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Posted

Sep 13, 2011

Helping the poor – or resenting them?

It's revealing how vastly differently various

Pure Poison IconIt’s revealing how vastly differently various individuals can view the same news, isn’t it? For example, what’s your reaction to this story?

The ABS survey reveals that government pensions or benefits are the main source of income for one in four households, which get by on an average of $557 a week.

Mine is sadness at the extent of poverty, and a determination to support policies to help these people – the same story reports that the “average” household is spending $1236 on goods and services, more than double the income of more than a quarter of Australian households. These are people – and children – struggling, living very difficult lives, and I’d support policies that would, through the tax system, make sure that they had access to decent public services. These are people who need our help.

Alternatively, you could take the attitude of the compassionate Mr Bolt:

So many dependents, living dependent lives

This doesn’t sound healthy…

The clear insinuation is that we should be reducing the assistance we give the people at the bottom of capitalism’s pile. Bolt’s readers certainly got the hint:

This is insane, welfare is not meant to be a lifestyle choice! It is a supposed to be a safety net for those who have no other choice and have lost the means to take care of themselves.

That one if four families are reliant on welfare is an utter disgrace and a testament to the insidious nature of welfare. This needs to stop and it needs to stop now. The nation cannot afford this welfare. It can’t afford the monetary cost and it can’t afford the social cost (which is much greater).

Individual responsibility should be king. Before saying ‘can you help me’ people need to ask ‘can I help myself?’
MattR of Melbourne (Reply)

Yes and with every boat load we pay more & more while the workers get slugged & Gillard-Brown just keeps pledging money. What about US !!!!!!! She will probably rise the retirement age to 80 while she has the nerve to say she cant afford the baby boomers to retire & we have payed TAXES ALL OUR WORKING LIVES. Stop the boats Gillard- Brown and you will save BILLIONS a year then maybe you can back off taxing us.

Disgusted (Reply)
Wed 07 Sep 11 (07:27am)

Park replied to michael
Wed 07 Sep 11 (08:36am)

Michael,
you obviously don’t deal with lots of people otherwise you’d know that the welfare system is being rorted and comprehensively at that! When people are not just encouraged but pretty much instructed on how to get more and more out of the government and when they use this information to budget their lifestyle you know you have a problem. When they feel no shame about the money they get from the government whilst showing off about how easy it is to rort the system. Personally in that situation I always remind the rorters that the government does not have a bank unless of course they regard me and everyone they see walking around in the office as a bank. Only then some of them look a little embarrassed.

larg replied to michael
Wed 07 Sep 11 (08:38am)

i have a better idea, i’ll stop working then there won’t be any money for dolebludgers like you.

You get the idea. (They certainly did.)

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30 comments

30 thoughts on “Helping the poor – or resenting them?

  1. Post hoc

    fractious

    Jonathon Swift has a similar solution almost 300 years ago, but they were Irish 😉

  2. PeeBee

    Don’t know about the rest of you, but I am waiting for Col’s comments. Maybe he is a little hurt that his hero has turned on him?

  3. Bellistner

    Addendum: And he lives like a student, which is why he owns his own house and car, instead of having a $500k mortage, $100k boat loan, $50k on credit cards and a pair of flash new cars on Dealer Finance in the driveway.

  4. Bellistner

    My brother is one of the #NewPoor. His taxes essentially pay to support three or four ‘dolies’ or whatever. Yet, since he has a conscience, he has no significant issues with the use of his tax money.

    Secret Muslim Communism obviously runs in our family.

  5. GaryM

    “Go ALP, who knew John Howard was a lefty? ”

    Yea Right! John Howard turned social welfare on its head and many social welfare recipients committed suicide as a result. Your observations about Gillard are none the less true, this is one of the reasons why she is finished. True believers (like myself)abandoned this party years ago. The party was taken over by a gaggle of over educated num nuts who in the main, couldn’t find their own arse holes with both hands. They are too pragmatic and rule by poll results.

  6. Adam

    Remember John Howard’s Job Network rort which saw the good old Salvo’s busted for cooking the books?

    [ELEANOR HALL: Three employment agencies involved in the Federal Government’s Job Network have been found to have misused more than $10 million worth of taxpayer-funded grants which were designed to help the unemployed.

    The Federal Government has forced Australia’s biggest employment agency, the Salvation Army’s Employment Plus, to repay $9 million and two other agencies have now repaid $3 million for wrongly reclassifying jobseekers as highly disadvantaged, thereby attracting a higher service fee.

    The Government is still dealing with a fourth member for alleged misuse of funds. But the Labor Party says the Government still has not come to grips with the problem because it’s refusing to tighten the Job Network guidelines.]

    http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2006/s1604688.htm

    It’a shame Julia Gillard has gone further to the Right of Howard on those on welfare, the poorest and most vulnerbale in society extending welfare quarantining (income management) across the country, doubling the “mutual obligation” requirements of the long-term unemployed, suspending people’s payments in full (as opposed to a breach) until they comply with all Centrelink directives, making it even harder for applicants to get the disability pension in future by making the impairment tests even more stringent, making all current DSP recipients under the age of 35 adhere to the new impairment tables thus meaning they will too have to now meet “mutual obligation” requirements (see link) and of course cracking down on teenage parents.

