Much is made about the easy life enjoyed by people on welfare - we've all seen the 'news' items that show flagrant abuse of the system with welfare recipients engaged in employment or other activities that conflict with the obligation to inform Centrelink of change in status or simply as a means of defrauding the Commonwealth.
I was in my local Wollworths store recently and noticed a small group of people gathered at the end of an aisle, clearly waiting for something to take place.
What happened was a woolies staffer arrived with a box and stocked a place in the shelves only to have the queue remove the items he'd displayed.
What was the fuss about?
$1 a bag pasta, half normal price and clearly a highly desirable prize.
I was immediately ashamed of myself - I don't look at the prices, just buy what I need - if I was ambushed as some of our Politicians have been I too, would have no clue as to what costs what.
For the vast majority of people in receipt of welfare, life's certainly not easy street, it'd far from it. The Disability Support Pension (DSP) is about $900 per fortnight (single person), $450 per week.
I couldn't get by - I don't have the planning skills and I don't have the resilience of character.
There are about 120,000 people in receipt of the DSP and keen to work.
Those that I meet are desperately keen to get meaningful work.
Why keen to work?
In Australian society being employed enables us to hold our heads up as contributors to society (taxpayers). Work is a chance to show off our skills, learn new ones, make friends, get out and about, buy stuff, have a hobby, travel - I'm sure you could add heaps to this list.
Most of all though, at least from what I have seen people with disability who are looking for work want to give and be included as part of an inclusive Australia.
And after all of the above - it's time to raise the pitiful amount paid to all welfare recipients - people aren't on benefits for an easy life or because it's character building.
In my experience concern for the welfare of disadvantaged Aussies is non-political - Scott Morrison's a good bloke with a clear personal mandate to govern, so come on PM, +$50 a week won't break us!
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