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(News.com.au)   Australia announces 80,000 unemployed people to be forced to work for their welfare checks   (news.com.au ) divider line
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13507 clicks; posted to Main » on 17 Jun 2007 at 3:29 AM (8 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2007-06-17 03:28:23 AM  
I just love the way our Gov. fudges unemployment figures.
Working casually? You aren't unemployed!
Working for 2hrs a week? You aren't unemployed!
Working voluntarily? You aren't unemployed!
And now: Working as a Government-sold slave? Congratulations, you are no longer "unemployed".

It is election year here, and the skewing of statistics is our encumbents preferred form of lying.

Not heroes at all.
 
2007-06-17 03:33:35 AM  
mitsubachi: Not heroes at all.

There's something wrong with making people work for free money?
 
2007-06-17 03:35:04 AM  
I thought we recycled all of the world's poor into alternative fuels and skin cream and robot oil

>hic<
 
2007-06-17 03:42:46 AM  
I see NOTHING wrong with making people getting government handouts actually do something that benefits society to earn their checks.

Sitting on the sofa watching Jerry Springer and eating off-brand cheetos is not being a productive memeber of society, yet we give people money to do just that when they claim they cannot find work.

Obviously, if the govt has work for them to do, then the excuse of "I just can't find work" no longer applies.
 
2007-06-17 03:42:57 AM  
whitewater.biz


mmmm Robot oil
 
2007-06-17 03:44:22 AM  
But... if you make these people work for welfare, they won't have time to sit around on their asses all day!

I mean, why can't we just print a whole bunch more money? Then everyone could have all the money they want and everyone would be happy!

If the welfare people don't want to work for welfare, you have two options:

1) Get a real job and get off of welfare, or
2) Starve.

Oh, and I forgot option 3. The most likely option:

3) biatch and moan about the unfairness of the system, have a big protest/hug-a-thon/riot and scare the politicians into giving you more stuff to which you're not entitled.

/Meh.
 
ABH
2007-06-17 03:45:02 AM  
"Maybe we could recycle the homeless into something we use everyday, like tyres!"

" - Wow Thats a good one, Randy!"
 
2007-06-17 03:46:23 AM  
Yeah? You know who else was Australian?

Hitler, that's who.

/wait...what?
 
2007-06-17 03:48:50 AM  
I_Make_Jebus_Cry: I see NOTHING wrong with making people getting government handouts actually do something that benefits society to earn their checks.

Well, technically you're supposed to be spending that time writing the godawful selection criteria responses that 9/10 job applications require. It can easily take a day to write up one application.

We make them prove to Centrelink that they are applying for a certain number of jobs per fortnight. I think that demonstrating that is enough effort. And Work for the Dole is basically busywork to keep the unemployment stats down. The money would be much better spent on further voc ed to make these people employable.
 
2007-06-17 03:49:17 AM  
Gets my vote!

My S.O.'s ex has NEVER worked. (Well, unless you count the three months she thought she was Jennifer Beals from Flashdance and tried welding...)

She has claimed welfare for about 20 years now. She is mid 30s and left school at 14.

I would love to see her forced to get a job. Especially since she only paid us $12 every three weeks for child support for her son, because she was "unemployed". Yet we now have to find $85 a week, simply because we are good honest hardworking citizens (who now find it even harder to make ends meet).

/this topic makes my blood boil. Big time.
 
2007-06-17 03:49:32 AM  
Best idea evar! There's way too many people on the dole right now just because they don't feel like working. It's too easy to get away with crap like trowing job interviews just to avoid working at McDonalds or whatever, and to just sit on the beach all day surfing on taxpayer's money.

This is awesome. Hopefully many of these work dodgers will end up in real jobs because of this - since at least with real jobs they have somewhat of a choice of what they'll be doing.
 
2007-06-17 03:50:16 AM  
Also, I think you'll find that the Australian opinion on welfare is a bit different to the American one. Sure, Today Tonight runs omg dole bludger stories, but I'm fairly sure most of us think that is the exception and not the rule.
 
2007-06-17 03:53:33 AM  
So, um, what are these people being employed to DO? The way the article reads is that it's internship or other training, which I would interpet as education, not employment. Correspondingly, if it is employment - if these are available jobs, why is there an employment problem?

