the far right fascist wish lists.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    2nd Feb 2018
    1:55pm
    Agree Rae NZ is booming compared to Australia.
    Hasbeen
    2nd Feb 2018
    1:59pm
    How typical, some clown from an organisation like the UN, or the ABC, who spend their entire life wasting other people's money, should think money grows on trees, & you can just spend more, even if you are already going broke from spending too much.

    If he were fair dinkum he would suggest we stop funding the UN & distribute that currently waster money on welfare. Yep pigs might fly too.
    Anonymous
    3rd Feb 2018
    9:55am
    Australia is NOT going broke from spending too much on welfare. It's going broke over-indulging the selfish wealthy.
    Anonymous
    3rd Feb 2018
    9:56am
    Our welfare bill is less than HALF that of other developed nations, relative to GDP, and no higher, as a percentage of average wages, than it has been for generations.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    3rd Feb 2018
    11:59am
    Thank goodness it is only half as if it was any more we just couldn't afford it. After all welfare is for the basics of life not for a utopian existence.
    Triss
    3rd Feb 2018
    2:03pm
    Perhaps you should tell the millionaire, multi-residence ex MPs that, BigBear.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    3rd Feb 2018
    3:50pm
    MP don't get welfare.
    Anonymous
    3rd Feb 2018
    9:10pm
    Oh YES they do! Massive handouts funded by taxpayers. The only difference is THEY DON'T DESERVE THEM.
    Triss
    4th Feb 2018
    4:41pm
    Yes, they do get welfare, BigBear. There are ex politicians who left government in the nineties whilst still in their 30’s. They couldn’t possibly have amassed enough super to pay them the huge pension and perks, their super must have run out years ago. Therefore they are funded solely by the taxpayer...welfare pollies.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    4th Feb 2018
    5:59pm
    It was part of the working conditions they signed up for when they took their seat in parliament just like people do in private enterprise. This is not welfare but a condition of employment.
    Triss
    4th Feb 2018
    8:04pm
    ‘A condition of employment’ ...a euphemism for corruption and corrupt practices.
    Anonymous
    6th Feb 2018
    10:34am
    BigBear, you obviously know NOTHING about economics. Our welfare bill is TINY by comparison with other developed nations and it is no more now, as a percentage of average wages, than it has ever been. It is not just highly affordable. It's meanly inadequate and we can afford to pay much more. Twice as much would still be highly affordable if taxes were levied properly.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    2nd Feb 2018
    10:59am
    Just another goodie two shoes who wants his time in the limelight.
    jackie
    2nd Feb 2018
    11:09am
    Good two shoes?

    You mean someone that is compassionate, caring and empathetic.

    Yes I agree. Those traits have become rare these days in an overpopulated, over polluted world where people are behaving like plagues of rats.

    Limelight?

    You mean drawing attention to the way Australians are being lied to and taken advantage of compared to other developed and cultured countries.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    2nd Feb 2018
    12:08pm
    I certainly wouldn't want to live in any of those other countries he thinks are doing better than ours. Personally I am sick and tied of being asked for money everywhere I go for some charity or someone supposedly in need. Get on a plane and a collection is made. Go to the big arches and a collection box is placed under your nose. Phone calls from those who think because they think they are a charity are allowed to bend the do not call laws. Way too many goodie two shoes people about now for me.
    Triss
    2nd Feb 2018
    1:18pm
    All you have to say when charities accost you, BigBear, is “no”.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    2nd Feb 2018
    1:23pm
    No I just ask where is my share instead.
    Triss
    2nd Feb 2018
    1:47pm
    So you have your hand out as well as them.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    2nd Feb 2018
    1:54pm
    Well I am on welfare!
    Anonymous
    2nd Feb 2018
    6:45pm
    What a disgrace! Have you no conscience at all, BigBear. You admit you manipulated to get a pension despite being wealthy, and now you want charity as well?

    It's good to hear that someone is taking this stinking government to task for its vile and mean attitude. Their treatment of pensioners and the unemployed is disgraceful. Yes, of course there are bludgers. I can name a few scandalous cheats. But they will exist in any system. To persecute the genuinely needy with assumptions that they must all be irresponsible is appalling.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    2nd Feb 2018
    7:27pm
    What disgrace? I am poor enough now to pass the asset and income test so I am entitled to the OAP and all the benefits. I was also offered a hamper for Christmas and when I said that I was not needy enough for one I was told if I didn't take it would go to someone even less needy than me. I also shop at charity shops for most of the things I need. My favourite shop is the recycle centre at the local dump. One can actually live on very little if they don't expect to have the latest trendy goods.
    Anonymous
    3rd Feb 2018
    9:58am
    What do you want, BigBear? A medal. I am NEVER going to condone unethical manipulation to get benefits you have no moral right to. You admit to giving wealth away and spending up big to get a pension, and that's disgusting. To then claim charity intended for the genuinely needy... that's inexcusable.
    Rae
    3rd Feb 2018
    10:42am
    Rainey people should have as much right to give wealth away to family or charity as people have to blow every dollar they earn each fortnight for decades on discretionary spending and then claim welfare. Hundreds of thousands of people blow money on lifestyle choices. Helping out family is a lifestyle choice no worse than deliberately spending all your money on frippery and high living without trying to save at all.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    3rd Feb 2018
    11:51am
    I agree Rae. One can spend as much as they like of their money when one welfare without affecting welfare payments if they spend it on themselves. Nothing stopping one getting married again and a say a cruise ship and paying for everyone to attend.
    Anonymous
    3rd Feb 2018
    9:11pm
    I agree with that, Rae. My objection is that only those who give it away or spend it are looked after from the taxpayer purse. Those who save responsibly are told to go suck eggs and treated like second-class citizens.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    4th Feb 2018
    5:57pm
    Why keep it then Rainey? I see keeping it as being greedy and not helping out those in your family when they need it. It is awesome to see my grandkids so happy and stress free as they have no financial worries.
    Anonymous
    5th Feb 2018
    6:37am
    And it's selfish and disgusting to deprive the people that money is INTENDED to support while you fund your family to enjoy benefits they have no moral or ethical entitlement to. You condemn the unemployed as bludgers, but your grandkids are stinking bludgers. The money they are enjoying is money intended to support the needy.
    Anonymous
    5th Feb 2018
    6:38am
    I suppose you also condone managers of charities taking hundreds of thousands in salaries and huge personal benefits and giving a few cents in the dollar to the people the money was intended to go to. It's exactly the same thing. THEFT.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    5th Feb 2018
    10:41am
    Rainey if you think charities are bad then have a look at some of the government programs like homecare, NDIS, Medicare, government grants etc. The managers of charities take nothing compare to what gets skimmed off these programs with very little going where it is intended. One young fellow was on a program worth over $20,000 a year and they wouldn't even give him petrol money to drive his own car to a job that paid him nothing. So he simply didn't go to that job as he couldn't afford the petrol to get there.
    Anonymous
    6th Feb 2018
    10:31am
    Which is precisely why I object to the government programs that YOU DEFEND, BigBear. Why are you always arguing with me and condoning bad policies? Now you are agreeing the government treats the disadvantaged badly and it's policies are seriously flawed.
    arbee
    2nd Feb 2018
    11:08am
    A typical left wing statement made on a left wing ABC by some one from the UN which has lost all credibility over recent years. A percentage of people always want more and more government handouts, just where is the money going to come from to pay for them?
    jackie
    2nd Feb 2018
    11:13am
    arbee...Corporations, big business and the rich receive much bigger Government handouts and kickbacks than the average Australian peasant.

    The ABC is not left wing, it is unbiased and honest. Something that many rich individuals have never been.
    Anonymous
    2nd Feb 2018
    11:46am
    Jackie, arbee is involved in an intimate 3 way with Andrew Bolt and Alan Jones .... and sometimes they have an orgy when Tony Abbott and Cori Bernardi join in. As you can see, arbee is totally unbiased.
    Marten
    2nd Feb 2018
    12:32pm
    Please do not refer to welfare payments as hand outs. Remember that part of the tax paid by these people is placed or should be placed in a fund and paid to people whenever the need arises.

    I also believe that politicians should not be exempt from being drug tested.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    2nd Feb 2018
    1:01pm
    Welfare is a handout and has nothing to do with what tax you paid, what job you had or how many dogs you have.
    Rae
    2nd Feb 2018
    1:44pm
    How about taking some of that 65 billion of tax cuts from companies that only have 12% tax bills anyway. They'll be paying nothing soon the way this government panders to every foreign corporation and government, especially communist ones.
    TREBOR
    2nd Feb 2018
    2:04pm
    Sustenance money paid out of the consolidated revenue into which the funding was place is by no definition a handout. It is a Right.

    Not only that, but one hell of a lot of strife, despair and desperation would be saved if people started to treat others who are down on their luck with a little respect and kindness for a change.

    Me? I don't need it - I'm eying off a 30-something foot boat and a house in Italy for the Summer here.

    You couldn't be more right there, Rae. Bravo!!
    Anonymous
    3rd Feb 2018
    9:59am
    $65 billion in tax cuts for rich companies is apparently affordable, but some here have the gall to suggest we can't afford to spend more on welfare!
    VeryCaringBigBear
    3rd Feb 2018
    12:04pm
    Rainey if you know anything about our tax system company tax is refundable when it is distributed to the shareholders and the tax on shareholders income has not changed. So companies have to either spend the money or the shareholders get more and pay more tax. Government has got this one right as the company is more likely to spend more money than distribute it to the shareholders. Spending more money is what keeps our economy ticking away nicely.

    The government will get many multiples of that $65 million back in tax revenue as the money is spent through out the economy. It will create more jobs and make the country less dependent upon welfare. If you don't believe that you have no idea how economics works.
    Anonymous
    4th Feb 2018
    5:35pm
    What rubbish, BigBear. In the US, California RAISED taxes substantially and Kansas cut them. Guess what? California's economy grew rapidly and Kansas went broke!

    I know all about our tax system, BigBear. And I know that even the government admits that company tax cuts will not yield benefit for at least a decade and the benefit is estimated at less than 0.5%.

    Qantas CEO says they will build more planes and fly more routes with their savings. What savings are those? They've paid ZERO tax for the last few years. How do you pay less than NOTHING?

