Monday, November 29, 2010

Oh, the Bureaucracy!

Yesterday, I came across this little item in the Sunday Age:
UNEMPLOYED people are $342 worse off a year on average than they were when federal Labor came to power because their living costs have been rising faster than the dole...

An analysis of Bureau of Statistics figures by Canberra-based think tank the Australia Institute shows living costs of people on government benefits leapt by 12.8 per cent between June 2007 and September 2010.

Yet, in that time, the government raised the Newstart allowance by 10 per cent to take into account general price increases. That leaves the unemployed 2.8 per cent - $342 a year - worse off in real terms since 2007.

The institute's senior researcher David Richardson said Newstart was inadequate, creating incentives for people to claim the more generous disability support pension just to survive...

A report released by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development this month warned Newstart has fallen so far behind living costs that there were "concerns about its adequacy" to support people and help them find jobs...

But a spokeswoman for Jobs Minister Chris Evans said unemployment allowances could be only "at a basic level". "Otherwise it will be unaffordable and act as a disincentive to work."
Yeah right. Maybe it's time that "spokeswoman for Jobs Minister Chris Evans" had a taste of those unaffordable "disincentives to work". Her and Chris Evans.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Hello, I'm From the Government and I'm Here to Give You a Colonoscopy

Recently the Australian Government has developed a keen - even morbid - interest in the contents of my bowels. This week I received a letter inviting me to “take part in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (the Program).” With it, I received a free test kit which I can use in the privacy of my own lavatory to collect a sample of the aforementioned bowel contents to see if I might have bowel cancer. According to the letter (signed by Professor Jim Bishop AO, MD MMed MBBS FRACP FRCPA APSOABN*, probably using bitmap graphics) “A positive result does not mean that you have bowel cancer”. In fact, “Most people with a positive test result” (i.e. blood in their poos) “do not have bowel cancer.”

Monday, November 1, 2010

Obligatory Melbourne Cup Tip

Expect horse meat futures to dip slightly on Wednesday with a full recovery by Friday.

That's all.