How would you define a bonus? Odds are it’d be more than a couple of gold coins a week.

Why bother? Photo: news.com.au

Bu that’s the sum and total of the Federal Government’s recently announced “battler’s bonus” – that’s an additional dole payment of four dollars per week to some of the country’s poorest people. 

Four dollars is an insulting amount of money. It shows no genuine regard for the realities of the expensive cost of living in this country.  In fact, it’s completely worthless.

Here’s a quick calculation: four dollars per week works out to be approximately .57c a day.  Name one thing you can buy for that kind of money these days.  A thirty cent cone at McDonalds, a local call via the phonebox and a packet of home brand cleaning cloths are the only things that spring to mind.

But who does that actually help? If the Government was serious about providing assistance to people already struggling on the dole, it would be better off offering some kind of practical and life-affirming service. How about a course in financial planning, or a meeting with a careers counsellor, doctor or just some other professional who could help them add value to their life.

They might even consider taking a leaf from America’s book and offering food stamps and discounted petrol vouchers in place of extra money, so that people don’t blow their dole on cigarettes, booze or the dreaded pokies.

Four dollars is just waste of time because it won’t contribute anything to a person’s chances of improving their life.

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    • Paul says:

      11:52am | 26/02/13

      On the flipside, $4 a week buys a new suit once a year… If you ask nicely you can probably even get a business shirt thrown in!

    • Peter says:

      01:43pm | 26/02/13

      And with that suit go look for a bloody job.

    • Jack says:

      02:27pm | 26/02/13

      Anyone who would wear a $208 suit deservesto be on the dole.

    • PJ says:

      02:45pm | 26/02/13

      $4 per week after your jobs adios’d to a cheaper overseas temporary worker on a 457 or Student Visa….. Good on ya Gillard.

    • john says:

      03:11pm | 26/02/13

      I would rather employ someone{regardless of position} who wears a $208 suit over someone wearing a $1,000 suit because they would have an inherit better understanding of worth, spending and value. But above all to take a line from JFK their attitude would be less selfish “ask not what the company can do for you, but what you can do for your company.”

    • Paul says:

      03:23pm | 26/02/13

      Jack - Seems to me you are a bit of a wanker… when you don’t have a suit and you don’t have a job a $200 suit is a great investment.  If you have a job you can then save up for the more expensive suit.  My point is though that while $4 doesn’t seem alot when you break it up per day, over a year it becomes just what you need to help you claw your way out of your rut.  You just have to change the way you look at things!

    • Jack says:

      03:29pm | 26/02/13

      Anyone who spent $208 on a suit knows nothing of ‘worth’ or ‘value’, since they bought some cheap chinese polyester that looks terrible and will wear poorly and end up in the trash next Melbourne Cup.

      If they were truly the ghetto financial savants with the ‘inherit’ battler wisdom you imply, they would have bought a nice shirt instead.

      As opposed to the ‘unwise’ person who had something tailored to fit perfectly, in a style that complimented them, in a fabric that balances durability and weight.

      Sounds like you would be a real winner of a boss, though - I’m heartbroken that you won’t let hire me for your important fry cooking duties.

    • Jess says:

      03:38pm | 26/02/13

      I work and one of my suits was less then $200 and the other was less then $100. I’m a girl so they are all 3 peice suits both from mid level shops ... do me fine

    • john says:

      04:55pm | 26/02/13

      Jack I wouldn’t hire you because of your arrogant attitude. That is all.
      The guy with the $208 suit would have a better attitude- more ‘suited’ to a board of directors.
      If a position for fashion police ever arose, you’d be first cab of the rank, but I’d have to caution you on the racist overtone of where it is made in case you upset a billion dollar client who happens to be from the same country that thanks to foreign ownership laws now pays your wages!

    • PJ says:

      06:15pm | 26/02/13

      Gillards for working families don’t you know, thats why shes shutting the place down with her carbon tax and the high dollar, partly driven by having to pay $20 million per day in interest on colossal borrowings.

      so far Aussie faces 130 years of debt repayments and Swan, who was saying we must have surplus to move forward is now singing we must have more reckless spending to move forward.

      The Gillard Government showed us all they
      - did not understand the economy,
      - nor did they have control of it

      when they failed to deliver the Surplus, which was promised over 200 times.

      Now, because they have moved away from saying we must save money to we must spend money shows they are totally clueless and cannot make up their minds what policy they wish to follow.

