Thursday, February 24, 2005

Peter Saunders shake-up is long overdue: Welfare Not Warfare

Peter Saunders: Many DSP claimants are older men with limited skills who have had difficulty finding work?

Peter Saunders: "FORTY years ago, fewer than one in 30 working-age adults relied on welfare payments as their main source of income. Today the figure is one in six."

But there has been no changes in technology that has made so many workers redundant FORTY YEARS LATER has there Peter?

Looming Costs Exceed Vanishing Revenues

By taxing the bulk of its citizens at levels that significantly hindered their ability to save and build independent wealth, big governments have created a massive poverty trap for large numbers of people involved in the old economy.

Davidson and Rees-Mogg note that in the US, one of the bastions of industrial capitalism and big government, "...fully 65% of Americans have no savings for retirement at all. None. The average American will reach 65 facing expected medical bills of more than $200,000 before death and with a net worth of less than $75,000." This comes at a time when the state no longer has the ability to generate greater tax revenues, or even sustain the levels of previous decades.

Although captive industries that produced "drop in on your foot" products remain within the borders of nation states, neither the enterprises nor the workers that they employ are competitive or viable in a globalised world dominated by magic new technologies.

Firms made bankrupt and workers made unemployed and unemployable by the changes simply will not have the wealth needed to fill the coffers of central taxation agencies.

Substantial requirements for increased funding of welfare support and other adjustment programs are arising at a time when the ability of big governments to raise funds is decreasing exponentially.

Only lean, savvy administrations that are geared to providing value for money services are likely to survive. None of the OECD states fit this description.

Peter Saunders: The Howard Government now wants to stem this increase. Two of the key factors driving the growth of welfare dependency have been the increased numbers claiming Disability Support Pension and Parenting Payments. A cabinet blueprint proposes reforms to both these benefits."

Meanwhile the HoWARd Government is increasing its commitment to the war in Iraq by an additional $300 million a year - a contradiction in terms don't you think Peter?

Peter Saunders: The Labor Party and some 'vociferous' welfare lobby groups seem set to oppose the changes."

Yeah! Especially while HoWARd intends on spending the money on military hardware and warfare opposed to community services.

And after July 1, the fascist federal government has the power to wreak havoc on so many underprivileged, poor and disadvantaged people in the community for his war on terror.

Peter Saunders: "The proportion of the working-age population on DSP has doubled since 1981. Although Australians have been getting healthier, the number of people under 65 defined as incapable of working has swollen to more than 700,000 (much higher than the number of unemployed)."

But some of these people are really "hindered from employment" rather than disabled Peter.

For instance 50,000 people a year go to jail and return back to community completely disabled because when they go to jail they are disabled, whether they were disabled before they went there is another thing.

But those 50,000 people who are unemployed can't get a job because the government has a policy for people who go to jail and that is that 'when they get out they cannot work for the government for the rest of their natural working life'?

Most non government employers won't employ them either because they take the governments lead and even have employment forms asking about previous history in relation to having a criminal record.

Once it's learned that the employee or potential employee has a criminal record they are sacked if they were employed, put on the bottom of the list if they weren't or never given a job at all. And after long periods of being unsuccessful they lose their self esteem and self worth, and become depressed, hence some disabled are long term unemployed.

Peter Saunders: "Half of those entering DSP each year are long-term jobless transferring from unemployment benefits."?

Half Peter, well lets see your figures?

Even if it were that some people transferred because DSP pays more than Newstart according to Peter Saunders? or because as he says, "DSP requires no mutual obligation,"? or that it is more attractive to claimants,? or because it gets hard-to-place clients off its books,? or even that it also suits Job Network providers when claimants switch?

The fact is some long-term unemployment leads to depression. All government benefits including public housing Peter, require mutual obligation and sure you don't know because you're not long term unemployed, and no doubt don't live in public housing or you would understand that these people are driven mindless with paperwork and obligations to be able to sustain the benefit they are on, as well as a thorough medical examination, Peter???

