Abbott on welfare

Associate Professor Philip Mendes, Professor Margaret Alston and and Dr Robyn Mason have an article in The Age today about Tony Abbott’s approach to welfare. Here is the opening paragraph:

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott flagged a review of welfare at the weekend, saying there’s no such thing as a “free lunch”. He has also talked about welfare recipients giving up payments for 12 months if they were guaranteed a job, banning the dole for people under 30, or alternatively placing time limits on the dole that would require all the unemployed to relocate to centres of high job growth to find work or lose their payments, or requiring job seekers to accept job offers even if they involved more than two hours of travel.

That’s right, in an economy where we intentionally keep unemployment around 5% in order to keep inflation low, Tony Abbott would have us punish those that Government policy excludes from work rather than take the responsibility for ensuring a reasonable living standard for those people and their families.

Go read the rest of the article. I can also suggest Australia’s Welfare Wars:The players, the politics and the ideologies by Mendes as a great history of approaches to welfare in Australia.

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