Senator Anne Ruston has been grilled by ABC journalist Leigh Sales in a new interview regarding the changes to the JobSeeker payment and hoo boy, you truly hate to see it.
As you’re probably already aware, the JobSeeker rate was increased by $50 per fortnight in an announcement yesterday, which still leaves it at significantly less than 50% of the minimum wage. Meanwhile, our politicians who decided the rate are making a small fortune.
On 7.30 on Tuesday, Leigh Sales drew the line between the unemployment benefit and travel allowances for Aussie pollies.
“A single person on JobSeeker will receive a little over $300 per week to live on, as I mentioned before. A politician receives more than $280 per day in travel allowance when they are in Canberra on top of their salary, how is that fair?”
A single person on JobSeeker will receive a little over $300 a week to live on. A politician receives more than $280 per day in travel allowance when they are in Canberra on top of their salary. @leighsales asks Senator @Anne_Ruston why that is fair. #abc730 pic.twitter.com/YbE8mZDwkG
— abc730 (@abc730) February 23, 2021
As you’d probably expect, Ruston dodged the question entirely.
“As you would be well aware, the rate of payment that we are talking about is the base rate and in a number of areas there are supplements, allowances and there are other things that people have available to them,” Ruston said.
Obviously, Sales pushed back and again asked why she thinks that it is fair that politicians get so many extra benefits while the JobSeeker amount remains so abysmally low.
“Why is that fair?”
Again, Ruston completely dodged the question, which leads me to believe that she’s investing her hard-earned politician money on dodgeball lessons.
“The most important thing that we can- as I said, this is a safety net. it’s about supporting people while they’re looking for work. But the most important thing that we, as a government, can do now that the pandemic is, hopefully, largely behind us and the economy is recovering is we’ve gotta focus on getting people jobs so that every Australian can have a job and they can have the benefits that are associated with it.”
At this point, Sales pushed back even harder, straight-up asking Ruston: “Don’t you want to tackle my question head-on?”
Aaaaand again, Ruston gave a textbook answer to a question that Sales didn’t actually ask. I mean, just say it Anne, you hate the poor.
“I think I am tackling your question head-on, Leigh. And that is the most important thing that we can do is to provide people with access to jobs, so we need to make sure that the economy is providing those jobs,” she said.
“This is not an issue about working Australians, this is an issue about taxpayers supporting Australians who find themselves out of work to support them back into work.”
Honestly, the fact that Ruston was given three separate opportunities to address the question at hand and danced around it like Billy Elliot really speaks volumes about the decisions that have been made regarding JobSeeker, and the people behind said decisions.