      Clowns Inc. Scrape em off

    • stephen says:

      06:45pm | 26/02/13

      Jess, you sound like a girl easily satisfied, and Jack and John might give tuppence as well.
      (That amounts to - yearly - six and a half dollars.  If, dear, you’re not tired, could you tell us what trinkets, (nose-rings are not excluded) you might buy with this money ?)

    • andrew says:

      11:57am | 26/02/13

      http://www.news.com.au/money/banking/cash-grab-inactive-bank-accounts-to-be-seized/story-e6frfmcr-1226585867131

      The government has to send the message sooner or later that there is no more money to give away to those that haven’t earnt it. Combined with recent forecasts of a $15 billion budget deficit in may I’d rather the message is sent sooner rather than later, as that would bring our rapidly increasing national debt up to around $300 Billion. Times are only going to get harder for those relying on government benefits as their main source of income.

    • expat says:

      02:22pm | 26/02/13

      By 2050 there will be approximately 2.5 tax payers per non tax payer, currently that figure is over 7 tax payers per non payer.

      Where is the extra money going to come from? The government can’t keep raising or making new taxes. The welfare is going to have to go sooner or later, it’s inevitable.

    • Roxanne says:

      12:00pm | 26/02/13

      And the people who came up with this figure are on how much?

    • AdamC says:

      12:02pm | 26/02/13

      I wonder what sort of case management services longer term unemployed receive to help them overcome barriers to employment. It seems remarkable that someone could remain unemployed for more than a year, even in the current environment, in the absence of significant issues.

      As for the bonus, it seems reasonable to me. It is not a lot of money, but the government does not have a lot of money.

    • Gregg says:

      12:51pm | 26/02/13

      ” It seems remarkable that someone could remain unemployed for more than a year, even in the current environment, in the absence of significant issues. “
      Not that I am eligible to be getting the $4 Adam and I don’t know if you have ever been unemployed in approaching 50, but as a professional engineer with about thirty years experience at the time a few years back now, I can tell you that being unemployed for far longer than a year is both quite possible and fact.

      Fortunately through my own financial resources and my partner working it has not been too huge an issue.

      ” As for the bonus, it seems reasonable to me. It is not a lot of money, but the government does not have a lot of money. “
      Yep, it is all more how even $4 a week would be used that will determine any benefit.

    • Rebecca says:

      01:53pm | 26/02/13

      AdamC, it’s virtually non-existent. I was unemployed for seven months last year. I didn’t need help from employment services as I was motivated enough to do countless unpaid internships and find bits and pieces of work wherever I could until I got a full time job, but for those who don’t have that motivation, I am not surprised in the least that long-term unemployment is a problem.

      The so-called “employment agencies” that are mandatory when you’re on Centrelink couldn’t give a rat’s ass. They essentially just check that you’re meeting the requirements that Centrelink sets out (applying for ten jobs a fortnight) then send you on your way. I definitely think it’s an individual’s responsibility to get their own job, but I know there are a lot of people out there who have come from families where nobody works or has much of an education. I’d say the personal responsibility that many of us consider normal was never taught to them.

      In such cases, an increase in hand outs will do nothing. However, a more active role from employment agencies will help a great deal. Imagine if these places helped with writing resumes and cover letters or offered career counselling. Increasing the Newstart allowance is a waste of money, but educating people who need it is the best use of money I could possibly think of.

    • SM says:

      01:59pm | 26/02/13

      With respect Gregg, is that not down to the fact that it’s solely engineering work or something related that you’re searching for?

      Do you think it’s fair for the community to expect you to get a job as a bartender or sandwich hand or something, until some work that really suits you comes along?

    • Debbie says:

      02:37pm | 26/02/13

      The main barrier to employment for most people is that there are not enough jobs. How do you case manage that ?

    • Phil says:

      04:52pm | 26/02/13

      Agreed. We need to get rid of unemployment benefits within 15 years. By all means hel the genuinely diabled, not those that dont want to work.

      Jobs are out there, but as someone I know who is a lawyer but a total train wreck of a person, when you send in your full CV to apply to stack shelves at Woolies or Coles you are on a hiding to nothing.

      Its not hard to get a job. If my mentally disabled brother in law can get a job washing cars for $ 500 a week or a bit more then anyone can work. Its whether they are desperate enough or not.

      WHat most even the greens dont realise is that we have no cash. We are in debt and going backwards. We need tough love, boot camps in the desert if needed to get poeple job ready, physically fit and motivated.

      I know I will get bashed about by the do gooders, but as Ive said many times, most of the do gooders dont work hard enough to be net tax payers and as such have no interest in doing more.