/ oh no, I've gone cross-eyed.
// Help!
 
2007-06-17 03:56:19 AM  
I'm a little confused by the lack of information in the article. Are they giving people jobs, having them sit in an office and calling it work, or just cutting them off?
 
2007-06-17 03:56:24 AM  
So anyway, negating anything else related to the thread and article, I learned that the dole is the Australian word for what America calls welfare.
 
2007-06-17 03:57:59 AM  
starsrift: So, um, what are these people being employed to DO? The way the article reads is that it's internship or other training, which I would interpet as education, not employment. Correspondingly, if it is employment - if these are available jobs, why is there an employment problem?

/ oh no, I've gone cross-eyed.
// Help!


AFAIK, it depends. Sometimes it's physical labour, sometimes it's being treated like shiat in an office because you're a free body. Occasionally it's placement somewhere you might get a real job.

The wiki says:

Placements are available in a wide range of areas including heritage, the environment, arts, community care, tourism, sport and making and maintaining community services and facilities. Most projects benefit the general community through services and adding value to civic assets, however, some projects in drought affected areas are designed to benefit private enterprise (through the Drought Force scheme).

I remember reading that there's a real issue with placements in rural and regional Australia, as there's just not enough jobs around that are vacant to be given a real chance to be taken on afterwards.
 
2007-06-17 03:59:08 AM  
Xinkz: So anyway, negating anything else related to the thread and article, I learned that the dole is the Australian word for what America calls welfare.

The dole is a specific part: unemployment benefits. There's other aspects to welfare (single parent pension, disability pension, carer payment) that would not be called 'the dole'.
 
2007-06-17 04:00:11 AM  
Harriet Vane

Also, I think you'll find that the Australian opinion on welfare is a bit different to the American one. Sure, Today Tonight runs omg dole bludger stories, but I'm fairly sure most of us think that is the exception and not the rule.


+1 on this.

Yeah, and honestly, I couldn't care less that some of my tax money is supporting the lifestyles of potheads who bludge off the system.

Pretty much every society has a small minority of people who are just plain useless. I prefer them to be dole bludgers than criminals who would slit my throat for their next meal/fix/drink/whatever.

Even from a plain self-preservation perspective, having some level of welfare to keep the chronically useless from becoming a dangerous underclass is a good thing. Never mind the social equlity aspect - that's a more ideologically charged argument which doesn't sell as well among a strongly anti-socialist mentality (which many/most Americans have).
 
2007-06-17 04:00:26 AM  
I've been on the Dole here in Australia, it is shiat. You're better off working than jumping through all the damn hoops, and if you work hard enough at jumping through all the damn hoops, you deserve the crap money they give you.
 
2007-06-17 04:00:53 AM  
People who are just find sitting on their ass all day collecting checks must have some sort of mental illness. As much as I don't really like getting up to go to work, I think I would go crazy if I did that.
 
2007-06-17 04:00:59 AM  
Harriet Vane

One of my relatives (not proud to say it) was required to show evidence that he was looking for a job when he was on unemployment. His solution was to apply to every job possible that he was technically qualified for, but could not get. Like a security officer job when he was well out of shape, or a delivery job that implied you needed a car when he did not have one.

There's a way around any system.
 
2007-06-17 04:04:38 AM  
what the fark is a dole?
 
2007-06-17 04:04:42 AM  
starsrift: So, um, what are these people being employed to DO? The way the article reads is that it's internship or other training, which I would interpet as education, not employment. Correspondingly, if it is employment - if these are available jobs, why is there an employment problem?

JWideman: I'm a little confused by the lack of information in the article. Are they giving people jobs, having them sit in an office and calling it work, or just cutting them off?

Work for the Dole often incorporates office work or manual labour. But more often than not it's weeding government office gardens, or picking up trash off the side of roads or planting trees and stuff.
 
2007-06-17 04:05:11 AM  
ViperCTW

One of my relatives (not proud to say it) was required to show evidence that he was looking for a job when he was on unemployment. His solution was to apply to every job possible that he was technically qualified for, but could not get. Like a security officer job when he was well out of shape, or a delivery job that implied you needed a car when he did not have one.


You don't even have to go to that extent. If you really don't want the job, there are plenty of subtle ways to sabotage interviews. Like, picking your nose and wiping it on their curtains or something.
 