    The government will NOT get back multiples of that $65 billion, but if it was put into welfare and increases for low wage earners, the increased spending would drive a massive economic boom. It's YOU who has no idea how economics works. All we've seen for years is tax cuts and handouts to the rich and the economy has continued to go backwards - lower living standards, wage stagnation, increased poverty, and massively increased national debt. Only a fool would believe this government's absurd BS. If bullshit drove wage growth as well as it drives vegetable growth, we'd all be partying big time!
    Anonymous
    4th Feb 2018
    5:37pm
    BTW. BigBear. The government says you are wrong. It admits the $65 billion will achieve NO GROWTH for a decade, and NEVER more than .05%. That it's own figures. Mind-boggling that anyone could even think of condoning their irresponsible policies.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    6th Feb 2018
    12:17pm
    What about all those small business owners who earn less than their employees? They can now pay themselves more and employ more people with these tax cuts.
    Anonymous
    7th Feb 2018
    11:01am
    Very few GENUINELY earn less than their employees. They don't declare their income. Unlike employees, they can claim all sorts of grey-area deductions and many take handfuls of cash and favours that they don't declare. But that said, I don't think most people objected to cuts for SMALL business. It's the massive cost of huge cuts for big corporations that is offensive.
    Anonymous
    7th Feb 2018
    11:04am
    As my daughter, who runs a small business, says, ALL concessions and benefits, tax cuts, etc. should be tied rigidly to a requirement that more people be employed. Her suggestion was that instead of tax cuts, the government give small businesses a $100,000 grant on the condition that they employ at least one full time worker for 2 years, or 2 for one year. As she says, small businesses that are genuinely struggling to grow could achieve a great deal in that time with the extra help and by the end of that period, most would be in a position to retain the employee permanently. Makes a hell of a lot more sense than just putting money in the pockets of people who may do as you do, BigBear, and just take more taxpayer dollars for yourself and your family.
    HDRider
    2nd Feb 2018
    11:12am
    Alston, like all politicians, lives in a dream world and it all about him! He had obviously never lived in certain areas not in real and normal working class streets where the reality is, people do refuse to work!
    I have a 30 something year old on either side of me, both are at home all day one refuses to do anything and let's his retired parents do everything and the other drives up n down the street all day, mows the lawns, chain saws and bangs away in his shed!
    That's the reality of life, the welfare bill for refugees/ migrants is astronomical, the same as the UK, and apparently they come first.
    Drug and alcohol test ALL POLLIES randomly on a regular basis when at work especially in the parliament. Reduce their pensions and entitlements and do not issue then ANY pension until they reach the age that they set for us.
    Tell the UN to keep their noses out of our affairs because nothing the UN says or does is of any use to anyone@
    jackie
    2nd Feb 2018
    11:20am
    HDRider...You sound like a mean old tyrant...I bet you only use one sheet of toilet paper. Your son needs help. He must be suffering from mental issues stemming from you that need to be resolved.

    Constructive criticism has never hurt anyone.
    Australia needs it. I am so sick of hearing for years of how we are the best and I have never seen so many heroes in my life as this country has.
    Triss
    2nd Feb 2018
    1:53pm
    I agree with you upt to a point, HDRider, but it's surely up to the parents to refuse to do everything for their son who should have been taught from very young that you work for a living. Perhaps the parents of both young men need to tip them out to fend for themselves.
    Spot on on your last two paragraphs.
    TREBOR
    2nd Feb 2018
    2:06pm
    So mean he straps a speed limit board on it when making love so as to ensure his wife doesn't get full value.
    Budwah
    2nd Feb 2018
    11:14am
    Finally somebody standing up for those unfortunate to need welfare and pensioners.
    A relief from the government Scrooge.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    2nd Feb 2018
    12:38pm
    Unfortunately enough is never enough with such people.
    GeorgeM
    2nd Feb 2018
    1:11pm
    Agree, Budwah, long overdue - maybe the tide will turn.
    Rae
    2nd Feb 2018
    1:48pm
    Enough is never enough for the wealthy either. It's everywhere.

    Drug test politicians and also check all their citizenships and the second clause of s44 that is about treason through selling out to foreign interests. Why has that never been called into play?
    TREBOR
    2nd Feb 2018
    2:08pm
    $254 a week enough, you reckon, BigBear Baby? Wouldn't keep a politician in Mars Bars in Cambra for a day.... poor darlings would starve.....

    You get my drift yet? One rule for some and another for others.....
    VeryCaringBigBear
    2nd Feb 2018
    3:13pm
    OAP is a lot more than $254 per week.
    Anonymous
    2nd Feb 2018
    6:49pm
    Not ''a lot'' more, BigBear, and Newstart is appallingly inadequate, and what's worse, those on it are punished harshly for taking casual, part-time or temporary work. The aged suffer for having saved. This government is disgusting, and creating a very sick society and a dismal economic future.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    2nd Feb 2018
    7:31pm
    I don't know anyone on the OAP who is suffering as those with extra savings are doing very well indeed. Not only do they get welfare they also have savings to spend on extras they may need.

    Newstart in itself is not adequate but when you add up all the vouchers and other benefits they get they aint doing too bad either.
    musicveg
    2nd Feb 2018
    7:48pm
    Are you serious BigBear, vouchers and other benefits! Vouchers are not given out freely and what other benefits exactly are you talking about? Have you ever tried to live on Newstart when most of it goes on rent and food, never mind a car in rural areas where you need it to even look for work.
    TREBOR
    2nd Feb 2018
    11:42pm
    OAP has nothing to do with welfare - it is a right earned by fifty odd years of contribution, and should be much more. It is also my firm belief that those who have served in combat (and similar) should receive the same superannuation rights as politicians - they should receive a payment at a minimum level for life once they have severed their links with Services, as just reward for putting themselves on the line.

    BB - you would be better served sticking to arguing about how Unemployed Benefits recipients have it so good.... we all need a good laugh now and then.... what I call a Tony Abbott Moment.. just to keep us light-hearted...

    I had a Digger mate try to rob a bank with MY firearm that I left in his care... because he was broke and would not accept
    Social Security.

    We, as a nation, owe a far greater debt of gratitude to those who have put their lives on the line or on hold to serve this nation.
    TREBOR
    2nd Feb 2018
    11:44pm
    ADDS:- Instead, Veterans and ex-Service people are over-represented in the ranks of the unemployed.. and are even considered unemployable by some due to such nonsense as Rambo...

    Shame, Australia - SHAME! J'Accuse!
    Anonymous
    3rd Feb 2018
    10:02am
    BigBear doesn't live in the real world, Trebor. He wants to pretend everyone lives in the Utopia he has created for himself by unethical manipulation to PRETEND he has a moral right to a pension. He doesn't care two hoots about anyone in GENUINE need.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    3rd Feb 2018
    11:57am
    Gee I didn't know we had another parallel plant on which to live but if you say so I guess we do. I certainly don't live in Utopia and there is no way I would want to either. I bet you don't help out the person in front of you in a supermarket that haven't got enough to pay for their groceries. I have done so many times.

    Someone who spends their welfare on drugs and then can't feed themselves is not in genuine need.
    sunnyOz
    3rd Feb 2018
    11:32pm
    Gee Big Bear, what planet do you live on because Newstart recipients certainly do not get ANY so called vouchers, or any handouts. I can't even get any Newscast so have to live off my super as too young for OAP. Actually too young for something! Perhaps if I had come in on a boat or uninvited I would have had better luck.
    Anonymous
    4th Feb 2018
    5:48pm
    BigBear is stealing from the needy, sunnyOz, and struggling with his guilt complex so he has to PRETEND the needy are useless drug addicts and not genuinely disadvantaged.

    He cruised the world and gave away vast wealth to get an OAP, and because of people like him, needy folk like you get the raw end of the stick. Of course he's going to lie to himself to ease his conscience.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    4th Feb 2018
    5:52pm
    Only thing I feel guilty about is that I didn't retire sooner. I made a couple of mistakes and given my time over I would have organised my affairs even better than I have. Why would anyone feel guilty if they have done nothing wrong? I certainly don't.
    Anonymous
    5th Feb 2018
    6:40am
    Keep lying to yourself, BigBear. I'm sure it helps you sleep at night.
    Argydubbaya
    5th Feb 2018
    9:11pm
    Big bear you said earlier you did not know anyone on Oap that is suffering. Yet you say you helped people with a financial contribution at the checkout? Did you know they were Pensioners?
    Read my letter, re my entitlement as an ozzy who help build the infrastructure you now enjoy. Or shut the fk up.
    And thank you TREBOR you put my thoughts succinctly into words.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    6th Feb 2018
    1:22pm
    I don't know anyone struggling on the OAP but I know plenty that are living very well on it.
    Anonymous
    8th Feb 2018
    1:07pm
    You are too arrogant and self-centred to notice anyone on the OAP struggling, much less to admit they are doing it tough through no fault of their own. You find ways to blame everyone who has a problem, no matter what the nature or cause. A very nasty attitude!
    Geminiwoman
    2nd Feb 2018
    11:17am
    I don't think there is any doubt that there are a lot of people who just refuse to work and expect to live off the public purse. However, there are also a lot of genuine people who are temporarily out of work and genuinely want to find work. It's up to the government to weed out the bludgers from the genuine job seekers. It can't be too hard, just check how long someone has been on unemployment and if they've never worked and can't show that they have exhausted every avenue to get work, in some cases if they can't pass drug testing etc., they're the bludgers. I have no problem if someone wants to spend the rest of their life doing buggar all. I do however, have a problem with hard working tax payers having to fund their lifestyle and in some cases, their drug expenses.
    jackie
    2nd Feb 2018
    11:32am
    I think all drugs should be legalised to stop all the crooks getting rich from them and destroying the lives of others.

    Portugal did that over 8 years ago and they no longer have a drug problem.

    I remember a time when there was much work in Australia and no one went on the dole.

    Many people these days looking for work are unemployed for long periods because jobs are hard to find.

    The dole should be increased because it costs money looking for work and is nearly impossible to live off without family support.

    Those that do no have that end up homeless.

    Many young people that do not work would be on pensions because of hereditary mental illness or brought on by drugs.