      See the problem we will have is that when you remove enough benefit in working hard to look after the needy, then the 50-60% actually contributing to society soon work out its not worth doing more to get a head because someone else is going to get what they worked hard for for free then that is the beginning of the end of any nation. Greece and parts of America are a case in point.

      See the government cannot give to anyone anything that it first does not take from someone else.

      What one person receives without working for another must work for without receiving.

    • Modern Primitive says:

      12:02pm | 26/02/13

      You know, a lot of this poverty and high cost of living thing could be alleviated to a large extent if housing was affordable.

      Average mortgage back at 40% of after tax income would make housing way more affordable than it is now.

    • SAm says:

      12:28pm | 26/02/13

      no because apparently its a strong economy were the single biggest hit on a persons paycheque increases at double the rate (or more) of their paycheque

    • expat says:

      02:27pm | 26/02/13

      Government tries to redistribute our wealth via taxation, we reclaim it back via the property market.

    • PJ says:

      02:54pm | 26/02/13

      Housing is scarce and unaffordable because the Gillard Government allows the purchasing of Australian property by none residents.

      This allows overseas groups of business men to form and use an agent in Australia to buy loads of property.

      These overseas investment groups can out bid the average Australia and their activity artificially raises house prices and house demand.

      Thanks to the Gillard Governments pursuit of the Big Australia using temporary visas, most of our cities get 1300 people arriving per week.

      Overseas investors rent the properties to gain the maximum return.

      This is why rents have risen 50% under Labor.

      Great to be an Aussie under Labor. We compete with people from overseas for our jobs and our housing, while the Government sells swags of land to foreign companies representing other countries.

    • Modern Primitive says:

      03:35pm | 26/02/13

      Expat, it’s a poor way to claw money back if that’s your justification.

    • Jack says:

      03:52pm | 26/02/13

      Wait, just so we are clear - rents are high because there are *more* rental properties available?

      You economics good.

    • KJ says:

      04:13pm | 26/02/13

      PJ,  what is a “none resident” and were “none residents” allowed to purchase Australian property under Howard and will they be allowed to purchase Australian under Abbott.

    • JN says:

      04:41pm | 26/02/13

      PJ, what a load of politicised drivel. The housing bubble was well and truly underway, and basically at it’s peak, during the Howard years. Rents are high now because mortgage repayments are high. People overextended when the economy was hot and credit was easy; simple as that. At least we can all breath a sigh of relief that rates have stayed low. I’d hate to see interest rates at the level they were at in the mid to late 80s- it would be an absolute slaughter. I didn’t mind the Howard administration (they didn’t meddle much which is always good in my view) but I think they royally stuffed up with respect to the housing market. I would have liked to have seen some regulation concerning lenders requiring minimum percentage deposit for starters. But in reality it’s really no coincidence the housing market grew like it did - the Howard government and the Rudd/Gillard governments all actively promoted it. They also manufactured, for older Australians, what will most likely be the most generous superannuation investment environment any of us will ever be likely to see. One way to avoid paying pension to retirees is by ensuring they are flush when they retire.

    • mikem says:

      12:04pm | 26/02/13

      There will be many who will post here saying that even that paltry increase is too generous.  Australia needs to rethink its attitudes and approach to welfare and unemployment and try and find solutions that solve problems instead of ones that make things worse.  A good place to start would be to overhaul the bloated bureaucracy that is Centrelink.

    • Mayday says:

      12:41pm | 26/02/13

      I find the workers at my local Centrerlink are usually pretty good and battle under stressful conditions at times whereas the people at my Jobnetwork who I think are on a much higher salary are absolutely hopeless.

      I work casually and so my employment ebbs and flows, I have to attend interviews with Jobnetwork morons who basically put in the hours and tick boxes with little effort on their part to actually assist.

      I am almost 60 and generally do well at interviews and I upskilled about four years ago completing a diploma at TAFE and yet all the Jobnetwork graduates offer are “interview technique” appointments or help with resumes rather than assisting with finding a job!

      I attended one sessions with the person in charge arriving late, setting up in the wrong room and looking like he’d just gotten out of bed, most disheartening and unprofessional.

    • L. says:

      12:58pm | 26/02/13

      “Australia needs to rethink its attitudes and approach to welfare and unemployment and try and find solutions that solve problems”

      Yes, a solution to the problem of many people being professional welfare recipients would be a great start.

