Flicking through the papers on the weekend, here’s an advert that I didn’t find in the positions vacant section.
Casual employee required for around 15 hrs work p/week, whenever they feel able to show up really. Lots of rest time available on job. Previous injuries at work preferred but not essential, as long as our insurance rates soar. Those with a mental illness are encouraged to apply. Contact Mr Fable on 1800 YEAH RIGHT.
Actually I don’t expect to ever see an advert like that, but maybe that’s because I am a realist.
What I did see in the papers to my dismay however was a lot of rubbish about those on disability pensions being rorters and bludgers.
With the comments currently coming from Kevin Andrews, Minister For Social Services you would be forgiven for thinking he expects to find the papers full of ads just like the one above
Andrews efforts to get the disabled off the pension and into the jobs he says are readily available have been described by some as highly optimistic, and others as just plain stupid.
I however think the reality is that he just doesn’t give a shit.
If he does in fact care at all, it is clear that he cares for his career more.
You always hear politicians talk bout how they started out in politics because they wanted to make a positive change and to help others.
For Kevin Andrews that positive change is forcing the disabled into either work no matter how demeaning or forcing them into extreme poverty by taking away their income.
His mum must be so proud.
We have all heard that the cost of the disability pension is large, and we have all heard how there are hundreds more signing on to a disability pension each week, however there are other ways to tackle the issue than the brutal approach being considered by the Coalition.
For starters wind back the changes to the Workers Compensation legislation in NSW pushed through by the Coalition government that ICAC has shown to be the most corrupt government in Australia’s history. These barbaric changes continue to push people onto the disability pension as the insurance companies get a free pass for workers injured on the job.
Was this the result of having so many Insurance company lobbyists on the State Executive of the Liberal Party? More than likely…
Payments that were once taken care of by insurance companies of employers, have now been given an end date that sees the taxpayer picking up the burden as those with disabilities are forced onto the disabled pension to survive and put food on the family table.
Did insurance premiums drop as a result of this massive windfall for them? Yeah right…
At Federal level it is clear that Tony Abbott does not believe in a hand up, he sees it only as a hand-out.
Maybe that’s his Christian upbringing?
Gone is the approach of giving someone assistance so that they can continue to support themselves as they make the necessary adjustments that may see them back in employment. The sledgehammer approach has replaced it, if you find yourself out of work or suffering from a debilitating injury or illness you can expect to be whacked in the guts by the Coalitions sledgehammer.
The Coalitions plan seems to be forcing the majority of those on disabled pensions into work, but where are the jobs?
Ignoring the fact that unemployment has soared under the Coalitions reign so far and that there are many industries still waiting to go under, particularly those involved in manufacture, there are still major issues facing those who are seeking employment, let alone those with a disability.
Depending on the disability many of the consequences can be completely random in their timing making it extremely difficult to perform any duty with regularity.
For example many with back problems can be prone to spasms which can come on at any time and be completely debilitating. These spasms don’t have a tendency to come and go on an employer’s schedule.
Anybody who has ever known anyone with a mental illness will also tell you that episodes have a habit of being completely random in their timing, and can be brought on by just about anything.
From an employer’s perspective where is the incentive to employ someone with a disability, either physical or intellectual?
Is having a heart being outsourced to the business community by a heartless government perhaps?
Businesses have insurance rates to consider and having employees with previous compensation claims doesn’t usually send premiums in a southerly direction.
There area multitude of other issues for business to be concerned about such as disabled access, specialised training requirements and often the safety of other employees to consider.
If the Coalition are expecting to just cut people off from the disability pension with no safety net it is clear that there is going to have to be some major efforts put into encouraging employers to find positions for them.
I’m talking about concessions and tax breaks, the funding of training services, funding for equipment and improved access and facilities at many workplaces. I’m not talking about loans either, business needs to know that the government will invest.
After all many of these people can’t just waltz in and find a job anywhere, changes to workplaces will be required.
If you think it will be tough for those with disabilities living in our cities, spare a thought for those living in rural areas seeking employment with a disability. Many of these people will face the prospect of a long journey on public transport ill equipped for those with disabilities only to earn minimum wage in a job they find morally degrading.
Those living in these rural communities will need far more assistance if their income is taken away. However nobody will be shocked when I say I expect that this certainly won’t the only issue where the Liberal Party will turn their backs on their National Party voting pals, as any farmer fighting a Coal Seam Gas Mining Company will tell you.
The vast majority of those unfortunate enough to have disabilities that can work are indeed working, or looking for work, and while there are some that will seek to take advantage of the system they are in the minority.
Still attacking minorities is sadly not something this government feels is beneath them.
One thing is for sure, these people have suffered far more than their fair share and are entitled to maintain a little shred of dignity.
Many of these people also suffer from depression as a result of their injuries and condition so the last thing they need is to be made to feel like a burden on society as many of those in the media seem determined to do.
When I was a kid it was ingrained into me that you don’t kick someone when they are down. This was a basic principle that went along with being human and having some sense of morality.
Unfortunately it appears to be a principle lost on those in the Coalition.