Pensioners to be target of welfare card cut

 By an age pensioner

A leaked federal government document shows the government’s intention to take concession cards from pensioners and it will cost an individual up to $49.10 per fortnight.

All welfare payments under $20.02 will be scrapped.  Retirees who do not qualify for the full pension because of superannuation or assets, but receive the nominal amount, will not qualify for the health care card.

For retires, the cost of health, including prescription drugs can be formidable. These pensioners will also lose the pension rate car registration, license and council rates etc. Most of these people are not wealthy. Many have already had their pension cut via the recent change to the assets test and are in financial stress.

Some people on disability support and carers also face the loss.

Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) chief executive Dr Cassandra Goldie warned the government against welfare changes, saying Australia already has one of the most targeted systems of ­income support.

“Once again, this kind of proposal targets people on low and modest incomes to make savings,” Dr Goldie said.

It is extraordinary that as the exposure of the treatment of welfare recipients through Centrelink continues to unfold, the Turnbull government is going for yet another measure to raise funds from some of the most vulnerable Australians. The government chooses to ignore the  evident public concern.

The suggestion that this is necessary to control the budget, convinces almost no-one. It is common knowledge that this comes at a time when the same government, refuses to act on corporate tax evasion and siphoning off funds to tax free havens. Practices that put a bigger hole into government finances that is saved by welfare cuts.

A good part of the reason for the demise of former treasurer Joe Hockey and why Turnbull replaced Tony Abbott as prime minister, was that they sighted the same target. Malcolm Turnbull promised then that his would be a more caring government.

There are a lot of Australian who feel let down by the betrayal of this promise.

Howards foray into union rally was no accident

By Joe Montero

Former Prime Minister John Howard’s walks into a Sydney rally of union members and it’s an accident. Hardly. He is far to astute to do such a thing. In any case, it would be hard with a full security detail on tow.

This was a deliberate act, designed to achieve ends. It is not hard to speculate on Just what they might be.

John Howard was the man behind WorkChoices a few years ago. The scheme he presided over, to effectively marginalise unions and strip down rights in the workplace. WorkChoices is now being revisited by Turnbull and company. Howard has a personal stake in this. As it stands, he goes down in history as the man who was humiliated. Not only was WorkChoices defeated by the millions of Australians. He became one of only two prime ministers who lost his seat. This is a tremendous slap down, for someone who made no secret of wanting to be remembered as a great statesman. The resurrection of WorkChoices would, in a manner of speaking, also mean his resurrection.

There is also much more to it. John Howard has never been shy to interfere in the Turnbull government. He has done so more than once and is a backer of rival Tony Abbott. He has consistently criticised Turnbull’s for not moving far and fast enough, on industrial relations and other issues. He may well have sought to provoke an incident that could be used as a vehicle for upping the ante. Imagine the coverage, if he had been physically attacked.

And this leads us to the main outcome of Howard’s little stroll into the enemy camp. He has become the story. The reason why, tens of thousands of angry workers were in the streets, is no longer the news. Forgotten is the existence of laws and an apparatus to treat a group of Australians as third class citizens, the attack on hard won penalty rates and the overall war on workers that has been launched.

It shows that much of the big media is biased, undemocratic to its core and a conscious participant in this war against workers.  What tens of thousands of Australians had to say is far less important than what a former prime minister pulling a stunt. This says it all. Media impartiality and objectivity is a myth.

The good part is that the lot of them did not learn the lesson from the last time around. You start to hurt people too hard, you can’t stop them noticing. The truth seeps through. People react accordingly.

By openly siding with the most ruthless employers, Howard, Turnbull and the rest, have provided the union movement with the best opportunity to recover and build its influence. Our anti-worker heroes,  may even go so far as to light the match, on a new era of militancy across Australian society. As a bonus, the drop in the numbers accessing the tabloid media may take an even steeper downward dive.

 

Video from 7 News

1 Comment on “Howards foray into union rally was no accident”

  1. One of the biggest Maggots out there.

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