Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Would Mr Richardson support 100% wage to pension Parody for those unemployed Aspergians?

MOOD:  Nauseous
For the utterly unbelievable, this is right up there.   Awakening to ABC NewsRadio this morning, breakfast host Glenn informed us that our politicians got another large pay rise.  This is considering only that they already had one in March this year.  Yet on the other hand people with Asperger's Syndrome who struggle to find any work, due to their difficulties in social skills, languish in abject poverty.  Some with a disability just scrape through by living on toast and cereal from pension to pension.

It's important to note that I'm not hitting all politicians with the same brush - not all of them are on the take.  My local MP with some other members has indeed taken the time to have face-to-face meetings with me, and go through my entire submission - this is considering that they didn't have to.  So in that light, they are those who do go the mile for their constituency, and those who outright ride the system.      

While this at first may seem like another winge from the unemployed, there is a lot more to this then those first superficial impressions of just crying poor.

What is going on at hand here is a much more deep seeded problem in society.  Many to most people, who are employed, feel that finding employment is relatively easy.  This is based on the principle that a commonly perceived reality is based on what one experiences.  From the average working person the experience is "If you try harder, you'll find work".  Because government is driven by votes, they have to appeal to this genre of the populous, thus ultimately keeping the screws on the unemployed, because, "THESE ARE OUR TAX DOLLARS".  We don't want our hard earn dollars going to those who sit around all day and do nothing.

It is this very generalisation which is at the core of the entire issue.  It would be safe to say that 65% to 70% of those in work feel that all the unemployed should get off their behind and do something, if they wish to find a job.  Laziness seems to be the biggest pre-conceived thought out there why someone is unemployed - making this entire group an easy target for misjudged resentment. 

Without being naive either, I don't exactly think that everyone on the dole is playing it fair.  They are those cases where those who are offered interviews, and then don't attend, or outright refuse.  Yes, these are the true scumbags that plainly should have all their benefits withdrawn.  We even have the cheats who do "cash in hand" work, while claiming benefits.  

Out of the 100% pool of the unemployed, I would say at least 50% are the "sitting around doing nothing" inclined, while the other 30% eventually find work, and about 10% to 20% would just completely fall through the cracks.   Unfortunately it takes 50% of the unemployed, to make the ones who are trying look like scumbags - a case of a large minority pulling down the majority.

What I'm trying to hit home here is that they are the genuine cases of unemployed people who do want to work.  However due to some conditional issue (such as Asperger's Syndrome) they keep getting knocked back, or in my case, not hear back or get any replies - I feel like I'm living in a ghost town.

As an experiment for demonstrating the difficulty of my situation, I applied for some document destruction jobs in September 2011.  Choosing a very simple job was the main point of the exercise.  This is because the vary strength of an aspergian is doing something routine.  These are simply feeding huge amounts of documents into shredders.  Unbelievably I heard nothing back, and even when making follow up phone calls, it seems my application went straight to the filing cabinet.

So in a nut shell, the system's big failure is its ability to distinguish those who are genuinely trying, from those who just don't want to work.  This situation is the very heart of why I feel so passionate about this issue.  Despite all the courses, work experiences, and personal projects I've accomplished over the years, I've never ever had "ONE" job offer in my entire life, and I mean a job offer with "AWARD" or "ABOVE AWARD" wages.

So in this context it would be fair, if those Aspergians who have been able to demonstrate a genuine effort for seeking paid employment, received 100% of the average male earnings.  This is over the poverty strickening 17.5% that the Disability Support Pension is unrelentingly stuck at.  I have bought this issue up several times, however the default argument is that a government doesn't have the money.  Yet on the other hand, they have been able to find funds for this remuneration rise, and for processing asylum seekers.   

The last thing I want in life is to live of government benefits - this is why I'm trying to start my own radio station.  With this I could then live off advertising revenue.  But it would be nice to at least be acknowledged for getting off my behind and actually doing something.  It seems in Australia, no matter how hard one tries, they'll be still viewed as a bludger if they are not paying their taxes.  This leads me to the final issue of what is at hand here, the reality that one cannot just talk to anyone face-to-face today, everything seems to be done by e-mail.  With receptionists and secretaries viewing much e-mail as spam, ones efforts of getting their message through - that they are actually doing something, is made that much harder.  

Only moments ago I paid my rent, telephone (basic land line - no mobile), and basic broadband connection.  Tomorrow I'm off to get an extra thick track-suit top with a hood, just to keep warm this winter.  After this, I will just have enough money left for a moderate trolley of groceries.  Then I'm through my money again.  This is considering that I do like buying CDs and some home entertainment, which many weeks I do without.  This is considering that many of our ex-pollies jet-set around the country at the tax payer’s expense.  It only takes someone with half a brain to work out that something is seriously messed up here.

So for your enjoyment, two articles from Wednesday's edition of the Daily Telegraph - The first on the politician's remuneration, the second on their squandering travel expenses.


Pollies given another $5500 pay rise

By Phillip Hudson from the Herald Sun
Wednesday 4th July 2012 - 12:00am

Federal MPs receive 3 per cent pay rise

Federal MPs will receive a $5,550 pay rise, just three months after pocketing a $44,000 salary boost.

The 3 per cent pay rise quietly handed down this week, which is almost double the annual inflation rate, is being derided by one senior figure as the "pollies' own carbon tax compo".