    I am sick of selfish people that have never walked in the shoes of disadvantaged people blame them for their plight. They all a products of our society.
    Geminiwoman
    2nd Feb 2018
    11:44am
    Sorry Jackie, but I have, in fact, walked in their shoes. I have done it really tough over the years, but I never resorted to taking drugs which, as everyone knows, only makes your problems escalate. I know this because I have a relative who is in his late 30's and has taken drugs for much of his life. He now cannot function in society. Also, if anyone really wants to work, they can eventually find work if they try. It may not be what they want to do, but working is better than expecting the hard working taxpayers to support you. I know a lot of people who work hard for their money and pay exhorbitant taxes. Why should they pay for the lifestyles of the lazy?
    Rae
    2nd Feb 2018
    1:52pm
    Yes jackie. There was a time when minimum wage jobs paid much more than welfare too. The LNP attack on unions and wage earners resulting in wage deflation means that is no longer the case.

    When someone can work 40 hours at a hard labour job for little more than $200 extra after benefits than a welfare recipient then wages have collapsed past the point of being an incentive.

    It's a mess of the right wing ideologists and it will take a lot of sorting out.
    Triss
    2nd Feb 2018
    2:01pm
    Check out how many firms in Australia have closed down, putting thousands out of work, so they can start up again overseas paying lower wages and making bigger profits. It's no wonder we have so few full-time jobs in Australia. Greedy companies, not necessarily greedy welfare recipients.
    TREBOR
    2nd Feb 2018
    2:10pm
    Your story sounds familiar, Geminiwoman - my story is similar. After a lifetime of often hardship and occasional pure hell and damned hard work, one either finds that one develops compassion and understandingor becomes mean.

    Whichever - it doesn't mean that person needs to whole-heartedly accept drug abusers and such - I have some in my immediate family as well, and I have nothing to do with them for the simple reason that they will drag others down, and I will not accept that.
    Hasbeen
    2nd Feb 2018
    2:21pm
    My wife spent 4 years handling the long term unemployed case book for a charity working in the job network, in a country town.

    A bleeding heart when she started it took almost 2 years for her to come to realise the truth.

    Her analysis;

    About 10% really wanted a job.

    Another 10% would stay in a job when she found them one. They found it worth while.

    15% would not last a month in any job she found them. Turning up late, or not at all was the norm after a couple of weeks.

    15% were working for cash in hand, still receiving the dole, & would do almost anything to keep doing it.

    50% made sure they did not get a job by never turning up job network or job interviews, arriving dirty, inappropriately dresses, or were abusive or unpleasant at a job interview.

    Of these 15% were abusive & threatening when reminded of their duty regards receipt of unemployment payments. It was only the police station being very close that prevented her & some others from being assaulted on a number of occasions.

    Get rid of the rose coloured glasses, & look at the real world folks. She went from enthusiastically trying to help people to hating the job & quit.
    musicveg
    2nd Feb 2018
    2:31pm
    I agree with Jackie. Let's stop talking about the few drug effected welfare recipients and realize many who want to work are having trouble surviving let alone spending money to search for work. No one can even hardly afford a roof over their head and have to share with others who distract them from their goals. Not eating properly also affects their state of mind and sends them into depression. Maybe we should cut back on the 200,000 immigrants and help those already here properly with training, support and a decent welfare that can pay their immediate needs to survive. When was the last time Newstart has gone up and is it keeping with the increases of living expenses?
    musicveg
    2nd Feb 2018
    2:36pm
    Hasbeen that is only one town in Australia, not a true example of the whole of Australia, why not talk to some people who are looking for work and want to work desperately,and see the struggles they face surviving, never mind finding a job that does not exist. Not like the good ol days when you could walk into anywhere and just ask for a job, now you have to have qualifications up your sleeve, have a spiffy resume and more.H ow can people afford to even buy a decent outfit for an interview if they cannot even pay for decent accommodation and nutritious food?
    Hasbeen
    2nd Feb 2018
    4:25pm
    There is none so blind as those who don't want to see musicveg.

    Her casebook ran to 1300 people in that time, & 900 of them were the same people.
    It was always the sane ones being breached.

    They of course had training sessions with people doing the same job from wide areas of the country, including Brisbane & Sydney, & the story for all of them was always the same. 50% 0f their casebook would do anything to avoid being forced to actually earn their own living.
    Hasbeen
    2nd Feb 2018
    4:25pm
    There is none so blind as those who don't want to see musicveg.

    Her casebook ran to 1300 people in that time, & 900 of them were the same people.
    It was always the sane ones being breached.

    They of course had training sessions with people doing the same job from wide areas of the country, including Brisbane & Sydney, & the story for all of them was always the same. 50% 0f their casebook would do anything to avoid being forced to actually earn their own living.
    Anonymous
    2nd Feb 2018
    7:15pm
    There are none so blind as those who don't want to see, Hasbeen. You said she worked with ''long term unemployed''. I'm not surprised most of them had long since given up. Go back and investigate who they were BEFORE they were ''long term''. Find out where they came from and what path they walked. Judging is easy. Understanding is hard. And who the hell judges hundreds of thousands based on a relatively small number? I also worked with long-term unemployed, and what I saw was broken people who had tried and tried and tried and been cut down at every turn. They took part-time and casual work and ended up worse off. They took temporary work and struggled to get back on benefits. They were denied opportunity because they had taken unsatisfactory work when there was nothing else. Deemed ''employed'' they were then shut out of more appealing jobs. So they quit.

    There's more to every story than meets the eye, and with 12 applicants for every job in Australia NOBODY has the right to condemn. Sure, there are bludgers about. There are cheats - far more among the wealthy than the poor! But most of our unemployed are suffering unfairly and deserve a lot more respect and compassionate help.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    3rd Feb 2018
    8:06am
    Rainey if people really want a job they will get one even in this country. Most however just go through the motions to keep their welfare so they spend the morning in bed and rest of their day on their electronic devices chilled out on a bit of weed or other like substance. Why wouldn't they as it's so much better than being sober working.
    Anonymous
    3rd Feb 2018
    10:04am
    That's a disgusting comment from someone who knowns NOTHING about the world the long-term unemployed live in BigBear. Put a sock in it. Your comments are cruel and totally invalid. Obviously, you've never walked in the shoes I had to walk in. Yes, I got a job, but I had to cheat to do it. And nobody should have to endure the struggle I went through for over two decades. You have no idea, and it's time you stopped being so hideously judgmental of people you know nothing about.
    Rae
    3rd Feb 2018
    11:03am
    The fact is a lot of people are now better off not working than accepting work at minimum wage on short hours with no benefits.
    Casual 0 hour contracts at best.

    The idiot (un) Fair Work Act and (un) Fair Work Commission plus rampant population growth has deflated wages to the point where the incentive to work at jobs that pay less than welfare and then go through the notification process each fortnight for top up benefits doesn't make and sense and is too stressful.

    Forget the values of the past. This is the brave new world our greedy have created.
    Budwah
    2nd Feb 2018
    11:37am
    A big problem with getting a job nowadays is that employers are not keen on taking on people without qualifications and training them on the job.
    Governments should be encouraging employers to take on trainees this would relieve one part of welfare dependency which could then be directed to pensioners. Of course with the mentality in Canberra it ain’t going to happen.
    Geminiwoman
    2nd Feb 2018
    11:44am
    Absolutely Budwah. That would be so helpful.
    Hasbeen
    2nd Feb 2018
    2:35pm
    Badwah, of course employers can't take on inexperienced or those with no qualifications, or good employer references, as we used to years ago. Today it is almost impossible to get rid of bad, or incompetent employees with the way unfair dismissal is applied.

    If you keep anyone on after a 3 month trial period you are stuck with them. You will have to pay go away money to get rid of them. Very few small companies can afford to do that today.
    TREBOR
    2nd Feb 2018
    2:46pm
    Always been far better to properly train your own from the bottom up than to depend on paper tiger qualifications. A paper tiger can only carry you so far with a level of theoretical knowledge.....

    Most businesses find that employing paper tigers means you still need to bring them up to speed with the business... they'd be better off employing juniors and training them properly as used to be the case.
    Anonymous
    2nd Feb 2018
    7:18pm
    When I ran a business - for a short time - I found that without exception the UNQUALIFIED were the best workers. Those with fancy bits of paper were invariably useless, lazy, and had huge egos. They demanded far more pay than they were worth, and were nothing but trouble. Give me the unqualified every time and let me train them. They appreciate the opportunity and they work diligently. Unfair dismissal is only a problem if you don't structure the trial period work agreement sensibly.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    2nd Feb 2018
    7:41pm
    If you dismiss an employee not according to the law you can be sued for unfair dismissal no matter how you structure your business. Casual employees can sue for unfair dismissal after only working a short time. That's why an employer will do whatever they can to have an employee reign rather than dismiss him.
    Anonymous
    3rd Feb 2018
    10:06am
    WRONG AGAIN, know-nothing BigBear. If you draw an agreement for a TRIAL period, with continued employment at the employer's discretion, the employee has no rights if dismissed.
    Rae
    3rd Feb 2018
    11:06am
    Not true Big Bear. I worked as a casual for a decade and there was no permanency about it. The phone either rang with work or it didn't.
    mogo51
    2nd Feb 2018
    11:55am
    I believe that this and previous Governments are treating Aged/Disability pensioners very poorly indeed. They may well regret this at the next polls. However, will the other side be any better - I doubt it. We need a new light and direction in this country.
    We need to control how the Government spends money, I am a 'charity begins at home' person. Giving money away and supporting illegal immigrants is not the way to go. Nothing to do with humanitarian issues, it is looking after our own flock.
    Where is a party that will relate to the rank and file, the middle income and struggle street average people. So many thanks are just not right in Australia and need fixing.
    GeorgeM
    2nd Feb 2018
    1:17pm
    Agree, we lack a party which works for the people. See below a link to a SMH article which shows how BOTH Parties are in the pockets of gambling bosses, including Packer. It s a must read to understand why we MUST GET RID OF BOTH THESE PARTIES and of course the Greens:

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/politicians-rolling-in-secret-pokies-cash-lost-by-their-own-constituents-20180201-h0rs9v.html

    All must vote all current MPs of the 3 main parties last in preferences to start a movement for CHANGE.
    Franzl
    2nd Feb 2018
    12:05pm
    I have lived in Australia for more than 60 years. In that time I have found that in times of full employment we have about 3% unemployed. Without having statistics, I guess that more than half of those are in between jobs. Among the rest, the largest portion would be people who, for health reason cannot work or can not find employment because of disabilities like back problems for instance. That leaves a very small percentage of genuine bludgers, and it would be much cheaper to give them a living income than accommodation in Jail. Maybe compulsory early drug rehabilitation would help.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    2nd Feb 2018
    12:14pm
    It is well know economically that 3% unemployed is full employment simply because that 3% doesn't want to work anyway. Give them a job and they don't last 5 minutes. One bloke I know of gets work regularly but they ask the taxi to wait to drive him home as it is cheaper than sending another taxi.
    TREBOR
    2nd Feb 2018
    2:18pm
    The difference being that in times of 'full employment' jobs constantly become available, and so those in that 3% who want to work can get a job. It's a kind of merry-go-round.

