Wednesday, July 21, 2004


573,000 unemployed and the government are satisfied.

Peter Costello commended this result in his budget speech. Even if we were to believe this figure it still means more than half a million living at a level much lower than that is recognised as poverty.

The point is though that the real figure is very much higher. A lot of people simply don't register for the dole.

Understandably, they find it too much hassle. To make the figures look better, the government does its utmost to make it as hard as possible. It is not easy satisfying their demands for "mutual obligation" so many say "why bother" that is if they know that their unemployment is seasonal and work is around the corner. But they are still unemployed and their non-registry makes it look as if the government is improving things in relation to unemployment.

Supposedly there is the same proportion of the work force unemployed today as there was ten years ago But the finance reporter on ABC TV News has pointed out that we actually work ten percent less in terms of hours worked.

How is this explained? The government has redefined full time work to include many who should only be classified as part time.

We will be shortly facing another Federal election. Neither party Liberal nor Labor is promising anything, which will provide significantly more jobs, let alone fight unemployment.

Mark Latham's learn or earn ultimatum will only make miserable for young people who hate education. Half a million unemployed forced to do training only leads to half a million-trained unemployed. It does not create jobs.

Turning unemployed into students is also another way of fudging the figures. Whether studying or not we are still living in poverty. In fact there is a disincentive to study as those on TEAS receive less than the dole.

The Liberals are in fact quite happy with half a million unemployed. Any more, they say will lead to a rise in interest rates. For them, interest rates come before our survival.

They are also quite happy because they can utilize our labour for nothing -- work for the dole. Under work for the dole many unemployed do all sorts of jobs including concreting, painting, land clearing carpentry, nurses and teachers aid work. This is work, which previously was carried out by fully paid full time workers.

Work for the dole is a job attacking exercise, not a job creating one. Yet Labor remains silent. And the ACTU whilst in policy opposes work for the dole does nothing actively to fight it. They also do nothing to fight unemployment in general.

An important demand in the struggle against unemployment is for a shorter working week without loss of pay. .It's simple. As workers are laid off the working week should be reduced so there are enough jobs for all of us.

The unions understand this in principle. A reduction of the working week is stated policy for every union and for the ACTU. Once upon a time they fought for a thirty five-hour week. This has fallen by the way side. Now they hope to pursue Labor to adopt better policies. In the pursuit of this futility they have sold out both their own members and the unemployed.

StandUp! Believes that way to force others to listen on the issue of unemployment is a strong and militant unemployed organisation. This is what we are committed to build. If you wish to join us or give us your support in any way contact us now.

By StandUp NEWS posted 21 July 04
Phone 95992717
Fridays Mobile 0423 670 417


Mark Latham's, token gestures for older unemployed
StandUp appreciates the fact that Mark Latham is concerned about older unemployed people. His specialist job network proposal aimed at older people might provide a bit of assistance.

Department of Housing Tenants
A leaflet put out by the Inner city Tenants Advice and Advocacy Service contains some interesting information about how the Carr Government is planning to take some more rights away from the Department of Housing tenants.

Work for the dole failure for two thirds
"The study provides strong support for our view that 'Work for the Dole' is a "cruel hoax" that fails to truly help jobseekers." ACOSS President Andrew McCallum.

Bonus prompts baby talk, principal says
A western Sydney school principal says the Federal Government's $3,000 baby bonus is encouraging his students to fall pregnant.

Government ignoring housing crisis: ACOSS
There are 100,000 homeless people nationwide and one third of those are children. The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) says low-income families are facing a crisis in affordable housing that the Federal Government is choosing to ignore.

Youth welfare system unfair: ACOSS
The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) is warning urgent action is needed to fix youth poverty and disincentives for the unemployed to improve their job prospects.

Australia: Private job network agency blues
Can you trust a private job network agency? No you can't! A friend of ours is registered at MTC Marrickville. This agency has a practice of forcing unemployed to fill out preparing for work agreements. Of course they didn't offer him any work! So why was he cut off the dole?

Work for the dole? $10.00?
StandUp! Wishes to draw your attention to a serious attack on all of us--work for the dole. We were assured that unemployed would not be forced to work in areas where employed workers would normally be employed.

If we want to survive we must work at it Indigenous unemployment reaching crisis: welfare group Action to lower Indigenous unemployment rate Govt underspends on indigenous employment: dept Economic development: The outback malaise Call for end to Indigenous welfare cycle.

Howard's Job Network Bailout
Up to 670,000 people on disability support pensions will be encouraged to sign up to the Job Network under a radical new plan to get disabled people off social services and into work.

The Criminal Law (Rehabilitation of Offenders) Act 1986 Qld
The Criminal Law (Rehabilitation of Offenders) Act 1986 (Qld), requires that any person who has committed an offence which is less than 10 years old or which resulted in a prison sentence of more than 30 months, must disclose that offence if requested eg. for employment purposes. If a criminal record is disclosed in a job application, it is unlikely that person will be given the job.

Shoplifting and homelessness
Shoplifting increased by 7.5 per cent last year, making it the only major crime category to register a significant increase in 2002, crime statistics show. "It's a chain reaction kind of thing. No payments, more crime. More crime, more cops. More cops, more harassment. It goes back to the bloody payments, basically," he said.

Democrats approve tougher welfare penalties: But how does that pan out? There used to be an old saying in Australia" if you're hungry steal a sheep and leave the pelt on the fence. How do you plead, Peter Saunders?

Social services groups swamped
A new report has revealed higher costs and increasing demands are forcing [social services] groups to turn more people away.

Fears for poor if Social Services take a social slide?
The director of the NSW Council for Social Service, Alan Kirkland, said it was very difficult to balance the impact of problem gambling against the broader community benefits.

Social Services small change? Or wast the money on WAR!
Lone parents on [social services] average 12 years of benefits - and are often worse off if they work. But reforming the system is risky and often costly, Bettina Arndt explains.

Name removed by request served time in prison decades ago. Shes still being punished today. According to commonwealth and state legislation, ex-prisoners applying for jobs must declare any conviction that fits into the following categories: less than 10 years old, more than 10 years old but served more than 30 months in prison.

Unemployed farm postings would cost jobs: AWU
The Australian Workers Union has rejected a proposal to place work-for-the-dole participants on drought-affected rural properties.

Tough luck! Kicks the poor to death
Australia is urged to adopt a United States-style welfare system, [?] cut welfare spending [social services spending] and encourage people to help themselves in a book on poverty published today.

Economy benefiting from non-profit institutions
Non-profit institutions are contributing $30 billion a year to Australia's economy. The Australian Bureau of Statistics has found about a third of that comes from volunteers who worked free for more than 550 million hours in 1999/2000.

NSW prisons - primary industry bailed up!
In many quiet regional centres around NSW there is a new primary industry shaping up. It has something to do with Bail but not with bales. The minister for Agriculture Richard Amery who also has the prisons portfolio is now committed to farming prisoners.

Robin Egan
Two thirds of fines are never collected because they go beyond the means of the defendants and because in lots of cases people do not see that they are responsible. Especially where people know their in the right and no fine ought to have been a penalty.