The Government Is Defending Work For The Dole Because Fuck You, That’s Why

The Abbott Government, our kind, benevolent, looking-out-for-the-little-man government, is today defending their expanded Work for the Dole scheme plans more or less immediately after revealing them. Not satisfied that they’ve got a crowd pleasing, sixes all over the park Twenty20 innings of a plan, they’ve instead took guard on middle-and-off and decided to pad out the first 80 overs, just until they get their eye in, apparently.

The new job placement program – effective as of July 1, 2015 – means that job seekers under the age of 30 (which includes everyone reading this right now) will be forced to apply for 40 jobs a month at a minimum, as well as perform 25 hours of community service per week. This to receive benefits that will only be available to you six months out of the year. The other six? Apparently you have to fend for your damned selves, you lazy sacks of shit. So sayeth the Government. I mean, people stuck in the margins or undergoing transitionary periods in their lives can totally survive on absolutely nothing, right? Even for a week or two or three or four or maybe a month here and there and WHAT CASHED UP MOËT-SIPPING UPPER CLASS TWAT THOUGHT UP THIS RIDICULOUS PLAN?
Assistant Employment Minister Luke Hartsuyker explained the Government’s plans thusly, “It’s not unreasonable to expect job seekers to be out there looking for work, every working day.” A fair enough point, but it does nothing to dispel the broad paintbrushed idea that the majority of Australians have that all unemployed people or people receiving the dole are lazy, don’t-want-to-work slobs leeching off the taxpayer teat, which is false, dehumanising, and totally unfair on the people in the job seeker system.
And then he goes further: “Work for the dole is just part of a range of strategies that the government is putting in place to improve the prospects of job seekers to get into work.” That’s a nice idea. Except for the proven fact that it fucking doesn’t. In fact, the Work for the Dole scheme being implemented is cut from the same cloth as the scheme introduced by the Howard Government in the late 90s that, when studied, was found that not only does it not improve job seekers prospects of finding regular work, but in a lot of cases it actually had negative effects on job seeker outlook.
Why? Because people being placed into Work for the Dole roles aren’t learning any skills that would expedite the job searching process. Work for the Dole does not create new jobs. Work for the Dole is a time thief that drastically impacts the amount of time in the week a job seeker has to actively search and apply for jobs (25 hours a week attending Work for the Dole leaves 25 hours less per week to research, apply, attend interviews, cold call, door knock, etc).
And all this to receive benefits six months out of every year.
So before you go off on the so-called entitled handouts that you think people receive, think – and I mean really think – about how if you were forced into a position where you had no alternative but to turn to the Dole, would you be happy to be placed in this scheme?
The system, as it stands, does not actively encourage developing skills to expedite the process and shorten the cue. Rather, it looks down on those who cannot find work – for one reason or another – and punishes them by placing time requirements that can be completely detrimental to the desired outcome. It’s a dehumanising process that instead of changing to better assist people, is changing to push them further into despair.
From first hand experience, I can say that with absolute confidence.
Photo via Getty Images.