    Our current unemployment and under-employment rate, which combined some put as high as 20% or more, is a social and economic disaster waiting to happen, combined with the devastation of incomes across the LOWER range and the thus devastation of future prospects and security.

    As I've said before - people are now little more than tenants in their jobs these days, as long with being tenants in homes so as to suit the 'investors' and the banking system we endure.

    The banks have countless billions committed to investment properties and thus cannot afford for the market to collapse, and so impose upon 'government' here to maintain and promote this ponzi scheme, in which far too many elected representatives also engage.

    2nd Feb 2018
    12:08pm
    Cant believe some of the comments I have just read in this string! Jackie, what planet are you on? The ABC is so incredibly biased to the politically correct perspective - it was almost orgiastic over the same sex debate - and as for illegal immigrants, it is to the left of Sarah Handsome-Dumb. Only an idiot would not recognize its bias. As for people not working - look what happens in a place like Mildura - thousands on unemployment benefits, yet growers cant find pickers for their citrus and vineyard harvests. Why do we let this happen? Thank heavens for back packers!
    Rae
    2nd Feb 2018
    1:56pm
    In Mildura and the west coast they can employ the 400 000 or so 415 holiday visa workers for bed and board so why would they need to pay wage bills?
    TREBOR
    2nd Feb 2018
    2:21pm
    Illegal immigrants are mostly visa over-stayers - there is no such thing as an illegal asylum applicant. There are only applicants who eventually may fall into one of two categories - positively vetted asylum seeker, and negatively vetted asylum seeker.
    musicveg
    2nd Feb 2018
    2:41pm
    Fruit growers don't want to pay minimum wage, so they employ low paid workers to make more profits. Backpackers only work so they can stay here longer.
    HarrysOpinion
    2nd Feb 2018
    12:17pm
    Do you think politicians should be drug tested?
    A: YES
    Is the Government mean-spirited in its approach to welfare recipients?
    A:YES but it's more essential to focus on weeding out the cheats not the genuine needy.
    Which ideology do you prefer: the American or Western Europe view of a social welfare system?
    A: Western Europe.
    It may sound wrong but all governments of any country have a social responsibility to keep the needy in check with welfare assistance so that the needy keep out of trouble and don't become lawless. This does not prevent some becoming lawless anyway but the majority of the needy will be obedient citizens and that creates a positive result with regard to law and order.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    2nd Feb 2018
    12:25pm
    Barely a person in Australia today would pass a drug test as most people are on some sort of drugs be it legal or illegal. I personally take nothing other than fresh air, fresh food and exercise.
    GeorgeM
    2nd Feb 2018
    1:19pm
    Agree, HS, answers are YES, YES and Western Europe!
    Garbage accusation against normal people from BigBear!
    VeryCaringBigBear
    2nd Feb 2018
    1:25pm
    So you think it is OK to line the pockets of bug Pharma by buying drugs that in most cases don't help you at all?
    GeorgeM
    2nd Feb 2018
    1:45pm
    More stupid assumptions from BigBear! Most people I know are NORMAL and would pass drug tests.

    Drug testing is to test for mainly illegal drugs consumed (but including alcohol) which impair proper functioning in the work they are supposed to do - so yes, Politicians and all others paid by taxpayers to work for them should be drug tested during work time.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    2nd Feb 2018
    1:58pm
    Many so called legal prescriptions drugs also impair people's ability to function properly too. I used to ask people what medications they took and preferred to employ those who took none.
    TREBOR
    2nd Feb 2018
    2:23pm
    Sorry Big Bear - I'll drop my heart medication immediately rather than run the risk of being a drug addict.......

    (ROFL emoticon required).....
    The Pom
    2nd Feb 2018
    12:28pm
    About time somebody stood up for those unfortunate that need welfare and pensioners. Too much is waisted on 2 income families who want it all, work and kids (that taxpayers are looking after in pre-schools) When I had my kids, my husband worked and if I wanted to work, I paid for childcare out of my wages, not the taxpayers. We started at the bottom of the ladder and worked our way up. Not now a-days, everybody wants to start near the top. We saved to buy an old house and fixed it up to our needs when we could afford it, no new flash 4-5 bedroom house, assisted with taxpayers money. People don't save anymore, they go on trips, buy these big 4WD's that just intimidate other road users and kids that get given whatever they want. I'm a pensioner now and I get told that we get to much and the age of entitlement is over, but what about the years of work and suffering to get this country where it is today. I think the disabled, sick and age pensioner are getting a raw deal, we cannot work, but these young families are getting all the help (with taxpayers money). These politicians of today do not care, they just wants to run the country into the ground, they're not interested in doing right for the country. They blame everyone else for the problem.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    2nd Feb 2018
    12:36pm
    Childcare is not really helping families at all. Childcare is designed to get more tax revenue. Both parents work so 2 lots of tax, kids get looked after in childcare so more tax on the wages of those who look after them. If a parent stays home then government see this as a negative as they only get one lot of tax revenue.
    Rae
    2nd Feb 2018
    2:01pm
    I agree Pom. The childcare rebate is only slightly less than unemployment benefits for the full year. Families on hundreds of thousands a year are being propped up for no good reason. I too paid childcare with no assistance for years after my husband was killed at work.

    Even now I get no assistance from the taxpayer as a self funded retiree. I am so over the money going to the rich all the time.
    TREBOR
    2nd Feb 2018
    2:26pm
    Well said, Pom - I've long said that any proper review of 'welfare' should take in Social Security, childcare, and a number of other areas of government funding - so as to arrive at 'core' Social Security needs and what are really discretionary wants, such as childcare.

    It is bizarre that any government would blast Pension and Unemployment etc recipients while lauding its billions expenditure on such issues that only serve to extend the social and economic division tearing this nation apart.
    Triss
    2nd Feb 2018
    5:46pm
    I agree with you, Trebor, but there’ll be quite a few pollies and highly paid public servants clawing in childcare rebates and if it was funded through welfare and CentreLink the combined salaries of these folk would be too high to qualify. So I think the government would turn both deaf ears for changing the status quo.
    TREBOR
    2nd Feb 2018
    11:25pm
    Oh, yes. No shortage of childcare money for public servants and the politician class.... always plenty of money where that came from...

    They get it as a matter of course...... can't deprive those hard-working and productive souls of a little time off on full pay.

    I posted elsewhere that there'd be no problem with the current NZ PM getting time off etc, on full pay, while a temporary replacement was receiving full pay as well.

    Thing is - the sale time sheep counters and casual fish skinners in Wakatani don't get it... but when Jacinda gets it, the push will be on for full pay for time off to have kids and every Maori chick will want and expect it .... thus creating a de facto pay rise for women compared to men ..... which is what they all want.

    How things have turned around...
    TREBOR
    2nd Feb 2018
    11:27pm
    As I said over the screeching for 'same sex marriage' (etc - make that alphabet marriage) - there is a time when the Western nations, for their own survival, have to start saying NO to special interest groups with an endless series of demands.

    What part of NO do they not understand? The nation can't afford them any more... sorry 'bout that. Go fund yourselves.
    The Pom
    2nd Feb 2018
    12:28pm
    About time somebody stood up for those unfortunate that need welfare and pensioners. Too much is waisted on 2 income families who want it all, work and kids (that taxpayers are looking after in pre-schools) When I had my kids, my husband worked and if I wanted to work, I paid for childcare out of my wages, not the taxpayers. We started at the bottom of the ladder and worked our way up. Not now a-days, everybody wants to start near the top. We saved to buy an old house and fixed it up to our needs when we could afford it, no new flash 4-5 bedroom house, assisted with taxpayers money. People don't save anymore, they go on trips, buy these big 4WD's that just intimidate other road users and kids that get given whatever they want. I'm a pensioner now and I get told that we get to much and the age of entitlement is over, but what about the years of work and suffering to get this country where it is today. I think the disabled, sick and age pensioner are getting a raw deal, we cannot work, but these young families are getting all the help (with taxpayers money). These politicians of today do not care, they just wants to run the country into the ground, they're not interested in doing right for the country. They blame everyone else for the problem.
    Grateful
    2nd Feb 2018
    1:02pm
    Precisely, and who does this government want to "reward" with tax cuts to "put more money in their pockets"??
    TOf course, those very ones, "middle income earners", who have had ALL the benefits one can imagine, have been sucked into grossly overpriced housing, etc etc and have blown out their household budgets to 200%. I.E. Spending TWICE as much as they are earning!!!
    So, give them more money to SPEND!!! Or, most likely, pay off their credit cards after blowing $21 billion in credit over Christmas!!!
    And give multi national companies massive tax cuts while ridiculing those on "welfare" who are living below the poverty line.
    Not one word about increases in the basic age pension, ALL of which, I'm sure would definitely be spent on life's basic requirements and be a major boost to the economy and not to banks from credit card payments and major companies who are owned overseas and pay minimal tax anyway.
    Turnbull and this government have absolutely NO empathy towards anyone who dips into Centrelink payments!!! AND i'ts getting much worse with higher energy and private health insurance costs now hitting home.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    2nd Feb 2018
    1:22pm
    Of course they don't Graceful. Those on welfare take money out of the budget and put nothing back in return.
    Rae
    2nd Feb 2018
    2:04pm
    Yes Grateful and they just cut the minimum wage for hospitality and retail workers. Go figure that one out. Austerity for anyone earning under the median income and taxpayer largess for high income earners. Typical LNP nastiness.
    Triss
    2nd Feb 2018
    2:12pm
    You're right, Grateful, perhaps childcare allowance should be classed as welfare and given to CentreLink to dole out with all the attendant hoops to jump through in order to get it.
    musicveg
    2nd Feb 2018
    3:02pm
    BigBear, those who get welfare money spend every cent, so they keep the wheels turning too.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    3rd Feb 2018
    1:40pm
    Not if they spend it on drugs or in the black economy which a lot do.
    musicveg
    3rd Feb 2018
    3:17pm
    So where do these people live and what do they eat if they spend all their money on drugs, you are talking only about a small percentage of those on welfare.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    4th Feb 2018
    5:48pm
    If that is the case why are they going to roll out a welfare card to all those on welfare That's right welfare is being spent on things that it should not be and then people are asking charities for the basics of living. I was talking to a charity worker a couple of days ago and they are already putting people on these cards as they simply can't cope with the numbers needing assistance as their welfare is used inappropriately.
    Anonymous
    4th Feb 2018
    5:55pm
    They are rolling out a welfare card because they are heartless selfish bastards who want to line the pockets of the mate who runs the card business. A tiny fraction of welfare is misspent. The vast majority is spent on essentials. And it's way too little to fund any drug habit, gambling or excessive drinking. You are just trying to justify your own greed and selfishness, BigBear. If you pretend to yourself that the needy are to blame for their circumstances, you don't have the suffer the niggling guilt for milking the system for money you have no moral right to and that is sorely needed elsewhere.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    4th Feb 2018
    6:28pm
    Rainey the welfare card can't be very profitable as the comany administrating it is in administration (broke).