    • Jean the Bird-Man says:

      01:26pm | 26/02/13

      Agree with Mayday the Centrelink workers are a lot more competent than the Job Network,. My Job Network Advisor even told me she get her job because she went to the same church as some of the staff - it was very much a “job for the boys” environment. Sure she wasn’t paid much - but still I could see it was all about ticking boxes and just performed the part required.

    • Jean the Bird-Man says:

      01:26pm | 26/02/13

      Agree with Mayday the Centrelink workers are a lot more competent than the Job Network,. My Job Network Advisor even told me she get her job because she went to the same church as some of the staff - it was very much a “job for the boys” environment. Sure she wasn’t paid much - but still I could see it was all about ticking boxes and just performed the part required.

    • Paul says:

      01:52pm | 26/02/13

      Some advice for those that really want a job… Don’t rely on the job network people, don’t rely on centrelink, don’t rely on recruiters.

      Everyone else who is looking for a job is using these same methods… and going through the “middle man” is a chumps game. Just think, they have 10+ jobs to fill, a 36 hour week (less with breaks), so spend less 4 hours per week per job - It’s a lottery with WAY too many entrants!

      Start “floating” your own resume directly to organisations, make phone calls to small businesses (can get expensive but well worth it… small companies don’t always have an HR department and so put off going through the recruitment process - the person who calls often is the only one who gets an interview and has shown initiative), and even walk the streets.

      It may be discouraging with all the companies who say they don’t have work on offer, but you only need one company to give you a go!

    • mikem says:

      02:58pm | 26/02/13

      If Jobnetwork is as bad as you say it is then that doesn’t say a lot for the privatisation of Centrelink’s job finding activity.  It sounds just like the sort of wasteful spending that the Liberals have pledged to reign in and one can only hope they have a definite plan to do so.  Can one of you journalists please ask them.

    • mikem says:

      05:47pm | 26/02/13

      I really hope the Liberals intend to live up to their rhetoric about ‘stopping the waste’.  Clamping down on private enterprises that have their snouts in the public trough milking it for as much as they can is an absolute must.

    • james says:

      12:04pm | 26/02/13

      well when i was working as a cadet accountant my bonus was 1 thousand dollars which worked out to be something even less than that, i was also making 15.50 an hour to do tax returns for millionaires.

      But yes, please tell me more about how jobless failures need more money from me, why dont you just take it straight out of my bank account, oh wait, gillard is already going to do that on may 31.

      this is vote buying.

    • SAm says:

      12:30pm | 26/02/13

      Cant have been a very good accountant if you think $1000 is less than 4x52 ($204).
      Watch out Joe Hockey, James wants Abbotts Treasuer job!

    • lostinperth says:

      12:37pm | 26/02/13

      If you think $1,000 p.a. is less then $4.00 a week I am really glad you were never let anywhere near my accounts.

      Obviously you either bought a calculator or are no longer an accountant because $4.00 x 52 is primary school maths

    • Nostromo says:

      01:09pm | 26/02/13

      That’s about all each vote for ALP is worth - $4. Possibly much less by September, depending on what they’ve done to our dollar internationally by then…

    • Meph says:

      01:20pm | 26/02/13

      @james

      “this is vote buying.”

      I don’t know about you, but I’d value my vote a little higher than $4 a week.

    • PW says:

      03:11pm | 26/02/13

      Sam: “4x52 ($204).”

      It’s you, isn’t it Sloppy Joe?

    • Alicia says:

      03:28pm | 26/02/13

      Try again SAm.

    • Timesup says:

      04:50pm | 26/02/13

      Well she ain’t buying my vote. If ALP were the only Party on the card, I would rather pay the fine for not voting, than vote for them.

    • helt says:

      12:18pm | 26/02/13

      Of course its insulting. If people would stand up and be counted on these things pollies might listen but just like the Coalitions “sandwich and milkshake” take cut of a few years ago this will only be insulting along party lines. Julia Gillard will most likely be voted out and when Tony Abbott becomes PM the meaning of insulting will flip 180 degrees once again.  If you really think its disgusting do something about it. First on the list in being consistent with your outrage. Give it a try and see if we can accomplish anything

    • SAm says:

      12:23pm | 26/02/13

      Totally agree. $4 wont make a lick of difference to anyone, but the total of what this will cost sure as hell would make a difference to this country

    • Neil says:

      12:26pm | 26/02/13

      People on the dole plan to vote for the Libs? Probably, a lot of them have probably been hoodwinked into thinking the Libs aren’t for mass immigration given their stance on refugees.

      It might buy them some pot, or a long neck after some saving. Or 4 bags of carrots. You can get a whole bag of carrots for $1. Awesome. They’re very good for you.

