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  1. #211
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    Quote Originally Posted by Star Light View Post
    I don't think anyone has actually addressed the question asked a couple of times - if welfare is intended to be a stepping stone, a form of assistance during difficult times - why would one be scrimping and saving for bug luxury items over the long term anyway??

    I'm probably going to get flamed for this but it is a genuine question. Is it because in many cases it is not being used as intended. Some people have no intention of returning to the workforce at all even if they were able to. It is actually being used to fund lifestyle choices (i.e. to stay at home with the kids)?
    I have at least 2 more years until I finish my degree.
    my degree is a 4 year full time degree.

    I work part time as I absolutely cannot manage without it. I like to be able to also have enough to go on the odd holiday or take my kids to the movies.

    I've already posted that the stats show most sole parents go back to work at least part time or study within a year or so.

    I wouldn't consider being poor or being a sole parent a life style choice for most people. I hope you never have to find out what it's really like and just how much of a great choice it is.

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  3. #212
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    Quote Originally Posted by Star Light View Post
    Of course I am not talking about pensioners or people who are unable to work. And, of course there are circumstances where finding work is extremely difficult - I totally understand this!! But can you really tell me that there aren't those out there who simply choose to live off government payments even if they were able to work and would be financially better off working?? And for these people, I don't think I like the idea of money being saved for the purpose of big luxury items??

    Addit: (I know for a fact they are out there as I know several).
    I'm interested in this too and agree that these subgroups of people aren't really the focus of concern. Neither group can work. There are a lot of people claiming that they can't work when in fact they can but don't want to and have no plans for how to move off payments into paid employment.

  4. #213
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    Quote Originally Posted by Star Light View Post
    Of course I am not talking about pensioners or people who are unable to work. And, of course there are circumstances where finding work is extremely difficult - I totally understand this!! But can you really tell me that there aren't those out there who simply choose to live off government payments even if they were able to work and would be financially better off working?? And for these people, I don't think I like the idea of money being saved for the purpose of big luxury items??

    Addit: (I know for a fact they are out there as I know several).
    I'd rather they save the excess for something that will enrich their families lives rather than blow it on booze, smokes, or drugs (creating unsafe living conditions for a lot of kids).


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  6. #214
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    Quote Originally Posted by mama and her little bear View Post
    as a single mum I make do on spp, make sacrifices and go without alot so my children have their mum at home with them,

    Is that okay or are only children of perfect 'normal' partnered families with an 'income' deserving of that? What about sahps who get ppp?
    Exactly! If anyone truly thinks single parents don't deserve the same opportunities/choices as partnered parents, then that just doesn't make any sense. It's actually harder for most SP's to get out of the house in the mornings and off to work because we have to do everything, and usually have much less support than others in general.

    I actually think 'getting ahead' has rather little do do with income and more to do with being budget savvy.

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  8. #215
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    That's true fleetwood. I have no debt now, but while married and earning 100k as a family we had so much debt we considers bankruptcy.

    I'm never relinquishing control of my finances again. EVER

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  10. #216
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennybaby View Post
    I'm interested in this too and agree that these subgroups of people aren't really the focus of concern. Neither group can work. There are a lot of people claiming that they can't work when in fact they can but don't want to and have no plans for how to move off payments into paid employment.
    I'm very sure after reading the stats that those people account for very few people. And often there is more to it then meets the eye.

    The unemployment rate is currently quite high, and there are currently people who are under employed. http://www.news.com.au/national-news...-1226677298922

    Heres some info on the long term unemployed
    http://www.treasury.tas.gov.au/domino/dtf/dtf.nsf/LookupFiles/Long-Term-Unemployment.pdf/$file/Long-Term-Unemployment.pdf

    You will notice that since the global financial crisis unemployment has gone up we have higher rates of long term unemployment.

    Those things tell me that opportunity plays a huge role in unemployment. Unemployment is not an individual problem. As much as some people would like it to be.

    We also have the issue that punishing people for being unemployed and also moving sole parents onto Newstart allowance does not help ensure long term employment.
    In fact in the past, with past governments, when they have provided accessible affordable education, childcare and training, plus ensured that we have jobs for people to go into, we see less unemployed people.

    In QLD currently because of all the cuts, I know some very qualified people who are trying to move into different jobs, who once found this easy, however are terrified to move or who cannot get a different job. I can only imagine how hard it is for people who are starting from the place of unemployment.
    .