    Rainey I am very content with my affairs and certainly don't feel any guilt only very thankful that my family is doing so well whereas if I had been selfish and kept my money they would be struggling. I think you are felling guilty that you left it too late to plan your retirement and take advantage of the rules.
    Anonymous
    6th Feb 2018
    6:45am
    The welfare card IS profitable, BigBear. The company is broke because of bad management - or, as is the case in so many bankruptcies - shifty dealings moving money to where it can be hidden so they don't have to pay debts.

    Yes, I'm sure you are very contented looking after yourself and your family at the expense of the needy. Some people are just too selfish to have any conscience at all, let alone respect for others. And no, I do not ''feel guilty'' and I did not ''leave it too late to plan my retirement''. I didn't have your opportunities, BigBear, and the reasons are none of your business - but suffice to say my circumstances REQUIRED me to retain my savings until later in life. And it's a stinking vile disgusting system that punishes people for needing to save. And it's a horrible individual that justifies such a cruel system.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    6th Feb 2018
    12:15pm
    The good thing is now that my family is doing so well they will if necessary pay for any of my needs if I can't do so myself.
    Anonymous
    7th Feb 2018
    5:07pm
    And if everyone was as greedy and unconscionable as you, the nation would be bankrupt and there would be nothing for those in genuine need. We would be like Greece.
    The Pom
    2nd Feb 2018
    12:55pm
    In our day if you want to have kids you gave up work, so the employer could then employ a new person. If you want kids, look after them and teach them respect yourself, don't expect others to do that for you and get government to look after and raise your kids.
    Rae
    2nd Feb 2018
    2:08pm
    Pom I always worked but I paid another mother at least half on my income after tax to mind my kids in her home. It worked well.

    By carefully choosing a carer who shared my values and letting my kids see hard work providing for us they all learnt work ethics and built sound character.

    I didn't however expect to be supported by taxpayers to do so.

    I missed out on playing mother and babies but my kids didn't miss out at all on a home based upbringing.

    No childcare centres were needed.
    grumpyoldwoman
    2nd Feb 2018
    12:59pm
    Yes! What's good for the goose is good for the gander!

    2nd Feb 2018
    1:07pm
    When the UN starts standing up for peoples' rights in those countries where famine, civil war and genocide is rife then they may be in a position to lecture western nations on how to treat people. These are the people who wanted to appoint Mugabe as a goodwill ambassador.
    TREBOR
    2nd Feb 2018
    11:48pm
    **applauds**
    VeryCaringBigBear
    3rd Feb 2018
    8:09am
    Maybe it will take a famine or some other problem to get people in this country to see how lucky they really are and to appreciate it instead of whinging the way they do.
    Anonymous
    3rd Feb 2018
    10:55am
    I'd like to think if something like that happened, it would restore respect and empathy and the filthy selfish privileged would change their vile attitude to the less advantaged and those facing difficulties, but that would be way too much to hope for.

    Sad that the privileged can't see past their arrogance to understand that those who struggle ARE grateful for their blessings and DO understand how lucky they are, but understandably want others to care about the difficulties they face and would like to see our government address the problems that cause unnecessary hurt and suffering.
    Not a Bludger
    2nd Feb 2018
    1:16pm
    This sort of rubbish makes my blood boil - as does my coin being used to fund druggies with their habit.
    So, nick off UN.
    And, Alston simply provides yet another reason to stop funding the UN.
    Anonymous
    2nd Feb 2018
    7:24pm
    People like you make my blood boil. Alston is telling it like it is. Someone needs to. There are a small number of druggies in this country, yes. And a HUGE HUGE HUGE number of stinking bludging rich bastards milking the public purse and inept bumbling or corrupt bureaucrats and politicians stuffing up the world for everyone. Let's deal with the bigger problem first.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    2nd Feb 2018
    7:36pm
    If there is only a small number of druggies then why do we have such a big drug problem in this country? It has been estimated that over 50% of those on welfare use illegal drugs.
    musicveg
    2nd Feb 2018
    7:42pm
    I find that really hard to believe 50%! Where did you find that estimate?
    TREBOR
    2nd Feb 2018
    11:48pm
    Where did the find the money?
    VeryCaringBigBear
    3rd Feb 2018
    8:13am
    They get recruited to sell to their mates instead of paying for it with money and when their mates run out of money they also start selling for their fix. That's why it is so hard to control.
    Anonymous
    3rd Feb 2018
    10:10am
    What utter GARBAGE. That's a huge fantasy, unless ''drugs'' includes the occasional dose of over-the-counter pain medication or a casual drink of alcohol. Somebody is trying to excuse the disgusting mismanagement of the economy by blaming the victims. I have met TWO drug addicts among the long-term unemployed in 40 years of mixing extensively with them. I have a relative who counselled and assessed for St Vincent de Paul and met with a long-term unemployed twice every week for 25 years and found ONE on drugs.

    Sorry, but whoever quoted that figure is a disgusting LIAR.
    Anonymous
    3rd Feb 2018
    10:11am
    Oh but isn't it a nice cop-out for the stinking privileged who just want to turn a blind eye to injustice and hurt and make false claims that everything is rosy and anyone struggling is at fault?
    TREBOR
    2nd Feb 2018
    2:00pm
    The worst part is the ceaseless propaganda of spite and hatred directed towards social security recipients, and the attitude that engenders in far too many of the population, who, with a little basic reasoning and mathematics, should instantly see that 700,000 unemployed can not fit into 100,000 jobs.

    Then there is a significant percentage of the same propaganda directed at specified social groups, such as Indigenous people and immigrants of a certain stamp, with a constant media campaign that shows the very worst and very few truly abusive of social security people.

    Dark mutterings about Aboriginals in remote locations not working are fantasy, since the jobs simply do not exist.

    On top of that we see a constant barrage from business about reducing their labour costs and employee numbers, the allowing of numbers of foreign workers with little supervision or control, and the government policy of 'globalising' the labour market at the bidding of its business owners who call the shots........... (let that one sink in)...

    The very fact that a government would willy-nilly race into 'globalisation' as some kind of solution to all economic woes shows that either that government is either totally insane, totally treasonous to its own people for whom it works, or desperately in need of drug testing to see what is destroying their minds.
    GeorgeM
    2nd Feb 2018
    2:09pm
    Agree with your comments fully.
    Politicians of both parties have no interest in the people - see examples of how they are in the pockets of gambling companies (including Packer) in the SMH article below. Their actions are driven by the interests of their donors. A Federal ICAC and banning large Company donations in particular are a MUST.

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/politicians-rolling-in-secret-pokies-cash-lost-by-their-own-constituents-20180201-h0rs9v.html

    All must vote all current MPs of the 3 main parties last in preferences to start a movement for CHANGE.
    Rae
    2nd Feb 2018
    2:16pm
    TREBOr a sensible comment.

    I see the current Centrelink debacles as a means towards an end of privatising the system and giving Serco the contract.

    More kick back payments for those supplying welfare cards and drug tests. Tax dollars for mates and cronies. It's disgusting.
    TREBOR
    2nd Feb 2018
    2:56pm
    Too true, Rae - they'll soon trot out that nonsense that 'private industry is more efficient' and slot their mates into a contract that any future government will not be able to get out of without a huge cost. Meanwhile the service will go down, the attitude will be one of 'we own you, peasant', and the real cost to the taxpayer will accelerate massively, but will be covered up with a heap of sweeteners and hidden figures and outright lies.

    Private industry is demonstrably NOT more efficient - only more costly, as roads, power, gas and pretty much everything else shows today.
    musicveg
    2nd Feb 2018
    3:06pm
    Trebor, I have always said there were not enough jobs, so how can everyone work? Even a lot of the people who have jobs are on contract, part-time or temporary but they are counted as employed.
    The media is responsible for spinning the lies and fueling the fire to put down welfare recipients, and who owns the media?
    Anonymous
    2nd Feb 2018
    3:06pm
    Bob, it is very difficult to start quoting figures around unemployment because they have been massaged to such an extent that they are meaningless. All governments fiddle with the figures but the worst could have been Howard who took all those unemployed over 55 and placed them on the Disability Pension. Result? Low unemployment figures, not low unemployed, just statistics.
    Anonymous
    2nd Feb 2018
    7:27pm
    In a recent news report, it was claimed that this government had created an enormous number of new jobs. The reporter then asked why unemployment was stuck at the same percentage as when they came to power. Then he answered himself. ''Too many people are wanting jobs''!!!!!! Ah, so it's the fault of the unemployed that they are unemployed. They are not supposed to ask for work?
    VeryCaringBigBear
    2nd Feb 2018
    7:33pm
    One needs not only to look at the employment rate but also the participation rate. If the participation rate falls the employment rate may stay the same even though less people are actually employed. The employment rate can stay the same even though more people are employed simply because more people are participating in the work force.
    TREBOR
    2nd Feb 2018
    11:32pm
    Yes, OM - I do recall that fudging of the figures by Howard... can't remember every move these snakes make.....