    • AFR says:

      12:29pm | 26/02/13

      They could always refuse to take it.  No pleasing some people I guess.

    • simonfromlakemba says:

      12:32pm | 26/02/13

      Another bogan vote buying exercise. No surprise Julia is out in the West this week. Last thing Australia needs is more welfare put on people who barely contribute.

      Its even worse then Howard’s milkshake tax cut which was stupid.

    • DocBud says:

      12:47pm | 26/02/13

      So how much would you have given, Lucy? And more importantly, how would you fund it? Tax increases? Spending cuts (where, what programmes)? Dipping into people’s super?

      PS Whatever number you suggest, I can demonstrate how ridiculously low it is by scaling it down to an appropriate time period, e.g. $20 a week is less than 12c/hour. Name one thing you can buy for that kind of money.

    • SM says:

      02:02pm | 26/02/13

      4 long-necks or 1 packet of smokes

    • Bitten says:

      03:02pm | 26/02/13

      So how much would you have given, Lucy? And more importantly, how would you fund it?

      Uh uh uh! *wags finger* Don’t you dare ask Lucy, Tory or any other fluff-writer, sorry, ‘journalist’ at the Punch to think about something that deeply! They just want to splash other people’s lovely lovely money around, you can’t expect them to give a fat rat’s about who the money comes from.

    • John says:

      01:00pm | 26/02/13

      Australia’s housing market is bloated, inflated because we are propping the US economy by purchasing their worthless dollars and inflating our housing market with easy US fiat printing press currency.  The US is basically living off our backs. We are basically passing our wealth to the worthless US to keep Uncle Sam on Life support.

    • Direct says:

      01:11pm | 26/02/13

      All them single parents punted onto this payment recently will sure appreciate the extra $4!

    • Jean the Bird-Man says:

      01:15pm | 26/02/13

      $4 increase a week * 52 = $210 (this without taking into account inflation) don’t see how that “worked out to be something even less than that” in regards to your thousand dollar bonus.

      Your not Christopher Skase’s accountant I hope - or from the dodgy outfit that did the Coalitions costings (with such scams as saving money by replacing generic drugs with generic drugs)

      I’d like to see the employment networks merged back in public hands into a CES, there are huge rorts going on - its becoming a service that is done on the cheap - where the tender winners pocket the profit by having some semi-literate teenager advising unemployed people. It is meant to be a public service, and as such it should be treated as one with a realisation of the need for the institutional memory of skilled staff. Unfortunately it is actually in the Job Network providers interest for “clients” to be long-term unemployed as they get a higher subsidy from governments

      Had a friend who had a degree as an actuary - he was told to go get a forklift license (BTW he is employed securely in the insurance industry - just had to wait for the job to turn up), I was sent for a job as a apprentice carpenter (which was surreal - as I told the employer I got Fs in Woodwork, and As in everything else at school). It’s all about ticking boxes for these people, pushing round pegs into square holes - which is why this needs to be a more specialised service - randomly matching people isn’t particularly helpful particularly for people with aptitude looking for pathway.

      I was sent to a job that needed a car at a time when I didn’t own a car (had to tell the interviewer I didn’t apply for the job - the job network did), was told by my advisor to stop getting part-time work as allegedly ten-fifteen hours was impeding me getting full-time work. The organisation was teaming with idiots - like any bureaucracy you stay courteous and just do what they tell you (or pretend to when told to stop working) - laugh to yourself at the absurdity.

    • Danny B says:

      02:34pm | 26/02/13

      Um…4x52=208, not 210.

    • SM says:

      03:08pm | 26/02/13

      it’s neither $210, nor $204 as suggested earlier

      it’s $208

    • Tim the Toolman says:

      01:16pm | 26/02/13

      “big fat waste of everyone’s time”

      Given that they’re not working, time is something they can afford to waste.

    • PW says:

      01:21pm | 26/02/13

      All those Newstart recipients who are insulted by the extra $4 should donate same to the charity of their choice.

    • BS says:

      01:35pm | 26/02/13

      To get the dole is a bonus. It is not a wage, it is a aid to help you find a job and help you survive while looking for a job. It’s not a benifit so you can don’t have to find a job.

    • Robert Smissen says:

      01:35pm | 26/02/13

      I’ve been there myself, now on DSP but working 8 hrs a week, I am amazed how many “unemployed” people there are in my town, some 3rd. & 4th. generation, yet the local meat works is full of Chinese & Philippina 457 holders working out there, some have been here for 7 years! ! !

