Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageOp-Ed: Wankers Wonderland- 1 in 8 Australians living in poverty

By Paul Wallis     Oct 14, 2012 in World
Sydney - Some years ago I began a book called "Wankers Wonderland- Australia in the 21st century". I’m now starting to think that title is pure flattery after recent Australian Council of Social Services figures about poverty.
In a period of boom investment, we managed to achieve a 12.5% poverty outcome. The subhumans responsible for running this freak show of a result date back over current and previous governments and of course the invaluable lobbies.
ABC Australia reports:
ACOSS says that equates to more than 2.2 million people living below the poverty line in Australia and close to 600,000 of them are children.
The report provides the most comprehensive picture of poverty in Australia since 2006.
It shows people who are unemployed, children (especially in lone parent families), and people whose main source of income is social security payments, are the groups most at risk.
ACOSS says despite 20 years of economic growth, poverty has increased in Australia.
ACOSS chief Dr Cassandra Goldie says it is a national disgrace.
"This is the first time this figure has been counted in six years and it is deeply concerning to us that there is no reduction in the rate of poverty in Australia," she said.
"In fact it has slightly increased.
"In a wealthy country like Australia, this is simply inexcusable."
Dr Goldie says it is unacceptable that the Newstart (unemployment) payment has not been increased in almost 20 years and that the Government last week made cuts to payments for sole parents.
There’s an irony here that Dr. Goldie hasn’t mentioned:
The electricity companies, after years of being told they required more capacity for the 21st century have finally done something about it- And raised their charges by 20%, putting the cost on Australian consumers for their own incompetence.
Price rises in Australia often occur by indexation related to the CPI- A disastrous policy which has seen prices rise for decades on end.
The wages of politicians and corporate managers have risen enormously in the same 20 years.
The theory is that higher unemployment payouts would “encourage” people to stay on the dole and not find work. The current payout is far lower than the poverty level of $375 per week for single unemployed people. The age pension is also below that rate. Amusingly-to a point- The cost of overnight accommodation for college adminstrators at a recent conference was approximately the same $375 per night.
House prices are now around $400-500,000 across the country. Rents have exploded. Affordability is now just a word, and not a very relevant one, for a large number of Australians, including those who don't fit the poverty definitions. Meanwhile, you’d swear things were fine in the Earthly paradise. Are mortgage defaults rising and rent not being paid? Guess.
The irony is that people who can’t even do basic arithmetic are calculating the amount and merits of payments to disadvantaged people. The unemployable other than by virtue of being elected, are dictating to the unemployed.
Time to lose the bludgers
OK, it’s not anywhere near as bad as America or elsewhere. It’s still totally unacceptable. To hell with Liberal/Labor or anything else, what’s the excuse? There isn’t one. There never has been. Our highly overpaid politicians and senior public servants have done nothing useful to deal with this situation. Quite the opposite, they’ve deliberately made it worse, for decades.
They’ve OK’d endless price rises, ignored the housing bubble and rent crisis, and allowed the cost of services to go through the roof while reducing the ability to pay for those services. They’ve wasted billions on ridiculous incentives to companies which have since left the country, taking jobs and export dollars with them.
Despite this, we’re still an incredibly rich country. It’s about time we started acting like one:
When a board of directors does nothing but cause disasters, you get rid of them. Neither major party has shown the slightest interest in dealing with any of these extremely expensive domestic disasters, so out they should go.
We should stop acting like a charity to any peasant with a corporate connection and sucking up to useless "facilitators". We should be looking at dollars coming in.
Accountability should include actual prosecution of politicians who have committed acts of maladministration, contract mismanagement, nepotism, fraud or other forms of corruption.
We should enact protectionist legislation in retaliation to those who place excessive tariffs on our exports. Do we need a few billion litres of South American orange juice and similar essentials, anyway?
We should start demanding a major fall in basic costs of everything from electricity and freight to health, housing and education. There’s no basis but inefficiency and expensive middlemen for our CPI. This country has been a holiday home for parasites for 111 years since Federation, and the time has come to take out the trash.
Think about it- 1 in 8 people in poverty, during an unprecedented boom. If another global crash comes, as it probably will thanks to the US political freak show and the Euro-idiots within another year or so, how does 1 in 4 sound?
Check out the ACOSS report at the bottom of the ABC page. It's grim stuff, but it's compulsory reading for all Australians.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Australian poverty rate, newstart allowance, single parents allowance, Australian political social policies
More news from