2007-06-17 04:06:21 AM  
ViperCTW, of course there is a way around any system. And there'll be a way around this system. And the system after that. I'd rather pay for the freeloaders than toughen the restrictions and have people not get the paltry Centrelink cash they need to afford to live. Frankly, having dealt with the farkwits at Centrelink as a student, I decided not to bother claiming Youth Allowance. These are people who send questionnaires to any male and female who have been sharing a house for more than six months or so, even if there's also other people living there, on the basis that omg they're rorting the system! Some might say getting one over on Centrelink is a farking civic service at this point.
 
2007-06-17 04:07:28 AM  
craigzy: what the fark is a dole?

You fail English? Unpossible!

Dole is pineapple, craigzy. It's pineapple. Go to bed.
 
2007-06-17 04:07:29 AM  
craigzy: what the fark is a dole?

Unemployment benefits.
 
2007-06-17 04:12:06 AM  
For those interested, this is taken straight from the Newstart Allowance page of Centrelink's website:

Single, no children - $424.30 per fortnight
Single, with children - $458.90 per fortnight
Single, aged 60 or over, after 9 months - $464.70 per fortnight
Partnered - $382.80 (each) per fortnight

You then get taxed on that amount, and any income your partner makes gets taken into account and deducted according to a formula from the payment. If your partner earns more than about $35K, you pretty much get nothing unless you have some kiddies.
 
2007-06-17 04:15:56 AM  
Harriet Vane

ViperCTW, of course there is a way around any system. And there'll be a way around this system. And the system after that. I'd rather pay for the freeloaders than toughen the restrictions and have people not get the paltry Centrelink cash they need to afford to live. Frankly, having dealt with the farkwits at Centrelink as a student, I decided not to bother claiming Youth Allowance. These are people who send questionnaires to any male and female who have been sharing a house for more than six months or so, even if there's also other people living there, on the basis that omg they're rorting the system! Some might say getting one over on Centrelink is a farking civic service at this point.


That's true. Centrelink is full of airheads. I was on the dole for 2 months once (between jobs for 5 months, and I only bothered to apply for it when my savings started to deplete).

The worst thing about it was the utter insistence that you have to do your utmost to get jobs even if they are way outside your usual field of employment. At the seminar, the guy actually said (direct quote): "Even if you're a Doctor and you're offered a manual labour job, you have to do everything you can to take it, even if there are Doctoring jobs to go around, if the manual job offer came first."

First of all, WTF is a "doctoring job"? Second of all, what is the point of trying to force people into jobs which they are just going to be looking to leave ASAP? It's not good for the employer, it's not good for the job seeker, it's not good for anyone. I do agree that long term unemployed with no skills should just take whatever they can get, but the reasoning they use for more general cases is just plain retarded.
 
2007-06-17 04:16:54 AM  
If I remember rightly Giulliani did this in NYC. When I read about it then I thought it was a superb idea and I hoped someone in the UK would take his lead.
 
2007-06-17 04:21:09 AM  
Now lets watch as people who have no clue about how Australian welfare works, try to apply their local standards to it and provide much amusement for all the Aussies.
 
2007-06-17 04:21:18 AM  
Melgania, you have to take a manual labour job over a doctoring job, but, for instance, I believe* the Child Support Agency calculates payments based on how much you should be earning i.e. if you're a doctor, a hell of a lot more than manual labourer's salary.

One of my friends is gay, and lives with two girls and another guy. One of the girls was, in Centrelink's view, clearly his girlfriend despite being told numerous times that they were not together. He got a nasty letter in the mail saying 'fill this out or else' and quizzed about his sex life. He wasn't receiving any payments, but he did it so that she could keep hers.

In my case, they refused to pay me until I gave them my new husband's TFN. New husband was not on a working visa at that time, so didn't have a TFN. So in order to claim the whole $20, we had to go change his visa over ASAP and get a TFN. Getting a TFN alone takes 30 days. Centrelink wanted it in 14 days, because God forbid Commonwealth agencies work in anything like a coordinated fashion. We walked out and didn't bother going back.

