Social Welfare: Fact and Fiction

One of the more common complaints made by conservative contributors to social media debates, relates to the issue of welfare recipients, i.e., who is getting what. The more shared assertions are, that it is the generous nature of our welfare system that encourages migrants, asylum seekers and so-called economic refugees to come here.

Some of these complaints border on the absurd, others reflect a flimsy and ignorant grasp of economics, i.e., that a dollar spent on migrants is a dollar less spent on them. And still others offer such paltry objections that clearly mask a strong racist element.

These social media morons do this to invoke fear among us that a continued influx of economic migrants, refugees and asylum seekers will only place a greater burden on the health and welfare budgets and contribute disproportionately to the ever increasing deficit.

scottTreasurer Scott Morrison has, by his recent actions, made it clear that the issue of welfare is going to be high on his “things to fix” list. He, more than anyone else, probably realises that his future political success will be determined by what he does in his current portfolio, rather than anything he has done previously.

To the conservative mind-set, that means trying to return the budget to surplus, or at least, being seen to be doing so. For reasons unknown, Morrison has chosen welfare as his first target closely followed by health, even though there are more lucrative opportunities elsewhere. The conclusion, the simplistic Neo-liberal voter would assume, is because both are big ticket items.

That, however, does not necessarily mean that they offer big ticket savings. Last year, only 1366 cases were referred for welfare fraud prosecution. This is 0.02 per cent of all welfare recipients. Yet the government claims this “crackdown” will raise an extra $2 billion over three to four years, according to MYEFO.

passantAs John Passant describes it, “This is fairyland stuff designed more to create a “dole bludger” atmosphere rather than to address the real issues of collapsing revenue and ways to get rid of the tax rorts for the rich and powerful.”

But it might not be so much a matter of savings that drives the treasurer to target these two areas. It just might be that hidden behind that claim lies a more sinister intent that has more to do with the vote winning issue of migration.

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One thought on “

  1. Morrison has been known to say that welfare deters people from being self sufficient. In fact he sees it as bad thing.

    Nothing todo with the economy. All to do with ideology and prejudices.

    Liked by 1 person

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