    • Sunray says:

      01:38pm | 26/02/13

      Thank you Lucy, here is a piece of wisdom passed on by people who lived through the “Depression” - “Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves”.

    • john says:

      02:26pm | 26/02/13

      Its still true in 2013. The only thing thats changed is the currency.

    • Peter says:

      01:40pm | 26/02/13

      For those capable of working it should be reduced each month to give them an incentive to get off their lazy butts. No one is entitled to live for nothing. Unless they are disabled. Lazy is not a disability. It’s a public liability.

    • Jean the Bird-Man says:

      02:46pm | 26/02/13

      Who says they are lazy - structural unemployment is a reality of every marketplace - you never going to reach perfect synthesis. Solution for employer: adjust to market-forces and pay higher wages and you’ll get more candidates.

    • Jean the Bird-Man says:

      02:46pm | 26/02/13

      Who says they are lazy - structural unemployment is a reality of every marketplace - you never going to reach perfect synthesis. Solution for employer: adjust to market-forces and pay higher wages and you’ll get more candidates.

    • Gordon says:

      01:40pm | 26/02/13

      Generally when someone gives me something for nothing I try not be “insulted”. $4 a week is not much, but not much is more than 0.

    • KimL says:

      01:40pm | 26/02/13

      I am not on unemployment but i can imagine its very hard to make ends meet.. Will Tony Abbott give them more? I might be wrong but isn’t it a bridge between jobs?

    • Mack says:

      01:42pm | 26/02/13

      I bought a packet of paper clips at Coles today for 55cents. See, 2cents change. But what do you expect from this government when the PM has 100 pairs of glasses flown from Melbourne to Canberra for her to try on so she looks more credible? 200 days to go and counting down…...

      Dana McCauley
      From:Port Phillip Leader
      February 22, 2013 12:00AM
      ALBERT Park optical stylist Sue Feldy has been inundated with phone calls after she was exposed as the woman behind Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s new glasses.
      Queries from media outlets and new customers have been pouring in since Monday, when it was revealed the famous frames, which have their own Twitter account, came from Eyezone Emporium.
      Mrs Feldy was sworn to secrecy over her role in shaping Ms Gillard’s new look, but gained official permission to speak after being contacted by a radio station.
      “I think I knew it would cause a bit of a stir,” Mrs Feldy said.
      “We have to keep getting them in, the stockist can’t keep up!”
      Mrs Feldy flew to Canberra with 100 pairs for Ms Gillard to browse.
      They agreed on a set of rose-coloured, translucent frames by American brand Oliver Peoples, selected to suit Ms Gillard’s skin tone and face shape.
      “They had to look good on camera, too, and be versatile,” Mrs Feldy said.

    • Alfie says:

      02:22pm | 26/02/13

      “Four dollars is just waste of time”

      I agree. Get a job instead.

    • Richo says:

      03:36pm | 26/02/13

      I agree. I’m sure if unemployed people were prepared to do anything they’re physically capable of doing, there would be barely any unemployment and they wouldn’t have to worry about how much the dole pays.

    • Sanity says:

      04:23pm | 26/02/13

      Richo, thank you for implying that jobs just fall out of the sky and that the unemployed are just being picky.
      Would you like to drive 200km for a job simply because that’s all there is? Given that relocation costs aren’t cheap, are you going to live out of your car until you get paid? You show us how it works and that it works and I’ll believe you. Until then, why don’t you just do us all a favour and go beat on the doors of the welfare cheats.

    • Terry2 says:

      02:29pm | 26/02/13

      Perhaps the most useful “bonus” was the school kids bonus which the coalition will junk.
      A single parent I know, who works casually at anything she can get, was able, this year, to get new school kit for her kids instead of going to the second hand shop. Yes, I know there is nothing wrong with second hand clothing but for a teenager it’s a status thing. She was also able to include one of her kids in an extra curricular activity for the first time.
      Now, I know Mr Hockey said this school kids bonus would go on pokies and ciggies but that is not always the case.

    • Iggy Crash says:

      03:02pm | 26/02/13

      Here’s the thing, underemployment is a MUCH larger issue than unemployment. my husand is a 1st year apprentice and brings in the princely sum on $280 a week. i work casually and I also attend uni and look after our infant, even with both of us working we rely on Centrelink to supplement our income just to pay rent. We enjoy no luxuries as ` of what we get goes on rent, the rest of food, power and wood for our wood fire. It’s not an increase in payments that’s needed, it’s a decrease in basic cost of living (it power & rent). Poor doesn’t mean lazy, FFS.

