Today in The Age:
$35 a day for the dole is not designed to do anything else but punish people who are unfortunate enough to be jobless. It’s designed to “get people off the dole” by creating a situation where they are unable to support themselves in any meaningful way by using an oft-cited excuse that there are dole bludgers – those who take government payouts rather than work – out there who are exploiting the system.
This is true.
There are also businesses and people who earn substantial sums who are also exploiting the system of taxation, who are not punished for their sins. There are bankers who tipped the world into a pit because of their greed, there are businesses who pay little or no tax, resources companies strip-mining this country who pay little to nothing for the elements they are pulling from the ground and selling overseas.
There are also a large number of people who are not exploiting the system, who are unemployed through no fault of their own, because of retrenchments, businesses failing, because of illness either personal or in their families. There are people out in society who have done nothing wrong, and who are trying their very hardest.
$35 a day is the best way governments say that they care not for your situation, your life and your contribution. $35 a day is the sum of money that is used to punish the underprivileged, the jobless and used as a stick to say “We could make it lower, but this is all you’re worth; this is designed to make you uncomfortable and to punish you for your folly.” It’s the simplest and most effective way to demonise those in harms way.