    Go ALP, who knew John Howard was a lefty?

    [DISABILITY reforms will tip tens of thousands more people than predicted off the Disability Support Pension and on to the dole, saving the government $111.8 million more than forecast, a Senate committee has heard.

    The National Council on Intellectual Disability has tested the government’s new impairment tables used to assess a person’s work capacity and found every person with a intellectual disability and an IQ of between 70 and 79 would fail to get the pension.

    The government is introducing several measures to tighten access to the Disability Support Pension, which it believes is growing unsustainably.

    The pension is received by 815,000 Australians, up by 100,000 from two years ago.

    New requirements have come into effect that mean most people applying for the DSP will have to provide evidence that they have been unable to obtain employment through an open employment service, a disability employment service or vocational rehabilitation.

    Under these changes, 18,000 DSP applicants are expected to have their claims rejected.

    The government will build on this and from January 1 introduce new impairment tables to assess a disability pension applicant’s capacity to work and keep another 29,000 applicants from receiving the pension.

    The Greens, who hold the balance of power in the Senate, have signalled they oppose the impairment tables and a Senate inquiry is under way.]

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/reforms-tip-disability-pensioners-on-to-dole/story-fn59niix-1226129295948

  7. phyllis stein

    Governments get great value out of NGOs. Making them compete against each other annually for a shrinking pool of money soaks up resources and forces down wage payments and qualification. The Govt couldn’t run the programs for the same cost. Years ago at a Poverty or Something Conference I proposed we all stop making submissions for Govt funding. Drafting submissions for ongoing funding, cooking the books, stroking the funders, it all takes away from service delivery. A bag of money handed out to the needy would cost less. A few middle class social / youf workers might have to upgrade their quals to get real work, but hey, the medicare psychology rebate teat beckons.

  8. GaryM

    “The result was that many worthwhile programs completely lost their sense of purpose and ultimately disappeared because they were not meeting the needs they were set up to meet.”

    Agreed. However the whole social welfare system is an anathema to the conservatives, and they would be happy if it didn’t exist period. Should heaven forbid, Abbott get the lodge with a majority touted by the media at the moment, he will set back social welfare for a hundred years. They (the blue bloods) want an American style system of social welfare and should just come out and say so.

    As an aside the test will be what the union movement will do about it. If they cave in like they did with the Whitlam dismissal, they will give Abbott and his coterie of medieval bully boys, carte blanch to do as they please.

  9. SBH

    And as you point out, agencies are never funded for reasonable wage costs. If we properly funded the community sector to deliver it would stop looking like the cheap option

  10. shepherdmarilyn

    I love the way the haters blame the tiny number of refugees

  11. calyptorhynchus

    Someone once said something along these lines about the welfare state, “sure there are problems with it, and it hasn’t solved poverty overnight, but letting people starve was tried for about 3000 years and it didn’t eliminate poverty; only another 2900 years to go before we can call it a failure.”

  12. Bloods05

    * disappeared

  13. Bloods05

    [Not so. The Howard government’s intention was to slowly remove the social welfare bill from the government coffers period. It was taking away social welfare by stealth. The Howard government could have cared less about the poor and needy and were following their fine tradition “Privatisation ” and actually telling the poor they would be better off.]

    I don’t disagree with your assessment of the motivations of the Howard government, but it remains the case that their stated policy was one of putting service delivery in the hands of the agencies while retaining the responsibility for funding it, and in the event they did nothing of the sort.

    They became more and more prescriptive in their directions to the agencies, and saved money by a combination of providing community sector workers with literally no mechanism for negotiating pay rises on the one hand, and on the other, using competitive tendering processes to ensure that there was always pressure on the agencies to keep reducing costs.

    The result was that many worthwhile programs completely lost their sense of purpose and ultimately diappeared because they were not meeting the needs they were set up to meet.

  14. fractious

    the nation cannot afford this welfare. It can’t afford the monetary cost and it can’t afford the social cost (which is much greater). (MattR)

    Here we come to the crux of the matter, and I think we do Mr Blot and his troupe of bogans rationalists a disservice. We must therefore devise a solution and, following the logic of the above, there is only one obvious approach.

