Tuesday, March 25, 2003
Centrelink growing fat off penalising people.
PEOPLE on unemployment benefits had been penalised $1 billion since 1996 for breaching Centrelink rules, the National Welfare Rights Group said yesterday. [...]
The new data on breaches follows criticism of the welfare system by Patrick McClure, the head of Mission Australia, who has been commissioned to write two reports into the system.
Mr McClure said there was a need for major reform of the system and more emphasis on helping the unemployed find work.
There's something in that. As a former welfare sponge myself, I know how little interest Centrelink has in helping you find work. They've got the Job Network thing and the touchscreens in the offices with job ads listed in them, but the effort is half-arsed at best. Centrelink's primary concern is funding one's unemployment and occasionally farming you out to a mutual obligation thing. At no point in my 2½ years under their tender loving care did they tell me "we're getting fed up subsidising your slack arse, we're going to get you a job", nor did they show the least interest in whether or not I was making any efforts of my own to find work. It's no wonder people get sucked into it as a lifestyle...