    • Alicia says:

      03:39pm | 26/02/13

      Totally agree with you, the cost of living is quite high, especially in certain areas of the country and it makes it difficult to balance the budget when you’re just starting out.

      I was an apprentice (thankfully it was only for 1 year) in 2006 and earned about $612.00 a fortnight. I was living at home still which helped but I would never have been able to pay rent and all my bills on that. In fact, my fortnightly rent is more than that now.

      There is a light at the end of the tunnel though! My salary has now increased by about 235% in 7 years and is continue to rise another 10% at least for the next few years. I still struggle to make ends meet some weeks but only because I waste my money occasionally.

      I agree that poor doesn’t equal lazy - it is sometimes an indication of having not progressed in a career yet, or just sheer bad luck when it comes to finding a well paid job.

      I couldn’t survive on the dole without giving up nearly everything that makes my life enjoyable. $4 a week is pointless.

    • Ted says:

      04:34pm | 26/02/13

      Maybe you and your husband should have achieved financial/career stability before having a kid so you wouldn’t have to be scraping by with government assistance?

    • Al says:

      03:10pm | 26/02/13

      I don’t know, I would quite like a few gold coins per week. (Just make sure they are those 1 o.z. ‘pure’ gold coins will you).

    • Shane From Melbourne says:

      03:14pm | 26/02/13

      Kill Defined Pension benefit schemes. Link the Australian pension to chained CPI and don’t benchmark it to MTAWE. Don’t see why we have one standard for the unemployed and another for pensioners…....

    • Richard says:

      04:56pm | 26/02/13

      Defence retirees are also on the standard CPI along with Newstart (unemployed) , If our retirement pay was indexed the same as an aged pensioner I would be over $210 a fortnight better off. The difference is that defence retirees contributed to their retirement evey fortnight for a period of over 20 years whereas some age pensioners just had to wait until retirement age.

    • Sarah Bath says:

      03:16pm | 26/02/13

      how people spend their dole money is none of your or the governments business.  YOu try living on welfare and living in housing commission acomodation. Its not easy and the idea of wealth redistributation is a fine idea.  Ask yourselves why capitalist pigs get to live in nice accomodation while the struggling worker suffers

    • DocBud says:

      03:40pm | 26/02/13

      I’ve never understood the concept of wealth redistribution. I go out and earn the money, I take risks, borrowing money to grow the business, the employees are rewarded for their labour and yet some of my earnings (and theirs as they are mostly high earners) is taken off us to be given to people who haven’t earnt it. I find that a truly bizarre idea, as opposed to giving people a hand when they are down on their luck so they can get back on their feet and earning their own income again.

    • Dan says:

      03:45pm | 26/02/13

      I’m not a capitalist pig but I live in nice accommodation because I work and spend wisely. Why should my wealth be redistributed to those who don’t work? Why is that a fine idea?

    • Esteban says:

      03:55pm | 26/02/13

      Central to capatilism is reward/risk Sarah.

      Those who take the risk reap the reward. Without the reward there would not be the risk takers.

      For the hardest working, most innovative or most determined risk takers who end up with their just reward we reserve the accolade “capatilist pig”

      For those who are not willing to risk their money and work hard we have the greens who promise to tax the capatilist pigs and redistribute the money.

      When the green finally faces the reality that they would starve without the capatilist pig the hatred is escalated further and they are referred to as filthy capatalist pigs.

      By the way since when did we refer to people on the dole as “struggling workers”?

    • Hamish says:

      03:57pm | 26/02/13

      I thought you said in another thread that you don’t work?

    • Tropical says:

      03:59pm | 26/02/13

      Gez you are mobile. You were infesting Piers now you are here and just as delusional.
      “Ask yourselves why capitalist pigs get to live in nice accomodation while the struggling worker suffers” 
      What a stupid non sensical statement that makes absolutely no sense.
      But you have been up since 4:30AM trolling conservative sites so it must be trying lying all day.

    • Justme says:

      03:59pm | 26/02/13

      Back under your bridge little troll.

      But just in case you are serious, this particular capitalist pig lives in a nice house because it got a part time job at 15 whilst at school, then it kept working part time while it studied at Uni, then it found a full time job when it graduated (not in it’s field of study at first, but a jobs a job right?). And all the while it saved and saved and saved until it could afford a decent place to live. And even though at first it had second hand furniture and not many luxuries, it saved some more and bought nicer things when it could afford them. It didn’t expect them all at once and it didn’t expect hand outs.

