…”a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work with a decent social safety net for the vulnerable, that had served our nation so well for so long”.~ Wayne Swan.
In Wayne Swan’s essay published March, 2012 in The Quarterly ‘The 0.01%: The Rising Influence of Vested Interests in Australia’, Swan asserts that he’s sharing the benefits of the mining boom “to the most vulnerable in society”. In fact, this is what he said in conclusion:
To me, the most significant question in politics when I started out in the late ’70s, when I wrote Postcode, and when I go to work tomorrow, is what we use our prosperity for. It’s not just about putting dollars in people’s pockets, but about building a better society; a society that creates wealth and spreads opportunity, a society that lifts up the worst-off and gives everyone a decent shot at a decent life.
So how has he gone about walking the talk? Let’s look at a vulnerable group in Australia today: sole parents. What has Wayne Swan done for sole parents since he wrote his Opus Magnum on going to war on vested interests and providing a decent safety net?
There are 630,000 Australian lone parent families with dependents – 84 per cent are single mothers and 16 per cent are single fathers. 54 per cent of these single parents have a youngest child less than nine years of age. Of the parents with a child less than 9 years of age 59 per cent were in some form of employment end of June 2011 according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics(2011). On January 1 Federal Minister for Families, Jenny Macklin announced that 80,000 lone parent families with dependents would be affected with payment reductions and many moved on to Newstart payments and forced to look for work – the Newstart payments would be less than the Parenting payments. The Government continues to defend its decision but peak advocacy groups have condemned the decision. Condemnations have also come from the United Nations.On March 4, the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) called on the Australian Government to detail its response to a United Nations request for it to explain the decision to cut the payments of over 80,000 lone parent families.The UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights wrote to the Australian Government raising concerns about the $100 a week payment cuts to lone parents. These cuts took effect on January 1. Courtesy of The Stringer – http://thestringer.com.au/cuts-to-single-parent-payments-lead-to-hardshi…(Gerry Georgatos) Projected savings for the Labor Government by declaring single parents of children over eight years old are now sole individuals on the dole are expected to be $700 million.
That’s right, just after Christmas when its impossible to find work or childcare. When the kitty is empty and the bills are piling up. If that’s a safety net then sole parents and their children are drowning in a sea of risk. However it seems the UN are a mob of pinko lefties who have no idea what jealous bludgers sole parents are:
“Let’s get through the class warfare smokescreen, we need to regain our roots and encourage people to invest and build. There is no monopoly on becoming a millionaire. If you’re jealous of those with more money, don’t just sit there and complain; do something to make more money yourself – spend less time drinking, or smoking and socialising, and more time working.” ~ Gina Rinehart
Rinehart also suggested lowering the minimum wage and taxes. Rinehart is the richest woman in the world. Her wealth is inherited from her father, Lang Hancock, who died in 1992. “She could buy two iPads for each of her fellow 22.9 million Australians, or eliminate world hunger for a year. If that should not appeal, she could play her own game of Monopoly with all the mansions in the nation’s most expensive address, Wolseley Road, Point Piper. Gina Rinehart has just become the richest woman in the world with the BRW Rich 200 list estimating her wealth had nearly tripled in the past year to $29.17 billion”. (www.smh.com.au) Rinehart is also a single mother, whose children don’t seem to share the same appreciation she does in valuing work and the accumulation of wealth, over nurturing children, and, finding a work-life balance to allow for adequate parenting.
Politicians have a choice: between exploiting divisions by promoting fear and appealing to the sense of fairness and decency that is the foundation of our middle-class society; between standing up for workers and kneeling down at the feet of the Gina Rineharts and the Clive Palmers.
~ Wayne Swan
So let’s see what Swan’s labor Party have done to stand up to miners…The Australian Conservation Foundation examined fossil fuel subsidies and found:
“The biggest of these are the diesel fuel handouts to the miners – called the fuel tax credits scheme. This is a tax payer handout to big miners worth $2 billion per year this equates to $182 per taxpayer every year, and worth a staggering $9.4 billion over the next four years to some of the most profitable companies operating in this country. This is a much greater cost than the carbon price will have on households.These wasteful, inefficient handouts will continue to promote fossil fuel use at a staggering rate of $4,480 of taxpayer dollars per minute, day in, day out.The politically powerful mining lobby has got its way in Australian public policy at last year’s may Federal Budget – again.This equates to $182 per taxpayer every year, and worth a staggering $9.4 billion over the next four years to some of the most profitable companies operating in this country. This is a much greater cost than the carbon price will have on households. While the rest of us pay 38c a litre in taxes at the bowser, these companies are mining the public purse and in the process they are making climate change worse”.
$2 Billion dollars a year in subsidies to a vested interest group, partly funded by cutting sole parent payments to people who are now categorised as sole unemployed individuals, even though 59% with very little children are working parents on low incomes. The working poor, who have no voice. The working poor whose hard work as parents is seen as nothing of value to society at all.
Yeeeepp…Swannie is on his knees to miners, standing up to sole parents. What a classy warrior.