    Shoot them. The aged are well past their useful lives, and as the only life worth living is one filled with usefulness they should be culled. Anyone not too old to move about unassisted should also be shot if found not working – this obviously includes anyone on the bus/ train/ tram/ ferry who is just sitting there occupying TAXPAYER FUNDED seats but not working. It should also include anyone in a car who is not driving – enforcement of this policy will obviously mean more people driving cars, which is good since public transport is one of the worst expressions of communism and more cars means more economic growth which is the whole point isn’t it. Likewise any boatpersons who are not working when discovered floating on bits of flotsam and jetsam in the Indian Ocean should also be shot on sight – this largely will remove the whole illegal immigrants problem (there are simply MILLIONS of them heading over right now) and any missed or partly killed will give the sharks something to do instead of frightening all those decent hard-working battlers working as CEOs for multinational finance corporations taking a well-earned break at the beach (that they own). “Working” as a volunteer or for a volunteer organisation should be made illegal, as it is common knowledge that do-gooders and volunteers are communists in disguise. Genetic engineering should be brought into play to ensure that no newborn babies have what Lefties call a “social conscience” – any that slip through should be strangled at birth (someone I know gave it as his opinion that “greenies should be strangled at birth”, and the obvious implication here is that it is quite easy to distinguish the 12 greeny babies in any batch of 100 newborn, so it is obvious that in this respect “the Science is Settled”).

    Simples.

  15. GaryM

    “Well, in many ways they did do that, based on the assumption that private and community welfare agencies were closer to their clients and therefore better able to service them than public servants.”

    Not so. The Howard government’s intention was to slowly remove the social welfare bill from the government coffers period. It was taking away social welfare by stealth. The Howard government could have cared less about the poor and needy and were following their fine tradition “Privatisation ” and actually telling the poor they would be better off. It is scary that some actually believed it.

    The Gillard government is missing a chance here to reinforce the salient fact that, an Abbott government just may finish what Howard hinted at. But the electorate is slowly finding out, Gillard is a Howard light, and the only salvation if any, will be with the Greens.

  16. joe2

    I would be more worried about taking a paypacket and dependency on an organisation that appears to have been involved in wide-scale criminal activity. It’s a bit pimpy.

  17. Bloods05

    [It wasn’t that long ago the Howard government was contemplating turning the whole social welfare scheme over to the religious charities.]

    Well, in many ways they did do that, based on the assumption that private and community welfare agencies were closer to their clients and therefore better able to service them than public servants. Then they decided to put public servants in charge of setting ever more restrictive rules to tell them how to do their job, meanwhile screwing welfare workers’ wages down to the point where they are now up to 80% lower than those for people performing comparable roles in the public sector. Work that out if you can.

  18. Eponymous

    Also, as always, Bolt’s blog is chock full of whinging, without a single proposed solution.

  19. gtpfb13

    MattR consistently proves beyond doubt that he is a knob end of the highest order. Always got something to say to reinforce his reputation.

  20. Holden Back

    And irony of ironies, most of them read the Herald-Sun, Peter Whitford.

  21. Jay

    I wonder how many of the intellectual minnows on Andys blog are part of “Howards Battlers”? I wonder how many of them have received some sort of government payment despite being on a decent salary? I wonder where their “principles” are if they’re so bent out of shape about welfare payments to those on a quarter of what some of them may earn. Yeah sure I’m speculating, but if it’s good for them…

  22. silkworm

    Ayn Rand whined about social security all her life, until the dirty hypocrite went on a disability pension. She never changed her tune about welfare. She just kept lying to herself and her followers.

  23. Gerry Hatrick, OAP

    Peter, you can’t go slinging facts around with no regard for the cognitive dissonance that results! Facts have no place in this emotive debate, or indeed, any debate! THEY TOOK OUR JOBS!

  24. Peter Whiteford

    And another quarter are working families with children – it’s just that their family payments are higher than their earnings. Another 200,000 (about 10% of the total) are service pensioners – fought for their country types.

  25. Eric Sykes

    Yes indeed much better to have them homeless and starving to death on the streets; we should definitely refuse them any kind of health care and any and all other government services as well, all charities should be forced by rule of law, to only give weak soup and stale bread to wealthy people who, let’s face it, actually contribute to our Glorious Australian Way Of Life.

  26. Peter Whiteford

    Slightly more than half of that 25% are Age Pensioners.

  27. Holden Back

    Bloody pensioners!

  28. monkeywrench

    Salzburg is nice at this time of year, I’m told.

  29. GaryM

    Sad really. That Bolts mindless sheep have these opinions is to be expected. The irony is, it won’t be the RWDB’s that will destroy the social welfare safety net, it will be the people who need it the most. Reason being, for Abbott to gain power a certain percentage of the social welfare recipients, must and will vote for him. It wasn’t that long ago the Howard government was contemplating turning the whole social welfare scheme over to the religious charities. My God! Imagine having to have a tambourine and a healthy singing voice, just to get a meal.

    The conservative’s would have people actually believe they give a flying F. about them. I despair.

  30. SBH

    Honestly, I feel worn out by the dumb hatred and complete failure to understand fellow human beings that bolt’s readers display and frankly dismayed by his tendentious use of these kinds of problems to make money.

    Isn’t it time we found a new path to fighting this sort of hatred stoking. A reframing of the question? No positive suggestions refused