    Thanks for the memory....

    BB - why does the participation rate fall?

    Firstly through some simply giving up, and then by governments doing their endless massaging of the figures to suit their ideology and their party line.

    EVERY government claims to create jobs - they never accept responsibility for lost jobs at the same time though, even when the figures show a deficit.

    Just accept that they are all liars.... and look elsewhere than the political parties for your answers.
    Anonymous
    3rd Feb 2018
    10:13am
    Yes, BigBear, it's a great way to LIE! Pretend that if someone gives up looking for work because it's hopeless, they are not ''unemployed'' and shouldn't be counted. Lies, damned lies, and fudged statistics. This government and its supporters are brilliant at it.

    The unemployment rate is around 20%, if only the statisticians would tell the truth.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    3rd Feb 2018
    1:38pm
    If someone gives up looking for work or can't be bothered meeting their commitment for unemployment benefits then they are not unemployed.
    Anonymous
    3rd Feb 2018
    9:10pm
    If someone gives up looking for work they are probably disabled and should be on disability benefits, because when you struggle so long that you just can't continue, you have a psychological illness - caused by continued persecution by an uncaring and cruel society.

    2nd Feb 2018
    2:53pm
    Bugger off Alston
    We don’t want to be like Greece and Spain
    Snowflake !
    TREBOR
    2nd Feb 2018
    2:57pm
    How would Australia end up like Greece and Spain, Rafe?

    No comparison between them and us in any way....
    Anonymous
    3rd Feb 2018
    10:16am
    We could, if we keep grinding down the poor and lining the pockets of the rich, the way some here want. We could end up with the same levels of poverty as Greece, where nobody with income pays taxes honestly and the poverty among those with very little or no income is far worse even than here.

    Sadly, the privileged who say they fear us denigrating to the state or Spain or Greece actually advocate the very policies that ensure we'll to that way!
    BillF2
    2nd Feb 2018
    3:02pm
    Unfortunately there is no drug test for people who are high on power. If there were, we would have very few representatives in Parliament
    If the government wants to reduce the welfare bill, it only has to concentrate on putting Australia first and stop selling jobs to the lowest foreign bidder, and land to the highest foreign bidder. The reason for creating resentment between the employed and unemployed is typical 'divide and conquer' policy. It distracts from what the government is really doing, i.e. serving itself and its mates, and making sure it stays in power.
    musicveg
    2nd Feb 2018
    3:07pm
    I agree, media is responsible for distracting Australians of the real truth and the deals happening behind closed doors.
    musicveg
    2nd Feb 2018
    3:11pm
    Yes, pollies should be drug and alcohol tested, how can you make clear decisions if you are half asleep. Yes the Government has always been mean-spirited in it's approach to welfare and they should have more compassion and concentrate on looking at ways for creating jobs for all those who are seeking desperately for work, like Trebor said how can 700,0000 people fit into 100,000 jobs? If we go down the American way we will see more crime, poverty, drugs, suicides, and our health system collapse.
    BrianP
    2nd Feb 2018
    4:54pm
    The whole approach to welfare and supporting seniors by many Australian governments in the last 30 years has been fundamentally flawed.

    There needs to be a change in attitude and a reworking of the system from the ground up. In a similar way our political system needs an overhaul. Big job but necessary for our survival. But I think nobody has the courage to do it at present.
    patti
    2nd Feb 2018
    5:47pm
    The reality is that there are simply not enough jobs for everyone who wants one. So the accusation of dole cheats is rubbish. Technology has done away with many jobs, and those who lose jobs as they age cannot get another. Neither can they get the pension, often, so are forced to apply for jobs they have no hope of getting. This is demoralising. Everyone deserves 1) a home 2) a living wage 3) health care. These basics are a right not a privilege.
    musicveg
    2nd Feb 2018
    7:40pm
    I agree that it is so demoralizing for many people to have to keep contacting employers for jobs that don't exist, and how much time and money is wasted answering job seekers emails and phone calls. No wonder people become so depressed they turn to a way of numbing themselves whether it be legal or not. We need more Tafe, more jobs, more opportunities and let some people work part time if they want so others can get work. Make it easier for mothers or fathers to stay at home with children while they are not of school age too.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    2nd Feb 2018
    7:44pm
    Today to have any chance of getting a job your application has to stand out from the rest in a big way as there are so many resumes that are just going through the motions required for their welfare payment.
    TREBOR
    2nd Feb 2018
    11:35pm
    Shows the lack of real talent in management these days then, BB.

    I guess I'm spoilt through being nothing special but always the first choice for a difficult mission.

    Now - this is not a good place to go.. I'm off for a while.
    Anonymous
    3rd Feb 2018
    9:54am
    You are so right, musicveg. It is sad the way some arrogant folk blame the unemployed for their plight.

    Yes, BigBear, you need to stand out from the crowd. And many cannot. I don't suppose you have ever experienced looking through hundreds of job ads for jobs you absolutely KNOW FOR A FACT you could do brilliantly but being locked out because you never got the opportunity to get a certain piece of paper that says you sat in a classroom for X days and passed a meaningless test? And then you go and try to retrain and find the prerequisites lock you out of the cost is astronomical, or you've no way to support your family while you study.

    It's so easy for people to be arrogant and presumptuous and judgmental, but until you've walked in other people's shoes, you have no idea what they are up against. And then they have to deal with a hideously suppressive and punitive welfare system that bashes them every time they try to elevate themselves. No wonder people lose hope.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    3rd Feb 2018
    11:44am
    During my working life I can't remember ever applying for a job. I just got offered jobs in the industry in which I worked until I set up my own businesses. If you are good at something then you simply don't need to sit in classrooms wasting your time on some useless bit of paper. In fact it is so much easier to ask Google how something works etc then spend hours trying to work out what information is actually useful. So my advice to anyone is find something you like doing and excel in it.
    Anonymous
    3rd Feb 2018
    9:07pm
    Yes, BigBear, we all know you are MR WONDERFUL WHO LIVES IN UTOPIA. but you haven't the faintest idea what life is like in the real world, so why don't you put a sock in it? It really is BORING having to tolerate your nasty self-serving rants. Nobody needs your advice. Before you give advice, you need to understand the problems - and you clearly DO NOT. Nor do you care to try.
    Charlie
    2nd Feb 2018
    9:05pm
    The united nations needs to stop sticking their nose into the running of other countries.
    If we took their advice we would have been overrun by refugees.

    We already have enough trouble keeping law and order. Do they want us to be like Sweden.
    The amount of welfare a country can provide is dictated by the wealth of the country, not the united nations.

    The amount of welfare a country determines to be appropriate for keeping everybody active and employed, is determined by that country not by the united nations.

    This country has no famine or outbreak of Ebola virus. United Nations go away.
    Anonymous
    3rd Feb 2018
    9:49am
    Agree with some of that, Charlie, but the welfare of this country IS DEFINIETLY NOT dictated by the wealth of the country. It's dictated by the greed and selfishness of those who don't need welfare and the politicians who are in the pockets of the privileged. Our welfare bill is VERY LOW by developed-world standards and our system is far meaner than it needs to be. But worse, it discourages and punishes those who try to elevate their status. It's suppressive and punitive in the extreme, and is anything but economically sustainable. One wonders just what the purpose of the bad policies is - or is there a purpose? Maybe those who design these policies are just hopelessly inept?
    VeryCaringBigBear
    3rd Feb 2018
    11:40am
    Our welfare system is the best in the world.
    Anonymous
    3rd Feb 2018
    9:00pm
    Dream on! It's a total disaster, but only those who are (or have been) victimized by it recognize the flaws. The stinking vile privileged just go on blaming the victims, condoning meanness and excusing or ignoring stupidity.
    Anonymous
    3rd Feb 2018
    9:05pm
    Goodness, you would have to have cogs missing from your brain to claim a welfare system that pays pensions to multi-millionaires living in mansions and gifting hundreds of thousands to their offspring but denies anything to a couple someone living in a $200,000 shack and an income of 2% return on $840,000 was 'the best in the world'', or even that it was ''good''! And to suggest it's a ''good system'' when 1/3rd aged are living below the poverty line and tens of thousands of families are living in poverty... well, I guess if it doesn't hurt YOU, or someone you love, why would you care? Unless, like me, you have a social conscience and a sense of decency.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    4th Feb 2018
    3:12pm
    I just can't understand why someone with$800,000 would live in a $200,000 shack. Sounds to me like they are fools in not planning for their retirement.

    There is nothing indie and or socially unacceptable in what I have done. Many others are now doing the same.
    Anonymous
    4th Feb 2018
    5:49pm
    Yes many are doing the same. And they are ALL IMMORAL AND UNETHICAL AND JUST PLAIN SELFISH AND GREEDY.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    4th Feb 2018
    6:32pm
    Yes I would have been greedy and selfish if I hadn't done what I did and kept the lot for myself.
    Anonymous
    5th Feb 2018
    6:42am
    You would have been HONEST AND DECENT if you'd kept it and lived on it instead of bleeding the over-burdened taxpayer so that there's less for those in genuine need.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    6th Feb 2018
    12:05pm
    So it's OK for my family to suffer but not for anyone else to suffer. That's odd because I was always taught charity begins at home. So I take it that you would deny your family and let them suffer instead of helping them. Instead you think the squeaky wheels in society deserve it more. No wonder our society is in such a bad way with greedy people refusing to help their own families.
    Anonymous
    8th Feb 2018
    4:52pm
    Your family isn't suffering, BigBear. And if they were, there are programs to help them. If they DO NOT qualify, then they have no right to receive taxpayer funds, so your gifting to them and then claiming a pension is WRONG.

    Charity begins at home but with YOUR MONEY, not someone else's. You have no right to take from the taxpayer purse to give charity to anyone.

    I don't refuse to help my family, but I don't CHEAT AND STEAL to do it. I give what I earn honestly and retain enough to continue to support myself. That is what all ethical and moral people do.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    11th Feb 2018
    9:46am
    So I should of let my family line up and have all their dirty washing exposed hoping they might get 5 cents in the dollar of some program to help them? I thought you were against the rich but that's what those programs really do. Support the rich with afew crumbs given those that it was intended.

    It was my money and I can legally do what I like with my money. So I spent it and gave some to my family to help them out when they needed it. You can also do what you want with your money.

