Coalition tanks welfare: We must stop their efforts to divide Australians.I am not for a second saying that Coalition voters are beyond the pale. Nor are ALP voters for that matter. Nor are Independent voters. Nor are Green’s voters, of which I happen to be one. As Australians we agree to disagree on policy issues but generally we do so in a peaceful and moderate manner. That is one of our strengths as a people.But the current crop of Coalition politicians in Canberra really take the cake. Their public utterances are nothing short of downright divisive.Let’s drill down into the issue of welfare and have a think about the nonsense that the Coalition is sprouting out there in the conservative press.
To begin with they are trying to set up a divide between the mythically perfect taxpayer and that ‘other’ group – the welfare recipients of this country.
Well you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand that welfare recipients are taxpayers too. Welfare recipients pay GST on their purchases just like everybody else does. That makes them taxpayers. That they are forced to live below the poverty line and therefore cannot afford to buy much is an issue for another time.
In my own case I totally resent the rubbish that comes out of the mouths of Coalition politicians. I’m 62 years old and unemployed. I ‘receive’ the Newstart benefit. I battle unemployment and ageism with as much grace as I can muster.
All of my working life I have paid taxes to the federal government. And part of that tax I placed in trust with the federal government to cover me when, on occasion, I have found myself out of work. The paltry amount I currently receive back is MY OWN money. It is not the government’s money. It is not the mythically perfect taxpayer’s money. It is MY OWN taxpayer money.
I am not impressed by Coalition politicians labeling welfare recipients, particularly the unemployed, as ‘leaners’ who are having a holiday at ‘taxpayer’s’ expense. God’s teeth you could scream at the stupidity of those Coalition politicians … most people are unemployed because of the simple reason that there aren’t enough jobs out there.
Each and every week a growing number of decent Australians are being thrown on the job scrap heap … and the best those Coalition politicians can do about the whole situation is to blame and punish the unemployed for the situation that they find themselves in.
The language of division that the Coalition uses is starting to become appalling. By sprouting their breathy support for the ‘hard-working people’ of this country and by demonising all the ‘others’ as leaners and bludgers they are creating a schism in our society that is dragging us all down a very uncomfortable path.
We all know that whatever level of our society you care to look at you will find a small number of people who seek to gain an advantage by ripping off the system. Some people in corporate boardrooms do that. Some people working in offices do that. Some people working in factories do that too. Some of our politicians do that. Some of your neighbours do that. And some people connected to welfare benefits do that.
However … I greatly resent it when the gutter press picks up on an isolated example of somebody out there ripping off the welfare system and then all of a sudden, all of the small minds in our society then automatically tar the rest of us unemployed with the same brush. Well I’ve got news for those small minds … learn to spell the word ‘redundancy’, it may come your way one day soon. And it will be interesting to see how you will feel when the Coalition politicians and trolls call YOU a bludger.
It is my belief that the current Coalition Government is fanning up a lot of hate in a lot of small minds. I do not like how they are trying to divide Australians from each other.
On the 12th of July I am marching in the Brisbane Welfare Rights March (part of the series of March Australia National Welfare Marches).
Initially my motivation was based upon the need for better overall social welfare policies for the disadvantaged members of our society. That is still a large part of my motivation for taking part in the march … but another layer has been added to my thinking.
Those Coalition politicians, with their divisive language and policies, with their mentality of blaming everybody else, are now starting to affect the very welfare of our country.
The welfare of our country is something worth defending, don’t you think?