Tuesday, January 21, 2014


The Liberal Government says that welfare spending is at unsustainable levels of $70 billion each year. This may be true, but their proposed solution, a crackdown on people on unemployment benefits and disability pensions, is a mean spirited attack on the poor which smacks of class warfare and will not give us a better society.

There are two much fairer and more appropriate ways of reducing the $70 billion welfare budget. The first is to lift Australia’s workforce participation rate. The latest figures show our participation rate has fallen to 64.6%, the lowest level since 2006. We have over 720,000 Australians out of work, and over 820,000 Australians receiving the Disability Support Pension. Why, then, are we running such massive permanent and temporary migrant worker programs? Over one million temporary visa holders have work rights in Australia. We need to cap and reduce the migrant worker programs and give job opportunities and job security to Australians who are presently out of work. This will lift our participation rate and reduce the welfare bill.

Secondly, the government should not proceed with its extravagant Paid Parental Leave scheme – if it wants to collect more company tax from wealthier companies then instead of funding the Paid Parental Leave scheme it can use that money instead to help balance the books, rather than attacking Australia’s poorest and most disadvantaged.

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