Most of the increase in DSP rates has everything to do with incapacity.

What about empathy Peter?

Peter Saunders: "One-third of claimants cite musculoskeletal complaints that are often quite minor? Another quarter have psychological problems that may or may not be debilitating."?

Peter Saunders: "Many DSP claimants are older men with limited skills who have had difficulty finding work. They should be helped by reforming the labour market laws to generate more jobs, but for the past 30 years they have instead been shunted on to the disability pension and then forgotten. Once on the pension, claimants rarely come off until retirement."

But many claimants are genuinely disabled Peter and a lot are older men and women and some are also ex-prisoners no doubt.Do doctors 'shunt' them on to disability Peter or does the employment agency override the doctor's opinion?

So the very idea that people get shunted on to the disability pension Peter, is blatant lie? If a medical practitioner certified they could not work because of their disability - then the employment agency placed them on a disability support pension Peter, because they provided a medical certificate in terms of their mutual obligation!

For ex-prisoners Peter, even a minor summary offence prevents them getting a job. That experience could give anyone depression and even require medical attention?

Peter Saunders: "The Government wants to tighten the definition of incapacity to put a stop to this slippage from unemployment into disability. It has public backing? A 2003 ACNielsen poll for the Centre for Independent Studies found nearly two-thirds of the public wants tighter rules."?

But Peter, the slippage from unemployment into disability if that is in fact the case is because those people didn't get a job for so long that they 'slipped'....

And your flawed plebiscite statistics don't back you up unless you polled the directly and indirectly affected.

So if two-thirds of the public that don't suffer the consequences as you say, and want tighter rules, then let me tell you all those people not going without can go to hell, and the rest of us can come over to your place for a meal, right Peter?

Peter Saunders: "Groups representing the disabled should also back this reform because limiting DSP to those who genuinely cannot work would release money that could better be spent improving support services for those who really do need help, and for their carers"?

Yes doctor Saunders! As if the medical certificate that says they can't work could be overridden by a loser like you? You're another Andrew Bolt masquerading as a journalist for the Un-Australian Newspaper!

Under the heading mutual obligation Peter, these people have been certified by a doctor who has professional qualifications to certify whether they can work? If you can do a better job why are you just masquerading as a pro-government journalist today?

Peter Saunders: "Much the same arguments apply to reform of the Parenting Payment. Although many lone parents work, half rely on the Parenting Payment as their sole or main source of income. As with DSP, the payment is more generous than the unemployment benefit and there is little mutual obligation required. Under present rules, sole parents are entitled to stay on welfare until their youngest child reaches school-leaving age. Many do just that. The average time sole parents spend on welfare is 12 years, during which time their skills erode and work habits attenuate. When entitlement eventually runs out, many are left unemployable."?

Peter Suaunders: "As with disability, so with the rearing of young children; nobody resents giving help where aid is really needed. Very young children benefit from having a parent at home to look after them and it would be wrong to push sole parents into work while they are still caring for babies and toddlers."

Peter Saunders: "But many parents return to work when their children start school and there is no reason why sole parents on welfare should not do likewise. Australia is one of very few countries where sole parents are not expected to re-enter the workforce once their children start school - the Americans and all the continental European countries insist on it as a fair and reasonable requirement."?

Here we go again with the flawed ACNielsen back up!

Peter Saunders: "Public opinion also sees this as reasonable. The ACNielsen survey found 84 per cent think single parents on welfare should work part-time once their children start school and government research found many sole parents agree with this. With both the DSP and Parenting Payment, therefore, the case for reform is compelling. We can nevertheless anticipate fierce resistance from opponents."

Peter Saunders: "Two years ago, when I suggested single parents with school-age children should work part-time, the chair of Catholic Welfare Australia condemned the idea as "staggering in its harshness" and a leading sole-mothers activist warned of "homelessness and starvation for infants and mothers and more beggars in the street".

Peter Saunders: "We can expect more such hyperbole in the coming months as opponents of reform seek to cloud the issue with emotional fog. We shall hear that the infirm are being forced to work and that sole parents are been driven into poverty.