    Image: Alex E. Proimos / flickr


    Long-term unemployment is defined as a person being unemployed for over 52 weeks.


    Of approximately 640,000 unemployed Centrelink customers in 2010, over 370,000 (59%) were identified as long-term unemployed – that is, having been in receipt of income support for over 52 weeks (FaHCSIA, 2011: 39-40).


    Who are the long-term unemployed?
    Long-term unemployed people are less well-educated than others – 49% did not reach year 12 compared with 41% of those unemployed for less than 12 months (ABS, 2011). Indigenous, mature aged and people with disabilities are all overrepresented amongst the long term unemployed.


    Mature aged (over 45s) make up 34% of the unemployed and 46% of the long-term unemployed. In 2010-2011 33% of unemployed people aged 55-64 were long term unemployed.


    Some locations have a much higher rate of long-term unemployment than others. These communities often have social, health, and infrastructure disadvantages which may require action on a range of fronts (DEEWR, 2009a).


    Australia has a higher incidence of jobless households by international standards. However, the vast majority (around 84%) of households that have been jobless for a year or more are headed by single parents, and over half have a child under 6 years old (Social Inclusion Board, 2011).


    Impact of long-term unemployment
    Long-term unemployment is associated with poor physical and mental health, social isolation and poverty (Butterworth, 2009; Saunders, 2006). Workers who remain outside the workforce for some time find it much harder to re-enter – their skills lose currency and employers tend to screen them out in favour of people with more recent experience (an effect described as “hysteresis”) (Chapman & Kapuscinski, 2000).


    Mature aged unemployment
    Australia’s labour force participation rate for older workers is less than many OECD countries – reflecting both voluntary early retirement and involuntary exit.


    Discrimination by employers is a key factor impacting on older people’s ability to secure and retain work (HREOC, 2010).


    Poor education levels, outdated skills, or skills associated with declining industries/occupations reduce employment prospects for mature aged job seekers. Mature aged workers are less likely to participate in vocational training and generally respond to different approaches to training (SPOEHR et al, 2009).


    Australia’s poor record in employing people with disabilities impacts on older workers who experience either age related or work related health conditions or injuries.


    Structural unemployment
    While, at an aggregate level, unemployment rises and falls with economic conditions, there is a group of people who tend to remain unemployed even in good times. In Australia today, unemployment can persist even at times of skills and labour shortage.


    The 1994 OECD Jobs Study described structural unemployment as arising from the “gap between the pressures on economies to adapt to change and their ability to do so”.


    The study identified these pressures as arising from technological change and global competition. Structural changes in the economy have differentially impacted on men and women, and on particular locations.


    Background to current policies
    Since 1994 the OECD has promoted a shift from “passive provision of income support” to “active measures which assist re-employment”. Active measures include making receipt of unemployment benefits conditional on job search, training, job counseling and job creation.


    Since 1986 most unemployment benefit recipients in Australia have been subject to a requirement that, in order to receive their benefit, they undertake a certain level of job search and take any job deemed suitable (the “activity test”). In 1994 the Keating Government’s Working Nation package marked the start of more concerted efforts to address long term unemployment through active labour market programs; however it was the Coalition Government (1996-2007) that established the basic architecture of the system we have in place today.


    Employment services
    In 1997 Australia became the first country in the OECD to completely privatise its public employment service. It established a suite of programs which included job matching, job search training and case management – collectively referred to as the Job Network. Contracts to deliver these services were put to tender and awarded to a mix of private, non-profit and public providers. At the same time the Government substantially reduced spending on labour market assistance.


    The new approach to service provision was combined with increased compliance activity. In 1997 the Coalition implemented a “Work for the Dole” pilot program, requiring unemployed people to spend six months of each year in part-time, unpaid work experience on projects to benefit the community. These programs were designed to “hassle and help” - providing light touch assistance, and moving job seekers as rapidly as possible into work.


    Current policies and programs
    In 2009 the Labor Government replaced these programs with Job Services Australia (JSA). There are now greater provider incentives for job linked vocational training and for longer-term employment (over 26 weeks). Program places for the most disadvantaged have been uncapped. But the centrality of compulsion and low cost assistance remains.


    The Commonwealth has also invested in some “place based” employment initiatives with the appointment of Local Employment Coordinators and flexible funds to work in 20 identified employment priority areas (DEEWR, 2009b).


