17 April 2011

anodyne fail

from The Age this morning:
'Social security and welfare account for 32 per cent of the federal budget. That's $115 billion a year - three times the education budget and twice the health budget.
The disability support pension alone, which is more generous and subject to fewer work tests than the dole, costs $13 billion, the fifth largest single Commonwealth expense.'

Now hang on a sec ...
That frightening figure of $115 billion above, is NOT the amount dispersed to the needy. It is in fact, the cost of welfare plus administering the amount dispersed to the needy.

It includes the cost of flying to Canberra, every single month, 300 Centrelink Managers, and their accommodation and expenses.
It also includes the cost of leasing Centrelink office buildings across the country. It includes the cost of fitting out their staff rooms with 3-door refrigerators, microwaves, and all equipment and supplies for morning and afternoon staff refreshment. It includes the cost of security systems for these buildings, and the cost of heating them in winter to a tropical standard.
It includes the cost of highly sophisticated computerised telephone systems for 100+ staff, so that when I clocked on at 8am and took the first call from the phone box on Coochiemudlo Island, and said
"good morning this is Annie, how can I help you?"
the caller could say
"me money's not in".
It includes the cost of running the stupendous software allowing Annie to instantly get onscreen every detail of that person's situation.

The '$115 billion' includes the stupendous cost of hiring Centrelink staff, who have a high burn-out rate, mainly due to the many abusive and obscene calls they take, that they know they cannot report to their manager (the one flown to Canberra every month for debriefing).
Centrelink staff are trained for 10 days intensely, by human-resource companies with criminal accounting practices, making a killing from their billing.

The $115B includes the cost of these Centrelink claims:
'We have over 300 Customer Service Centres Australia-wide, more than 500 Agents and Access Points in rural and remote areas and other specialist outlets.
Compensation advisory service - state-based Centrelink teams provide services for customers, solicitors and other organisations regarding compensation issues.'

It includes the cost of subsidising the wages of hundreds of Sudanese refugee men who work in slaughterhouses across regional Australia, and the cost of dozens of people employed to administer these refugees assimilation.

Is Julia's Labor government so resentful at their narrowest of electoral margins that they are turning on their traditional voters - the needy.

That '$115 Billion' is a deliberately misleading gross figure used to frighten the people who do work hard, into thinking they are being used, when they could equally feel philanthropic.
Governments of all countries rely on the majority of their electorate not examining any of their pronouncements, and the majority do not.

This links to a feature in The Age with profiles of some 'battlers', and the stories show that their 'battle' is mainly with not being very bright.
That returns the thread to our education system - the system The Age says gets an amount equal to only one third of our spend on Centrelink. Mike Moore would say "Hmmmmmmmmmmmm"