Peter Saunders has a well-paid job?

Peter Saunders is not directly or indirectly affected?

Peter Saunders is pro government?

Peter Saunders is dope?

Peter Saunders is a traitor?

Peter Saunders works for the Un-Australian Newspaper?

Peter Saunders is social research director at the Centre for Independent Studies and author of Australia's Welfare Habit (CIS Press)?

Take your pick!

I love it how their ACNielsen survey tells other people who are directly affected how they should think, even though those surveyed don't tell us if they are affected at all!

By The Un-Australian and Just Us 24 February 05


Military Spending

Howard: We as a nation have got to invest heavily in defence?
Fascist Prime Minister John HoWARd has indicated the Government will make major changes to work place laws, cut disability support forcing the disabled to work and increase his defence commitment.

Hill primed for war!
Australian Caretaker Defence Minister Robert Hill has announced a multi-million dollar upgrade of the Pearce Air Force base in Western Australia. Hill says $87 million would be spent on a major upgrade of the base, which is Australia's main flying training facility.

Troop deployment not a deepening of effort: Hill
Deploying an extra 30 troops to Iraq was not a deepening of Australia's involvement because they were being sent to protect those already there, Defence Minister Robert Hill said yesterday.

Auditor Generals damning defence report
The Defence Department computer system upgrade has cost Australia tens of millions of dollars in a gigantic bungle, according to the Federal Opposition. The Commonwealth auditor-general has issued a damning report into the project.


HoWARd 'determined' to make the disabled woRK?
The Federal Government is considering a system of "coercion" and incentive to force the disabled to work. But what happened to 6 billion-budget surpluses? Why do they need to force disabled people to work? Do they need more money and less disabled people? Or do would they rather spend the money on WAR?

Opposition pension claims valid
The Federal Governments secret agenda to cut pensions, including the disability and single parent payments while spending billions on military hardware is just too much for most disabled people to accept.

Thousands march for disability protest
"We are not prepared to go back to the dark ages. This has to be reversed," Mr Preston said. "We are hoping that the community sees that we shouldn't be taking money from people with disabilities. These people have had it tough all their lives (and) there is already more unmet need than we can cope with."


Work for the dole is legal slavery
Work for the dole was originally sold to us by Howard as a warm and fuzzy light work project. We would be working for nothing but we would be enjoying giving back something to the community, so it was reckoned.

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.

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.

Work for the dole failure for two thirds
THE Un-Australian: " MORE than a third of the people who completed the Howard Government's work-for-the-dole programs last year were in jobs or studying within three months of finishing.

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. This has shown to be a lie! Under work for the dole, unemployed have been forced to carry out; concreting, tiling, landscaping, repairs, renovation, painting, gardening, nurses and teachers aid work.

A major independent study commissioned by the Government and released today under Freedom of Information by The Australian newspaper indicates that the 'Work for the Dole' program actually reduces the job prospects of unemployed people.

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.

Bringing up children Can we afford it?
Peter Costello expects us to carry out our patriotic duty by going home and having more children. But for most people it is a struggle to bring up one child let alone two or three.

Federal Budget: Tax cuts for the rich!
For the Howard government, unemployed people are not even worth thinking about.

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.

Indigenous Social Justice Association Djadi Dugarang

Centrelink puts the screws on prison debt
A 1999 study by the Brisbane Prisoners Legal Service revealed that on leaving prisoners had an average debt of $14,031. Almost one in five had a debt to Centrelink while in prison. This debt arose as a result inability to cancel things such as leases, Social Security payments, utilities and telephones.

Democrats approve tougher welfare penalties: But how does that pan out?
There used to be an old saying in Australia" if your hungry steal a sheep and leave the pelt on the fence.

Six weeks, six months, six years: inmates have little chance of making fresh start Even prisoners who serve short sentences are likely to suffer long-term consequences, including increased rates of homelessness and unemployment.