Tony Abbott Reckons “A Bit Of Depression” Is NBD & You Should Get A Fkn Job

Friends, it’s time for another astonishingly Bad Take™ from former Prime Minister/god damn he wants to be PM again Tony Abbott.

The Malcolm Turnbull-lead Coalition Government is searching desperately for any skerrick of coin that they can find to slash out of the welfare budget ahead as we roll in to 2017. A thing your average Coalition Government is want to do with that constantly pesky welfare system.
Abbott appeared on 2GB earlier this morning to detail his thoughts pertaining to people on welfare benefits, and his arguments boil down to the following bullet points:
  • If you’re healthy and on welfare, and you don’t accept the literal first job you see (regardless of job type, location, your own skill level, and the pay or hours) then you’re a criminal.
  • If you aren’t healthy and are receiving a disability support pension, suck it up because whatever it is you have cannot possibly be permanent.
Abbott’s comments savaged what he labelled as “white welfare villages,” suggesting that people in rural areas would much rather exist on Government benefits than take jobs fruit picking or cleaning.

“We have to wake up to ourselves. This idea that you can be unemployed on benefits in a town where you can’t get fruit pickers…it’s just wrong.”

“These might not be the jobs you want to do for the rest of your life but a job is a job…You have to take it, you just have to take it.”

‘Course the problem there being that fruit picking is seasonal and very short-term, reliant largely on youth and physical fitness, entirely dependent on weather and harvest yields, in some cases exploited severely by job providers using the backpacker visa system, and unless people are willing to live nomadically results only in being back to square one a mere handful of weeks later.

But further to that, Abbott then championed his time as Prime Minister, and in particular his Government’s crackdown on people receiving the disability support pension. He then mystifyingly suggested that “a bad back” and “a bit of depression” were not, and could not be, on-going permanent conditions; as if people on the DSP were treating it less as support for chronic conditions and more like Government-backed sick pay.

“?If people are doing the best they can for themselves and for their families and it is literally impossible for them to find work, fair enough. [But] we were far too ready to put people on the DSP [disability support pension], with bad backs, a bit of depression and so on. These are not permanent conditions.”

That shows a staggering lack of understanding about how mental health conditions actually work, and even less compassion for people enduring chronic pain-related conditions, or those in physical trauma recovery.

Reaction to the comments has predictably been through furrowed brows, with almost all very quick to point out the extremely “generous” pensions afforded to ex-politicians for life, no questions asked.

Remember that time we freely elected that bloke? Good grief.

Source: SMH.
Photo: Pool/Getty.