    Evaluations of effectiveness
    In its 2006 evaluation the Government identified a “net employment impact” for job seekers in Intensive Support Customised Assistance (generally long term unemployed) of 10.1% (DEEWR, 2006: 8). By 2008 a slightly different measure, the “off or part benefit impact”, was estimated at around 5.8% (DEEWR, 2010c). This might reflect diminishing returns over time from new activity measures (Davidson, 2011: 80-81).


    In March 2011, DEEWR’s Labour Market Assistance Outcomes Report identified overall employment outcomes of between 39.1% for those unemployed for 12-24 months and 30.5% for those unemployed 3 years or more. Most of these jobs were part time or casual.


    Criticisms of current policies
    The Job Services Australia system and the Job Network that preceded it have been criticised for applying a “one size fits all” approach, which is poorly suited to long-term unemployed job seekers with complex needs (Social Inclusion Board, 2011a). It has been argued that this problem is a consequence of providers needing to ration resources in the context of competitive and financial pressure (Fowkes, 2011). Many job seekers participating in employment services have reported poor staff skills, high turnover and limited time with caseworkers (Murphy et al, 2011).


    The Social Inclusion Board has suggested that the Government attempt to move the system to deliver more holistically, and to encourage provider collaboration (Social Inclusion Board, 2011b). Another reform option would place more control of resources in the hands of participants (Bennett & Cooke, 2007; Fowkes, 2011).


    Income support and welfare traps
    Government decisions over the last several years have widened the gap between the unemployment benefit (Newstart) and pensions. The Australian Council of Social Service’s (ACOSS) calls for the rate to be increased have been bolstered by recommendations from the Henry Tax review and the OECD’s comments on the inadequacy of the rate (ACOSS, 2011; 2009; Whiteford, 2010).


    When Newstart beneficiaries take on part time work they face significant effective marginal tax rates as benefits are withdrawn, as well as potential loss of other benefits (like access to social housing) (Saunders, 2006).


    Successive governments have tried to reduce financial obstacles in the tax-transfer system to staying in work, and implemented initiatives to make training and JSA support available (Swan, 2011).


    Debates over compulsion
    While some degree of conditionality applied to income support appears to be widely (although not always warmly) accepted, the scope, severity and application of measures are the subject of continuing debate. The negative effect of “breaching” (suspension, partial or complete withdrawal of benefits) on particular groups of job seekers (youth, Indigenous, people with mental illness) has been a particular area of concern (DEEWR, 2010a).


    Compulsion is experienced by many job seekers as demeaning (Murphy et al, 2011). But there is evidence that intensive activity measures do make a difference to whether and how quickly long term unemployed people move into work, although these impacts may be diminishing over time (van Ours, 2007). Proponents of compulsion point out that, even if unemployed people say that they want work, this does not necessarily mean that they will act on this (Saunders, 2003). Behavioural economics might provide insights into why people who say they want work sometimes act in ways that seem counterproductive (Fowkes, 2011).


    The role of training
    Evidence of the efficacy of training programs in helping long term unemployed to secure work is mixed. This issue has been characterized as a debate between “work first” and “human capital” approaches (Davidson, 2011: 80-81).

    Programs which include direct work experience with employers are more likely to succeed, as are those that integrate job search assistance. However, labour market assistance and vocational training investments have generally been poorly linked. The Productivity Places Program, a centrepiece of Labor’s efforts to improve vocational skills (including for the unemployed), has been disappointing. The current overhaul of Commonwealth vocational skills investments includes an attempt to overcome some of the poor targeting in previous systems (DEEWR, 2010b).


    Role of employers
    Despite labour shortages in many areas, employers are often wary of engaging people who have been long-term unemployed (VECCI & Brotherhood of St Laurence, 2009). Perceived poor attitude, poor motivation and lack of recent work experience are all reasons given for leaving jobs vacant rather than employing available job seekers.


    Many employers are critical of employment service providers and the JSA is not widely used by larger employers. Successive Governments have struggled to improve the engagement of employers with the system but have faced challenges because of its complexity, and competition between providers.


    Direct engagement of employers in development of tailored programs for the long-term unemployed is one of the most effective ways of motivating participants and ensuring that employers have access to this otherwise underutilised pool of labour (Wren, 2011).