Backbenchers will get an extra $106 a week, taking their salary to $190,550. Combined with the pay rise awarded in March, it means they will receive $49,640 - almost $1000 a week - more than they were this time last year.

The pay bonanza comes as the nation's lowest-paid workers receive an extra $17.10 a week, $890 a year.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard's salary increases by $14,430 to $495,430.

The PM is earning $129,000 - almost $2500 a week - more than she did a year ago.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott gets $10,000 extra to take his salary to $352,517.

He is more than $91,000 better off than a year ago. Treasurer Wayne Swan's wage rises by more than $11,000 to $390,627 - and is up $100,000 over 12 months.

Some MPs are embarrassed about the timing of the pay rise, believing it is too soon after the massive March pay deal.

Former Labor powerbroker turned commentator Graham Richardson said politicians should be paid more.

"If you look around a couple of hundred companies, I wonder how many of them pay their chief less than a half a million dollars?'' Mr Richardson said on Seven Network.

"I think the answer would be none.

"The Australian Prime Minister should be getting a minimum of one million dollars and ministers should be up around half a million and you should be taking backbenchers up to 250-300.

"There are 25-year-old kids walking around in merchant banks these days earning $300,000 a year.''

It also comes just days after they failed to break the asylum seeker policy deadlock and in the same week the carbon tax started.

The increase has been set by the Independent Remuneration Tribunal. Kevin Rudd blocked a pay rise in 2008 but MPs voted this year to give away the power to veto a pay rise.

"The increase will help to ensure parliamentary pay does not lag behind in comparison to other public sector incomes," the tribunal said.

Greens leader Christine Milne criticised the decision.

"When the Government is saying it can't afford to give people struggling on Newstart an extra $50 a week to just get up to liveable levels, and the minimum wage has only gone up $17.10 a week, a $100-a-week pay rise for politicians is hardly appropriate," Senator Milne said.

"If the nation can afford this, it can certainly afford to help our poorest people."

The combined boost from the two pay rises gives a Cabinet minister $85,000 more while one of Mr Abbott's shadow ministers gets a boost of $97,000 because of a change to pay extra to Opposition frontbenchers.

Speaker Peter Slipper and Senate President John Hogg are earning $86,000 more.

The pay rise in March was part of a reform where the Gold Pass travel scheme was axed for new MPs and existing MPs would have benefits cut by more than half.
Pay increases:      

Backbencher $190,550 up $5550

Prime Minister Julia Gillard $495,430 up $14,430

Deputy PM Wayne Swan $390,627 up $11,377

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott $352,517 up $10,267

Speaker Peter Slipper $333,462 up $9712

Cabinet Minister $328,698 up $9573

Shadow Minister $238,187, up $6937

Source: Remuneration Tribunal. Pay rise from July 1.


NET Syndicated VIC News
Retired MPs' Gold Pass to beat chill

By Phillip Hudson from the Herald Sun
Wednesday 4th July 2012

Millionaire former minister Geoff Prosser received $24,000 worth of free flights, including $10,378 for trips in July, August and December for himself and his family to Broome, where he has a holiday home.

RETIRED MPs and their families have escaped the winter chills courtesy of taxpayer-funded flights to holiday hot spots such as Broome, Cairns, Lord Howe Island and the Whitsunday Islands.

Former Speaker Ian Sinclair and his family were the most frequent flyers between July and December last year, taking 55 free flights - at a rate of two every week.

Mr Sinclair sent taxpayers a bill of $19,000 for travel, which included $4591 for flights in October and November to Lord Howe Island, where he owns a holiday home and spent more than a week on each visit.

The free travel comes under the Gold Pass scheme, which cost taxpayers $818,295 for just six months, according to the Department of Finance.

Former Labor MP Annette Ellis spent seven nights in Cairns, while another ex-Labor MP, Julia Irwin, had four nights in the same city.

Ex-Victorian MP Gavan O'Connor visited Broome, while former Hawke minister Neil Blewett went to Lord Howe Island. Many former ministers are among the biggest users of the Gold Pass.

Ex-Labor ministers Nick Bolkus, Laurie Brereton, John Dawkins, Barry Jones and Duncan Kerr, as well as former Speaker Leo McLeay, all claimed more than $10,000 in free travel.

Former Liberal ministers Ian Viner, Michael Wooldridge, Nick Minchin, Wilson Tuckey, Robert Hill and John Herron also topped $10,000 in travel for six months.

Professor Hill and his family enjoyed 40 flights costing more than $13,501, including travel to Proserpine airport on the Whitsundays in August and October.

Former Liberal Peter Lindsay was among the most frequent flyers, taking 42 flights costing $12,374 from his home in Townsville to Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

The scheme was shut down by Julia Gillard for new MPs from March this year.

Those who have already qualified keep the perk but will have their wings clipped with the number of flights reduced by more than half.

The ex-MPs are not required to say what purpose the travel has been used for.

July-December 2011

Source: Department of Finance

Geoff Prosser (Lib, WA)
Broome - $10,378

Ian Sinclair (Nat, NSW)
Lord Howe Island - $4591

Robert Hill (Lib, SA)
Proserpine (Whitsundays) - $3518

Gavan O’Connor (ALP, Vic)
Broome - $3208

Neil Blewett (ALP, SA)
Lord Howe Island - $1981

Julia Irwin (ALP, NSW)
Cairns - $1444

Annette Ellis (ALP, ACT)
Cairns - $1233

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