    When I got to retirement age I qualified for the full OAP.

    So not sure what planet you are on if you think that it was wrong to retire early and spend my money doing what I wanted to do. I also had no need for some of the money that was left so gave my family the help they needed. It so happened that what I had left allowed me to get the full pension. So now my family are showing their gratitude by paying my bills.

    IF more people helped their families instead of hoarding money they will never need it would be a much happier society.

    The number of people who tell me they wished they could have had their inheritance years ago when they needed it is amazing. Many get it now just when they ate about to retire which affects their OAP entitlements.
    Miss Piggy
    2nd Feb 2018
    9:43pm
    Most of my thoughts on the subject have already been voiced - but not by the likes of Big (Head) Bear and Raphael and their ilk - so to answer the three specific questions:

    Q. Should our politicians be drug tested?
    A. Already far too late for most of them (all colours).

    Q. Are our politicians "mean-spirited" in regards to welfare?
    A. "Mean spirited" doesn't even begin to describe their attitude. Try malevolent.

    Q. American or Western welfare systems?
    A. The Scandinavians seem to be on a better track than most others.

    I am over the hill and almost to the bottom of the downward slope. Thank God - this is no longer the Australia - "land of the fair go" - in which I grew up.
    Rae
    3rd Feb 2018
    11:45am
    Well said Miss Piggy.

    The minute they started labelling policy as "fair and Sustainable" I knew it was anything but fair or sustainable.

    There is no fair go for many now.
    maxchugg
    3rd Feb 2018
    10:47am
    So the U.N. is telling the Australian government how to behave!
    Watch what happens when Hillel Neuer, using indisputable facts demonstrates the hypocricy and partisan attitudes which now appear to be typical of this organization:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhWgZu6tcZU
    https://www.unwatch.org/algeria-jews-hillel-neuer-u-n-human-rights-council/
    So, why should we take any notice of the U.N.?
    Anonymous
    3rd Feb 2018
    10:56am
    I don't like the UN and don't like their interference, but on this occasion, they are right. The criticism is well-deserved and should be heeded.
    maxchugg
    8th Feb 2018
    9:13am
    OnlyGenuineRainey, I agree with you but I think that our decisions and actions should not be influenced by an organisation as biased and prejudiced as the U.N. and we should definitely stop funding them.
    Anonymous
    8th Feb 2018
    1:08pm
    That I agree with maxchugg. But I'm pleased they spoke out. Someone has to make this stinking government listen.
    Lookfar
    3rd Feb 2018
    6:37pm
    There is a culture in Parliamentarians of Whisky/Brandy, when the "Sun is over the yard", ie 12 PM, although many seem to get in early, and they become acquiescent (agreeable) to hidden deals, promises of major support, flash, cars etc, I am sure they would be much better at their job if they had regular and irregular drug and alcohol tests, with strict limits.
    Anonymous
    3rd Feb 2018
    6:43pm
    Fake news
    Careworn
    4th Feb 2018
    8:46am
    Thank God for goodie two shoes. Sounds like a man with a conscience, we seem to be short of them.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    4th Feb 2018
    3:18pm
    They only thing wrong with our welfare system is it is far too generous thus not giving people the incentive to work and save.
    Anonymous
    4th Feb 2018
    5:29pm
    Says one who has NEVER NEEDED GENUINE HELP. Yes, BigBear, it's way too generous TO THE WRONG PEOPLE - ie. manipulators like you who take take take despite having no genuine need.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    4th Feb 2018
    5:41pm
    I only take what I am entitled to like everyone else does. My income puts me below the poverty line so I do have a genuine need.
    Anonymous
    4th Feb 2018
    5:44pm
    Legally entitled to - NOT MORALLY OR ETHICALLY. And because you take take take, genuinely needy folk and honest people are deprived.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    4th Feb 2018
    6:31pm
    Yes morally and ethically entitled as well.
    Anonymous
    5th Feb 2018
    6:35am
    Keep telling yourself that, but you know as well as anyone else it isn't true, BigBear. Taxpayers pay tax to fund pensions for those in GENUINE need. Nobody who pays tax intends it to fund greedy manipulators who gift their money to their rich kids and grandkids so they can take more from the public purse.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    5th Feb 2018
    10:37am
    Rainey I certainly don't have to keep telling myself anything and I sleep like a baby knowing that I have done the right thing.
    Anonymous
    6th Feb 2018
    10:32am
    Only the most selfish person could think what you have done is right.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    11th Feb 2018
    9:32am
    What sort of person are you when you abuse someone for supporting their own family?
    Careworn
    4th Feb 2018
    4:01pm
    I don't think the government is giving people the incentive to work and save any more. Work by all means but spend it, have a good time.
    musicveg
    4th Feb 2018
    4:08pm
    What work? 700,000 unemployed, 100,000 jobs available.
    Triss
    4th Feb 2018
    5:06pm
    Our working structure has changed, drastically. You don’t have to go back very far to remember when there were lots of jobs because there were lots of small and medium businesses. Since then big business has been allowed to buy out, bankrupt, etc small businesses and put employees out of work. There used to be thriving high streets in every small town but they were starved out by shopping centres and chain stores. Big firms closing down to go overseas where they can run sweat shops for nothing with no worries about putting their Australian employees on the street.
    Anyone who thinks it’s still the fault of the unemployed that they can’t get a job needs to take a breath and start using their brains.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    4th Feb 2018
    5:36pm
    What about all the factories we now have full of foreign workers from NZ and Asia? They don't employ Australians because they don't work near as well as the foreign workers as most people today prefer welfare than working in a factory. Farmers are always looking for people to harvest their rope but very few Austalians want to this work. If I need someone to work for me I can't get anyone unless I pay them cash as they don't want to lose their welfare payments. Many of those on welfare today now have business numbers so that they can write off their inflated expenses and only claim to earn a little so their welfare payments are not affected. Cleaning and catering companies are big employers that take workers on this way now. So a lot of the so calked unemployed do have jobs but they are hidden in our economy. Wake up people things are not nearly as bad as you are led to believe.
    Anonymous
    4th Feb 2018
    5:42pm
    You really are full of it, BigBear! Obviously you are fine and don't give a hoot about anyone else, and certainly don't pay heed to evidence.

    There are 12 job applicants for every vacancy. These are GENUINE applicants, not people fudging it to get benefits. And they are DESPERATE people. Many have applied for hundreds of jobs. There may be a handful of ''so-called unemployed'' but there are well over half a million people who are desperate for an opportunity that just doesn't exist.

    Stop being so arrogant and uncaring. It's sickening to read privileged people denying the difficulties of others just because they are not affected.

    Yes, there are some taking cash to preserve their welfare payments. Of course they'd be STUPID to do otherwise given the punitive nature of a welfare system that kicks people in the guts for having a go if they can't get permanent full-time work.

    Get off whatever you are taking that's keeping you high, BigBear, and wake up to reality. We have massive social problems, and pretending otherwise is only going to make them very much worse.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    4th Feb 2018
    6:01pm
    What a lot of rubbish Rainey!
    Triss
    4th Feb 2018
    8:27pm
    Presumably, BigBear, you keep all the necessary records of the people you employ, name, pay and tax records, hours worked, so it doesn’t matter if they are paid in cash. Unless you’re paying them under the counter which is illegal.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    4th Feb 2018
    8:54pm
    As far as I am concerned they never worked for me which is the way they want it to be.
    Anonymous
    5th Feb 2018
    6:33am
    No, Triss, he plays a hideously flawed and sick system for his benefit and then condemns anyone who falls victim to it - no matter what their circumstances or why they fall victim to it.

    I suppose it's a small blessing that he doesn't keep records and dob people in.

    I wish people like BigBear could be forced to walk for a while in the shoes of those they condemn and learn what reality is like for people who don't have their advantages. He should live in my world for a year or two. So many wonderful, kind, good people in it who have suffered such terrible injustice - often at the hands of mongrel bureaucrats who are either grossly inept or just plain corrupt - or the bureaucrats should have helped them and didn't. It never ceases to amaze me how strong and forgiving these people are, and how they just struggle on through terrible hardship, often with very little complaint. Meanwhile those who caused the hardships live high on the hog, on fat pay cheques and rich superannuation, and if the victims of their incompetence or dishonesty try to complain, they are out-gunned by a system that is rigged to ensure the poor have no hope of ever winning a fight for their rights.

    But the arrogant just keep dismissing truth as ''rubbish'' and telling themselves their nasty judgments of others and their pretences of a rosy world are valid.
    Rae
    5th Feb 2018
    10:06am
    Harvesting crops is big business these days and the machinery costs upwards of $500 000. The big farms use contractors. Farm labour is around $18.50 to $22 00 an hour.

    A man with a wife and three kids can earn almost as much not working.

    Wage stagnation is starting to bite.

    And yes the Balance of Payments must be looking fairly rugged as the increasing business profits are all sent off shore to foreign headquarters.

    The fascists in power now deliberately set out to destroy the unions and labour costs. There are always consequences.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    5th Feb 2018
    10:34am
    Rainey it would not worry me at all to live the way disadvantaged people do as it costs me so little to live. In fact I'd say it costs them more than it costs me to live. I too have to fight battles with ignorant people but I don't give up on anything important until I get what I want. Mot people give up and then waste their energy whinging to others on how bad things are when their energy could be better used in getting themselves a better outcome.

    I long ago lost my desire for wealth so I am not too concerned about what the future holds for me financially.
    Anonymous
    6th Feb 2018
    6:40am
    BigBear, you really are astonishing! Who is talking about MONEY here? Not me. You obviously are so damned PRIVELEGED that you don't even understand what disadvantage is. I really do wish you had to walk in the shoes of those you wish hurt on. You need to learn to understand what life is like for people who are REALLY disadvantaged - and is has NOTHING TO DO WITH WEALTH. But it's pointless trying to explain to people like you. You are too wrapped up in your own ego to even try to imagine what genuine disadvantage looks and feels like. And you are more than happy, obviously, to have a stinking vile government that tramples on the disadvantaged to feed the greedy and self-serving privileged.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    6th Feb 2018
    12:32pm
    Rainey if I was so disadvantaged that I couldn't live a normal life I would have been put 6 foot under a long time ago. It is being very selfish to others to have to rely upon them to care for you as well as themselves.
    Anonymous
    7th Feb 2018
    11:07am
    Again you are twisting things, VERY UNCARING BigBear. There are many people who have suffered serious disadvantage for all kinds of reasons, but that doesn't stop them being useful individuals and worthy of a life. What a horrid way to go through life, insisting that everyone has to be privileged and super-capable or should be tramped on or put down! Most of the disadvantage I refer to is caused by stinking vile privileged people abusing the system to hurt others. So I'd rather put the abusers 6 feet under and let the disadvantaged have a go for a change.
    Suze
    4th Feb 2018
    4:45pm
    @ Hasbeen
    2nd Feb 2018
    1:59pm
    'How typical, some clown from an organisation like the UN, or the ABC, who spend their entire life wasting other people's money, should think money grows on trees, & you can just spend more, even if you are already going broke from spending too much.