    Stepping stones and career advancement
    Most long-term unemployed people will move into part time or casual jobs, often low paid. Many argue that these provide a stepping stone to better paid, more permanent work (DEEWR, 2008). There is evidence that this is the case for some. However, Indigenous employees, homeless and longer term unemployed are less likely to retain employment (DEEWR, 2008; Productivity Commission, 2006).


    Employment creation
    Australia’s labour market programs aim at addressing employability, rather than at providing full employment. Very few long-term unemployed people will be fully employed, even after receiving labour market assistance.


    Newcastle University’s Centre of Full Employment and Equity has argued that the Government should act as “employer of last resort”, guaranteeing a right to work and mitigating the effects of long term unemployment (Mitchell, 2004).


    Creation of jobs, either as long term options or pathways into other work, has been a key driver in the development of social enterprise. Social enterprises are social purpose organizations that derive some or all of their income through trading. While these are limited in scale, the experience of social enterprise tends to support the view that paid work, even if subsidised, can provide excellent social and economic outcomes for long term unemployed (Mestan et al, 2007).
    http://apo.org.au/guide/long-term-un...ment-australia

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  12. #217
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    Plenty of people, who say that they cannot work, understand that in a perfect world they indeed COULD have paid employment. The thing is though, finding that job is really really hard, sometimes pretty much impossible.

    Consider someone with a physical injury (ongoing) or some other disability or health issue. There are plenty of jobs that exist that they could do. BUT... are these jobs anywhere near where they live? If not, would relocating closer to a job mean higher rents, therefore making having that job pointless, or removing familial support, taking them away from specialist care, etc etc.

    Or, if the jobs are nearby, can they get to and from work in order to make it to daycare and back in time before close? For me, just working 1/2 hour away makes this damn near impossible - I get in by the skin of my teeth most nights, and many nights I cannot pick her up at all and have to get DP to. Some people may not have the option to just call someone and get them to do it instead.

    Or, does the job even pay enough to make paid employment worth it? There's a reason many SAHMs don't go back to work sooner, and it's not always just about preferring to stay at home. Getting a place in a daycare can be tough in many areas, but the cost of daycare can sometimes make it not worth it. If you can stay at home and raise your child yourself, or go to work full time and only end up making $50 extra (when you factor in travel, childcare fees, etc etc) a week, it's honestly not even worth the effort, so I can see why people don't bust their backsides when it makes no real difference in the end anyway, except to make them a TINY bit of profit and make them exhausted.

    And of course, that's just if you can even find jobs you can apply for. There's no an endless supply of job opportunities. Just because, in theory, you could be a receptionist without issue, doesn't mean that you can GET a job doing that.

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  14. #218
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    It's more often than not the peolpe on newstart who cop this sh!t. We're not worthy of the money we get because we're just no hopers who don't want to work and how can we justify not spending every little cent we get every fortnight and possibly being able to save little bits here and there. How can we justify a break away from the stress of having to constantly looking for work, of constantly waiting for someone to contact you even if it was to say no thanks (because most employers don't even bother doing that) or attending the constant courses or appointments with JSPs.

    Being a job seeker at the moment is a freaking tough gig. Where I am a lot of public services got layed off when Can'tDo got into power which means that even basic jobs like the ones I'm applying for (retail, cleaning, basically unskilled cr@p) are getting in excess of 100 applications within a day of it being posted. Yes, this does mean that people are spending longer on benefits. If they're still on benefits in a years time and have managed to skrimp and save enough to go on a cheap overseas holiday, even if they never intended for that money to be used in that way, than who are any of you to say that they can't go. It is their money. Once that money goes into an individual's bank account it is NO ONES business what happens with it from there.

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  16. #219
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    Quote Originally Posted by Addicted to Love View Post
    No, my DH got rich by having an education, studying years for a uni degree and working damn hard to climb the corporate ladder.

    Why is it that "poor" people always think "rich" people should throw their hard earned dollars up in the air like it is of no object to them!?!?
    Your DH was a privileged position already merely by having the ability to access education. Not everyone does.

    Plenty of people work their arses off everyday and still don't earn the 'big bucks'. Some even study for years too- think nurses, teacher, etc).

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  18. #220
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    I don't understand why it's perfectly okay for them to have small things as a luxury like foxtel or whatever but if they save up the money from their small luxury to have a big one then suddenly they have too much money. It's still the same amount of money either way.

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