      And now you think that I should share everything with someone else who has possibly done absolutely nothing to help themselves because, hey, wealth redistribution is a fine idea?

      Nah, you can’t be serious, so back to your bridge please.

    • Tim the Toolman says:

      04:04pm | 26/02/13

      “Ask yourselves why capitalist pigs get to live in nice accomodation while the struggling worker suffers “

      Probably because the struggling worker has done little to adjust and improve their skills to match the situation.  In short, they are less adaptable and less lucky than the “pigs”.  Spending time thinking about how much the pigs suck probably wastes some time too.

    • Tim the Toolman says:

      04:05pm | 26/02/13

      “how people spend their dole money is none of your or the governments business.  “

      Oh, and yes it is.  It’s an allowance to bridge between employment, not a lifestyle option.  If you don’t want scrutiny, get off welfare.

    • LJ Dots says:

      04:09pm | 26/02/13

      To be consistent, how neo-con capitalistic pigs spend their earned money is no concern for you or anyone else either.

      Your money is yours, their money is theirs.

    • Shane From Melbourne says:

      04:21pm | 26/02/13

      Absolute rubbish. These days even capitalist pigs get handouts from the government. Only those who don’t get a cent from the government can be virtuous. Fortunately for me, I have so much virtue, it shines out of my ass…..

    • The Silver Fox McScrooge says:

      04:26pm | 26/02/13

      I’ve seen plenty of “struggling workers” turn into “capitalist pigs” at the drop of a hat Sarah. Everyone always seems to find a way to complain about their lot no matter their situation. ‘The Capitalist Pigs” as you call them always seem to beleive they are overtaxed and overworked. Dole recipients always seem to beleive they are hard done by and deserve a greater share of the riches. Truth is there will always be rich and poor, and class envy no matter the system; simple innate human competitiveness ensures that fact. One can only hope that there are always safety nets in place; that at least we can be thankful for in Australia. I’ve been in both situations and I’m here to tell you, the only one who will really help you is yourself.

    • Onlooker says:

      04:56pm | 26/02/13

      Sarah if it wasn’t for capitalist pigs going to work to earn a quid the Government could not give you unemployment..it is tax payers money. If you want to spend money however you like..get a job and stop sponging off the taxpayer

    • Bho Ghan-Pryde says:

      05:17pm | 26/02/13

      Sarah you seem a little confused. You are actually the capitalist pig because you are the one living on the back of the worker - that was the original definition. Just because it is the government that forcibly takes the fruit of the labour of the workers and calls it taxation and then gives it to the likes of you does not make it any less living off the labour of workers in all their forms.

    • Tator says:

      06:15pm | 26/02/13

      What our little greenie troll does not realise is that the Government does not have any money, the money the Government doles out is actually taxpayers money collected via taxation.  These taxpayers earn this money by either the concept of risk and reward by going into business or by trading their labour for money via being employed by business or the Government.  There is a third type of person who receives money from the Government via welfare which is paid for by the first two types of taxpayers.  So Sarah, without the people who generate wealth via business, there would be no taxes to pay for your government benefits.  To see what a country without business looks like, just look at North Korea where there is rampant poverty and is continually bailed out by the international community with aide to feed its population.

    • BabblingBrook says:

      03:55pm | 26/02/13

      Well I paid all my staff a monthly bonus of $750 split between 60 people and got flooded with thank you emails which works out to an average of $2.97 per person per week if you count an average month as being 4.2 weeks.
      If you are sick of people complaining that a bonus of $4 a week is not enough for you to sit on your butt and do nothing… then please consider moving your jobs up here to the Philippines. There are some great, well qualified and highly motivated Filipinos who would love the chance to prove they are just as capable and productive as any Australian worker (not to mention dole bludger).
      oops… better go and take my PC pills… the last one seems to have worn off.

    • JN says:

      06:05pm | 26/02/13

      $2.97 per person per day may mean something to your workers but I’m betting you’d spend that $750 on one good night on the hookers in Manilla with your mates. Keep telling yourself you’re a good guy; one day you might actually beleive it. How’s that for PC?

    • Flyingdale Flier says:

      04:23pm | 26/02/13

      Compassion,whoops wrong site

    • Richard says:

      04:41pm | 26/02/13

      Defence retirees received a CPI rise of 0.1% last year which in my case was 60c a fortnight so $4 dollars a week doesn’t look so bad. Also remember Defence retirees contributed to their retirement pay (pension) over a period of 20 or more years unlike some welfare recipients.

 

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