Margo Kingston’s site has an interview with Liberal MP, Judi Moylan, who abstained on the vote in the House of Representatives on the government’s welfare legislation. She seems to have been the only Liberal MP to admit the basic fact that the legislation will directly lead to many poor and disadvantaged people having their payments significantly reduced.
She stated that she abstained rather than voted against the Bill partly because she supported some of the package, and partly because if she had “crossed the floor it would not have changed the outcome“. In the day or two before the welfare package comes on for a vote in the Senate, we need to find a Judi Moylan equivalent amongst the Coalition Senators – just one will do. One person crossing the floor in the Senate would change the outcome.
Whilst there are a range of problems with the government’s legislation, the core problem is that it will lead to major cuts in the income for over 170 000 Australians (on the government’s own figures).
I’ll be moving an amendment to the legislation which will allow the government to implement all its measures requiring all these people to be subjected to all the actvity tests, job search obligations, training programs, reporting requirements and the like that the government wants – but will prevent those people having their income cut while they are looking for work.
The government keeps chanting a mantra about the need to ‘get people off welfare and into work.’ Nobody disputes the benefits or importance of this, but I have not heard a single government person raise a single example of how automatically and permanently cutting a person’s welfare payment will help them get a job.
It is just another ideologically driven, extreme policy – which unfortunately will cause significant harm to peple with disabilities and the children of single parents. I am finding it immensely frustrating that any single, individual Coalition Senator could prevent it, but there seems to be none willing to do so.
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