*but am too lazy to look it up
 
2007-06-17 04:25:16 AM  
Harriet Vane

For those interested, this is taken straight from the Newstart Allowance page of Centrelink's website:

Single, no children - $424.30 per fortnight


I'm surprised it's not higher now. I was on it in 2002. I seem to remember getting around $419 or something. I'm pretty sure it was in the high teens of the $410s anyway. Seems like it hasn't kept up with inflation too well. I remember even basic stuff like milk, bread, and meat was much cheaper back then than this difference would account for. Not to even mention petrol.
 
2007-06-17 04:27:28 AM  
I've been through the Australian Work for the Dole, And its complete bulls*it. Pointless busywork to skew the unemployment figures, and does precisely nil to improve your chance to get a job. Its punishment for the heinous crime of being unemployed.
 
2007-06-17 04:33:24 AM  
I love how the people that criticize welfare have no idea of what it entails to get the benefits, nor any idea of how to maintain them, nor the benefits of support those that want to work until they get employed.

Rock on fellow Americans. We will ride this ride to hell in a hand basket.
 
2007-06-17 04:36:30 AM  
MrTuffPaws: I love how the people that criticize welfare have no idea of what it entails to get the benefits, nor any idea of how to maintain them, nor the benefits of support those that want to work until they get employed.

Rock on fellow Americans. We will ride this ride to hell in a hand basket.


Surely you should know by now that knowledge of the topic at hand is not a prerequisite for joining in a Fark thread. It's much more fun to go OMG THEY IS STEALING OUR BUKKET MONEY!
 
2007-06-17 04:48:47 AM  
Job seekers are obliged to participate in the program after they have been unemployed for six months.

"So where the bloody hell are ya?"
 
2007-06-17 04:49:43 AM  
Most work for the dolies around here end up on the side of a road in a yellow jacket picking up trash.

I dont know why the government doesnt ENCOURAGE people to do tafe courses etc.Any cert 4 or diploma courses end up getting austudy instead of newstart which makes you 150+ worse off every fortnight since you cant get rent assistence on austudy.
 
2007-06-17 04:51:24 AM  
mandible2: I dont know why the government doesnt ENCOURAGE people to do tafe courses etc.Any cert 4 or diploma courses end up getting austudy instead of newstart which makes you 150+ worse off every fortnight since you cant get rent assistence on austudy.

TAFE needs to come under HECS-HELP, too. That you have to pay upfront is a big turn off for a lot of people. Though, if you're on the dole, you get reduced rates I think.

It's also tough to apply for jobs when you have to write pages and pages of application for each one. It's not like it's just handing around resumes--at least, not if you're looking for anything more than McDonalds.
 
2007-06-17 04:53:29 AM  
Enrolment is paid for by centrelink,but no help for textbooks etc.

Unless your living rent free you pretty much cant live on austudy.
 
2007-06-17 04:54:37 AM  
There are unemployed people in Australia at the moment? Every third store/cafe/office/whatever in the Perth metro area has "Help Wanted" signs in the window.

Heck, I *wanted* to be unemployed but I found work after only firing off my CV at seek.com.au less than half a dozen times over two days. Now I've probably got a full time job through to xmas.
 
2007-06-17 04:57:07 AM  
Krisjohn: There are unemployed people in Australia at the moment? Every third store/cafe/office/whatever in the Perth metro area has "Help Wanted" signs in the window.

Yeah, but most unemployed people aren't in Perth. It'd be neat if they were all where the jobs are. I think there's a pilot program going on between two regions where one has a lot of unemployed people (somewhere on the east coast) and they're giving up to $5K in grants to job seekers to move to somewhere in the west to take up positions. However, the housing situation everywhere doesn't help.
 
2007-06-17 04:57:50 AM  
mandible2

Most work for the dolies around here end up on the side of a road in a yellow jacket picking up trash.

I dont know why the government doesnt ENCOURAGE people to do tafe courses etc.Any cert 4 or diploma courses end up getting austudy instead of newstart which makes you 150+ worse off every fortnight since you cant get rent assistence on austudy.


This.

Also, if they were really serious about stamping out abuse of the system, they'd reduce the cash handouts in favour of food stamps and such.

What is the biggest issue with cash handouts? It's that people become lifestyle dole bludgers and buy booze and weed with the money instead of what it's really intended for and get jobs ASAP. If there were coupons and stamps for giving you basics like food and shelter, but the cash handout component was small so it wasn't enough to spent it on drugs and alcohol once other life incidentals were paid for, it would certainly discourage a lot of the typical abuses we see here.