    If he were fair dinkum he would suggest we stop funding the UN & distribute that currently waster money on welfare. Yep pigs might fly too. '

    Spot on Hasbeen .. charity should begin at home
    Argydubbaya
    5th Feb 2018
    8:49pm
    What a pathetic system, for nearly 50 years I paid rediculous tax. So here I am at 70 and still need to fill in the same forms each year. Several pages of the same information. These forms are obviously set up to sprag our entitlements and should I make a mistake my pension stops. Then I try to put it right and if I can find someone to answer the phone each person I speak to asks similar questions. I have not reapplied for the Aged Pension for over 2 years. Added to that these politicians create an obscene rhetoric similar to"dole bludgers"as an "Old age pensioner bludger". Try living on $35 a week "politician bludgers" It's my belief there is hidden agenda to kill off old people. To that end we are extorted financially to continue living and paying electricity, rates, medical bills etc.
    Anonymous
    6th Feb 2018
    11:37am
    Same age mate. Never had to fill in forms again after the first time, albeit took a while as they found a house in Cairns in my name but
    after a check they found my notice to them that the house had to be sold to buy where we are now living.
    Had to go and see them in person though and that too time also but was worth the effort for being left in peace since then.

    6th Feb 2018
    9:19am
    Someone is posting under my user name. I've had a response from YLC staff. It seems someone has registered themselves with my user name. They say it's ''coincidence'', but it certainly is NOT. And I'm fairly sure I know who it is. These fraudulent posts have only just started, and the person making them is trying very hard to make me look as bad as he possibly can.

    Something SERIOUSLY wrong when someone can register the same name as another member! No responsible developer sets a community up that way. They always tell you the name is in use and you have to choose another.

    Anyway, I guess I have to change my user name. Clearly the disgusting person doing this is determined to try to force me to leave the community. Won't happen. But any further posts from ''Rainey'' are NOT MINE AND NOTHING TO DO WITH ME. Most likely JimD, I'm guessing, given his behaviour to date.
    Anonymous
    6th Feb 2018
    9:43am
    I have changed my user name to OnlyGenuineRainey.

    I have demanded YLC remove the username Rainey and compel the person using it to use a different name.

    If the person who claimed the username Rainey and made malicious posts appears again, I will issue a summons to YLC to reveal his identity and I will instigate legal action against both YLC and the person doing this.

    YLC members should be aware that YLC is facilitating a very dangerous practice that could have serious legal implications.
    musicveg
    6th Feb 2018
    3:34pm
    I like the new name, terrible that this has happened, YLC must make their site more secure, so many spam is posted too, I get sick of reporting them.
    Lookfar
    6th Feb 2018
    5:19pm
    Hi, OnlyGenuineRainey, I would like to express my sympathy and support for you in this situation, although I have yet to hear from YLC, and indeed find it hard to accept that they are responsible, - they try to be non-partisan, but the demographics would suggest that the majority of older folk are women, and that the majority of matureing men and women are currently concerned about such things as, older folk getting a decent hearing, helping older folk adapt or survive technology change, general concerns of older folk and their legal and other happenings with their families etc, the world wide concern with Climate change, electicity bills, etc, so I doubt extremely they would support the minority of Hierarchical males, who ignorantly oppose any changes to the status quo of their childhood or imagining, simply because it threatens their self image/esteem.
    Instead I would suspect YLC has been hacked in some way to allow the supporters of the very minor Hierarchical point of view to interfere in what is in my opinion an honest attempt to run a fair and caring website. - Let's hear from YLC before we get too angry, they deserve our support.
    Anonymous
    6th Feb 2018
    5:59pm
    Thanks Lookfar. I have had correspondence from YLC and I must commend them for their prompt action. My first complain was responded to with a claim that the name use was ''coincidental'' and ''not malicious'' (which I disputed) but immediately I changed my name the poster changed to the new name and made more malicious posts, which was fortunate for me because it proved malice conclusively. YLC then very quickly banned the said poster. Hopefully, there will be no more of this malicious nonsense. I am fairly sure I know who it is - as someone who had been attacking me and had had defamatory posts about me deleted before has suddenly disappeared off the scene.

    Yes, YLC does deserve our support. I have suggested ways they can protect themselves from posters who abuse their service in this way. I am not at all angry with YLC, but rather with the sick individual who took unfair advantage of their system.
    Anonymous
    6th Feb 2018
    6:01pm
    I find it deeply disappointing, though, that BigBear presumes to accuse me of dishonesty and insists that I did make the subject posts, despite my clearly explaining what had occurred. I consider that extremely discourteous and inappropriate behaviour.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    6th Feb 2018
    6:25pm
    I find it even more disappointing that I was blamed for these posts even though I would never use such language to anyone even my worst enemies. That said I don't have any enemies that I know of anyway.
    Anonymous
    7th Feb 2018
    10:58am
    BigBear, I did not at any time blame you - or even suspect you. It was the mischief-maker who named you. But you were very offensive in your response when I said I didn't make certain posts and explained what had occurred. I was stressed by what was happening, and I think it was rather nasty of you to add to that in the way you did.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    7th Feb 2018
    3:49pm
    Well it doesn't take much to stress you then Rainey. I thought it was very funny and still do.
    musicveg
    7th Feb 2018
    3:54pm
    You have a warped sense of humour, why did you change your name BigBear?
    VeryCaringBigBear
    7th Feb 2018
    4:10pm
    BigBear was the name I registered my account with. However I have since changed it to CaringBigBear.
    Anonymous
    7th Feb 2018
    5:01pm
    But you were disturbed by being blamed, UNCARING BigBear? So nastiness and hurt is fine as long as it doesn't impact you. Yes, musicveg, he sure does have a warped sense of humour. And he certainly isn't ''caring'' by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I would say he's the most UNCARING and UNPLEASANT person I've ever come across.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    7th Feb 2018
    5:22pm
    There you go gain Rainey having another go at me.

    No I wasn't surprised at all when I was blamed and had a good chuckle to myself. I certainly was not disturbed at all. In fact I thought that after all the bad language you have used against me it was just water off a duck's back. So no it didn't concern me and I'm glad someone finally stood up to you and showed you how nastiness is not just one sided.

    I have never been nasty to anyone here myself.
    Anonymous
    8th Feb 2018
    1:05pm
    It's hard to believe anyone could be so arrogant as to think you are not nasty, BigBear. You are VERY VERY VERY NASTY. And you have certainly been extremely offensive to me and made comments that could not fail to hurt and offend others. And to think this fraudster's conduct was amusing is as vile and nasty as it gets.

    Your name should be VERY VERY NASTY BIG BEAR.
    Anonymous
    10th Feb 2018
    8:58am
    Ah, but why wouldn't a fraudster applaud another fraudster's behaviour. Why should I be surprised that someone defrauding society enjoys seeing other fraudsters at work.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    11th Feb 2018
    9:30am
    I'm no fraudster so I have no idea who you are referring to.

    6th Feb 2018
    11:32am
    Seems to me a lot here think life somewhere else is much better without having been there. Still reckon we have a great country and if you spend some time in foreign climes you'd think so too.
    Lookfar
    6th Feb 2018
    7:05pm
    Which comment are you replying to, Jim?

    6th Feb 2018
    11:43am
    Agree with Charlie telling the UN to go away. But we will have to leave that organisation and with a certain Mr Rudd dead keen to lead the thing I would call it a fat chance for that to happen.
    Lookfar
    7th Feb 2018
    3:46pm
    Why on Earth would you want Australia to leave the UN. Jim, - is there any other organisation trying to develop world peace that you know of? (and I don't mean the Hari Krishnas).
    So do you think it is OK that as America declines, so China should take over Australia?
    Or do you just think that the Indonesians should have us and repopulate Australia with Javanese, like they are doing in West Papua, - as soon as we have no more spare parts for our high tech American war planes?
    Indonesians make very harsh colonial masters "Cowboy" Jim, you should read up on how they treat the non-Indonesian indigenous population, what shadow of the word Genocide would you apply? - would you survive?
    maxchugg
    9th Feb 2018
    11:39am
    Lookfar, take a look at two sites which I have posted previously and show the U.N. in action and how how hypocritical and partisan they really are, then maybe you will understand why we should terminate their funding and ignore them.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhWgZu6tcZU

    https://www.unwatch.org/algeria-jews-hillel-neuer-u-n-human-rights-council/

    After you have watched these videos, do you think that the U.N. would be a better friend to us than it is to Israel? Do you think we should continue to fund them?
    maxchugg
    8th Feb 2018
    9:22am
    The attitude of people to the political leaders is understandable, but alarming, particularly when it is combined with Australians being constantly brainwashed into accepting the fact that we are a genocidal racist bunch and any chance of national pride is totally destroyed.

    In the middle 1930s a similar situation existed in Germany and was exploited with enormous success by a little man who initially restored national pride, solved unemployment and inflation problems and would have been an international hero if he had stopped there.

    Remember the adage that those who fail to learn from the errors of the past are doomed to repeat them.

    8th Feb 2018
    1:04pm
    This is what we get when the arsehole Liberals (Lieberals) are in power.
    VeryCaringBigBear
    11th Feb 2018
    9:28am
    Unfortunately a change of government will cause things to go from bad to worse.
    Lookfar
    11th Feb 2018
    10:35am
    "Very caring" Bigbear, it might be beneficial for you to re-read the article without donning your prejudice spectacles, the which you have possibly been given by the political party of your choice, - possibly you could become genuinely caring by getting rid of those attitudes, - grinding those bigoted uncaring spectacles under you heels.


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