I enter this minefield reluctantly, and only to bring people …

Comment on CDP work for the dole scheme gets a hammering by Bob Beadman.

I enter this minefield reluctantly, and only to bring people back to earth.
Surely the key features of such a scheme should be to:
• Create a system of MUTUAL OBLIGATION, a requirement that ‘you do something (pt work) in return for what your neighbour provides to you’ (welfare payments).
• Address the horrendous social consequences of idleness.
Instead the scheme seems to have become PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION 101.
Overpromoted and overregulated to the extent that everyone can find something to fault. It was never an employment agency, or a work incubator, or getting people work ready. That spin may have a place in the cities, but never in the bush where there is a very limited employment market.
A short history. Training Allowances were replaced with Unemployment Benefits in the mid 1970s.
Aborigines couldn’t believe that the Government preferred to pay them to sit down rather than to work.
Communities deteriorated, and pleaded that Unemployment Benefits be aggregated. CDEP was born.
A percentage was added for materials, and another for administration, and the number of particpants inflated.
Government capped numbers, introduced a Remote Area Exemption (from the work test), mixed CDEP and UB (with the obvious resentments arising), fiddled further, abandoned CDEP, and then introduced RJCP (described by some as the greatest public policy train wreck ever), then CDP.
In considering improvements to CDP, everyone must be mindful that CDEP had become a destination, rather than a step up. And it had become a suppressant on the creation of real jobs – councils, schools and health clinics (and others) could borrow staff at will rather than seek appropriate budgets for their needs.
Looking to the near future, when the country can no longer afford the current welfare net, I think every child needs to see a parent working, to replace the idea that Government will keep them for life too.

Recent Comments by Bob Beadman

A songman for his place and time
Ted is clearly one who has achieved the status of LEGEND IN HIS OWN LIFETIME.
Goodonyamate.


St Francis House: Excellence sought and achieved
The title of this article says it all. “Excellence” was achieved by the people who moved through St Francis House, and by three generations of Smiths as evidenced by this series.
The historical record is much enhanced by this work.


The Florence Nightingale from the bush
I greatly admire your work John. Not only have you honoured the amazing triumph over adversity of some Aboriginal people, but you have also honoured the missionaries into whose care children were placed.
The trend has been to vilify all those involved in the care of Stolen Generations.
Freda Glynn, to her great credit, spoke with love and appreciation about Sister Eileen Heath at the launch of a biography on her in Alice Springs.


The stolen child who went to university
Thanks John, for your sensitive tribute to a deserving man.


Suddenly everyone is talking about 1Territory
Who was it that said ‘the worst Northern Territory Government would be better than any administration from Canberra’?


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