But yeah, you're right in that one of the main issues is the lack of incendive for further education and training.
 
2007-06-17 05:04:02 AM  
Great, that'll free them up more time for job interviews to re-integrate with society.

Oh, wait...
 
2007-06-17 05:04:14 AM  
If you earn under a certain amount, you are eligible for the Low-Income Health Care Card, a card which gives you massive discounts at TAFE ($70 - $140/Sem instead of $2000+/Sem)

Students often have it better cos they can get student discounts, and don't have to look for work. and they can work as much as they want as long as they report earnings to Centrelink and attend more that 80% of classes, you don't even need to pass em.
 
2007-06-17 05:06:23 AM  
My step mother was on welfare for a good while until she passed away a few years ago. Due to some gigantic fark ups by my sister she was uncerimoniously kicked out of an apartment and left to take care of her son and my sister's two children.

I took her 6 months to get welfare. She found housing in possibly one of the worst areas in brooklyn (thats not saying a lot I know) In a building that had holes in the floor.

She wasn't a lazy person, it took everything she could think of just to get enough food for the kids. Not every peson on welfare is just lazing about on the dole. Some people are doing all they can just to maintain and are in a situation through no fault of their own.
 
2007-06-17 05:09:23 AM  
Interestingly enough, something like this was tried during the great depression with the department of public works. Though that was used to combat high rates of unemployment amongst younger people who could not get jobs and simply hung out all day causing trouble before going to the daily soup lines to get their food.

The problems back then were due to rampant unemployment which the already bankrupted and ruined economy couldn't support. Modern industrial countries have low rates of unemployment that the economies can easily handle. The truth of the matter is, that we as a society aren't being helpful enough to those who actually deserve the benefits of unemployment and are all too ready to look for shenequa and her 5 crack babies hanging out in Chicago mooching money for the babies she cranks out.

I personally find government assisted job-placement or the creation of government jobs (like road work, ditch digging, etc) for the unemployed completely acceptable. It may not be in the income range you're looking for, but hey I guess you shouldn't have bought that 40,000 dollar car and put down a 20,000 payment on a new house as soon as you got your first out of college job, right?
 
2007-06-17 05:09:58 AM  
Melgania: If there were coupons and stamps for giving you basics like food and shelter, but the cash handout component was small so it wasn't enough to spent it on drugs and alcohol once other life incidentals were paid for, it would certainly discourage a lot of the typical abuses we see here.

would increase crime too.
 
2007-06-17 05:14:09 AM  
Krisjohn

There are unemployed people in Australia at the moment? Every third store/cafe/office/whatever in the Perth metro area has "Help Wanted" signs in the window.


It's not just in Perth. You see the same here in Melbourne when wandering around any cafe strip or such.

But I'm guessing most of the unemployment now has more to do with certain specific industries being depressed than anything else. People don't want to wait tables if they've been professionals for years. I can relate to how farked up that can be by the way. I finished Uni in 2001 (Computer Science) just as the Tech Bubble burst, so I've had nowhere near the easymode early career that CompSci grads had in the mid/late 90s. But I've basically caught up now.

I don't know which particularly qualified field is depressed right now. I'm guessing that, out of that 5% unemployment we have now, probably half are bums who choose to be unemployed, and the other half are people with some genuine issue of being in a particular niche where they currently can't get jobs, but are unwilling to give up trying to get a job in their given field just yet. And of course, a small number are just statistically unlucky and get stuck unemployed for longer than they should.
 
2007-06-17 05:22:20 AM  
slimshaydee

Melgania: If there were coupons and stamps for giving you basics like food and shelter, but the cash handout component was small so it wasn't enough to spent it on drugs and alcohol once other life incidentals were paid for, it would certainly discourage a lot of the typical abuses we see here.

would increase crime too.


Point taken.

But that reminds me of that other clusterfark - the Prohibition (of drugs). Is there ever any mugging or robbery in Melbourne that isn't eventually traced to a heroin habit as the underlying cause?

Would be too much of a threadjack to go into that discussion now. That, plus I'm off for tonight so can't get into it. :)
 
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