Now that I am a member of the great unwashed unemployed looking for work, I find I have to mix with some of the professional unemployed. I say professional, because some of them have turned it into a living of sorts.
I was talking to a couple who I’d seen around the traps. Both seemed like nice people, till I got to know them a bit more. It turns out both are drug users, and both are ripping off the system for as much as they can. She just doesn’t want to work, and keeps complaining about having to put forms in the past till she spun a BS story about emotional stress to her doctor, and now she’s on the pension, earing $750 plus a fortnight. He’s off on ‘compo’ while he secretly does cash in hand work. Says his back hurts but I’ve seen him lifting and carrying stuff that would normally take two people to lift it.
I ran into another guy, also a drug user. He had a recent conviction for DUI so he lost his job. He also spun a story to his doctor saying the drugs were tripping him out and was granted the pension. He laughed as he related to how he bullshitted his way into an extra $200 a fortnight over and above the unemployment benefit.
Then there is the mother who has never had a job in her life. She’s had two kids by two different men. She told me how she plans to get around the new cuts to sole parents pension by just having a kid every six years. She started making moves on me when she heard I’d got a redundancy pay out.
The only half decent one I met has an obvious mental disability but even then she goes off to training courses, and just drops out if she finds them boring. Because she’s on a pension instead of the unemployment benefit she has access to thousands of dollars worth of training, and no penalties if she does not turn up.
I paid taxes for years and years, and hefty taxes too. When / if I am eligible for unemployment benefit, I will get $609 a fortnight. That includes rent assistance of about $120 a fortnight. People on the pension though get over $750 a fortnight. They don’t have to work, but with just one exception, everyone I have seen so far is capable of some sort of work. Lots of them have cars. If you can drive and own a car, then you’re obviously capable of functioning enough in society to obtain a licence and register a car. As far as I am concerned, that means you’re not mentally disabled enough not to work. I have to urge the government to do some independent assessments on people on the pension. Anyone who can drive should automatically be deemed mentally competent enough to work. If a person is deemed mentally incapable of working, they should also be deemed mentally incapable of driving.
If you are a drug addict, too bad. You chose to stuff your life up. I don’t see why you should get more than some one who is genuinely looking for work, or why workers should be giving you a single cent. If you can lift furniture and pack store shelves, then yeah, you can work too. Any person caught working under the counter should be deemed ineligible for government payouts such as welfare. The same for those hiring them. Anyone caught doing physical work when they claim they can’t due to injury or disability should have their pension cut. It seems for a lot of these people, getting on the pension is some sort of dream because it means years of never having to work again.
I’m not saying that there are not people with genuine disabilities and anxiety issues who do not deserve a pension. Surprisingly, most of those that I have met are different from the bludgers in one very big way. They all want to work. They all want a better life. They all want to improve themselves. They all have drive and personal integrity. I met one woman who has cerebral palsy, and is in a wheel chair. She wants to do office work, has studied extensively to do so, and regularly writes applications for jobs. Meanwhile, all the healthy bludgers give out excuses for not working, don’t apply for any jobs, cruise on the pension with their fake illnesses and scum cigarettes off of each other. Something has to change. I sense a ‘dob in a bludger’ appointment in my future.