'Christians' happy to prolong pain for those worse off
WELL that didn't take long.
We're in the very early infancy of the newly-elected Morrison Government and already we're being told what many of us suspected, and feared.
There's no place for those worse off than us.
The simple line, coming from ScoMo, Abetz, Frydenberg and co is that they just can't afford to increase Newstart. Simple. But it says so much.
Backbencher Eric Abetz blamed the burden of government debt for not being able to afford to increase what is a pittance currently afforded to those doing it tough.
I assume this government debt must be the fault of Labor's, as is the default line as soon as anything negative is said, despite the Coalition having been in power for nearly six years, ample time, one might think, to do something about government debt.
I read this week that Eric Abetz entered parliament in 1994.
Politicians' income has increased from $68,000 to $210,000 a year since then.
But a single person without children on Newstart today, well they pocket a cool $277.85 a week.
Imagine, for a second, what it would be like to try and survive on that.
If the dole had been indexed with wages, instead of inflation, that amount would still only be a touch over $350 a week.
The last two budgets have delivered $300 billion worth of income tax cuts.
Last month's budget, which delivered an income tax cut package costing $158 billion over a decade, is set to deliver significant windfalls for high-income earners.
That same budget ScoMo, Frydenberg and others spruiked so heavily, with its forecast surplus of $7.1 billion in 2019-20, apparently has no wriggle room to help the battlers.
Barnaby Joyce is now advocating for an increase to the dole.
Admittedly, fairly hollow words, to hear he's struggling when he earns over $200,000 a year.
But still, his Road to Damascus moment has come, albeit belatedly.
But what does his Pentecostal, prayer-giving leader have to say about it all?
Well, Mr Morrison isn't willing to engage in "unfunded empathy" he tells us.
Instead he says the best form of welfare is a job, but won't say whether he could live on the $40 a day which forces many to forego meals.
The Australian Council of Social Service is advocating a $75 increase to Newstart, which would cost about $3 billion a year.
Deloitte modelling estimates the resulting stimulus would create an extra billion dollars a year in taxes.
Michael McCormack says people need to be willing to move towns to get work.
But on less than $280 a week, it's near impossible to go anywhere.
I wonder what this supposedly real Jesus character who was all for helping people worse off would make of it all?