04 | 15
2011

Welfare reform: rob the poor and fatten the already obese!

Categories: Commonwealth Government, Corporate profit, Discrimination/Racism, Hypocrisy

by: Bakchos
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Prime Minister Gillard signalled during a speech given to the Sydney Institute on Wednesday night that welfare reform was on her agenda, in a big way.

“The social and economic reality of our country is that there are people who can work, who do not…. We know there are 230,000 people who have been unemployed for more than two years, that there are 250,000 families where no adult has been working for at least one year, and that the youth unemployment rate is still double the overall unemployment rate…

The people I am talking about include people whose lives present hard cases, people whose problems keep them out of work and whose problems are made worse by the lack of work – all of those people who will be better off with work.” (Prime Minister Gillard)

The people who will suffer most as a result of the populist ranting’s of a morally bankrupt and vacuous government are Indigenous Australians, the poor and the marginalised. Who are the winners going to be? Firstly, those who are in the process of enriching themselves from the proceeds of the rape of Indigenous Australian land, in particular Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) and its founder ‘Twiggy’ Forrest who has recently been accused of vote stacking by the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation (YAC), to allow FMG exploration and mining rights on Yindjibarndi land at terms and conditions very favorable to the miner. Way to go Twiggy!

Another potential winner is Mr Clive Palmer who, unlike Twiggy, can’t even be bothered to mine the land that was stolen from the Aboriginal people of the Pilbara, so is leasing it out to China’s Citic Pacific’s Sino Iron project, which expects to extract 2 billion tonnes of high grade iron ore from its open cast mine in the area over the next 25 years. What are the rightful owners of these resources going to receive from Palmer’s deal with the Chinese? Not even a minute fraction of what he is going to get. Only goes to prove that theft, rape and pillage are the way to go in the white fellas’ world!

Let’s leave aside the issues surrounding the theft, rape and destruction of Aboriginal Australian land for a minute and concentrate on the benefits to the wider Australian community of selling/leasing Australian resources to a foreign power. Palmer, Twiggy and their mates in Canberra argue that Australia reaps uncounted riches by way of royalties and taxes! But what are the realities?

Other areas within the Australian Government maintain that multinational miners including BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto pay just 13 per cent company tax, while their domestic counterparts give back 17 cents in the dollar.

It has released data from the US-based National Bureau of Economic Research showing miners in Australia pay less company tax than they would in Canada, the United Kingdom or the United States.

The company tax rate in Australia is a flat 30%, though through the dividend imputation system Australian residents effectively do not pay this company income tax upon the profits distributed as dividends by Australian-resident corporations. When an Australian corporation pays corporate income tax, franking credits are generated and can then be applied to dividend payments at a maximum rate of 30 cents per dollar of dividend. Shareholders may then use these credits to offset their own personal income tax payable, including claiming a refund for excess credits left over after offsetting all payable income tax.

So while the company tax rate in Australia is a flat 30%, multi-national miners are paying less than half this amount. So not only are the multi-national miners raping Aboriginal Australia, they are stealing the very national resources that middle Australia relies on to maintain its fear induced catatonic state.

The Gillard welfare reform agenda has a hidden benefit for the likes of FMG and Clive Palmer. The benefit is, and I’m sure you all guessed it, Aboriginal alienation from their traditional lands.

If the long term unemployed are forced to follow jobs, considering that the Indigenous unemployment rate is about three times higher than that of non-Indigenous people, this means that more Indigenous Australians will be forced from their traditional lands in a search for employment, or run the risk of losing their welfare payments in the name of white fella efficiency/greed.

As more and more Indigenous Australians are forced from their traditional lands, the opportunities for vote stacking at Aboriginal Land Council meetings become enhanced. As we have seen in the YAC sage, the only winners here are greedy white miners.

In terms of real job opportunities for Indigenous Australians, another set of statistic needs to be considered. Today marks the twentieth anniversary of the release of the 339 recommendations and Final Report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.

What is significant about this anniversary is that, twenty years on from that watershed moment in the history of the disposition of black Australia by white Australia, the core issues remain the same; nothing has changed, nothing! According to the Australian Institute of Criminology:

  • Indigenous juveniles are 28 times more likely than non-Indigenous juveniles to be in detention.
  • Indigenous persons are 22 times more likely than non-Indigenous persons to be arrested or detained by police and accounted for 33 percent of all police custody incidents across Australia in 2007.
  • In the most recent prison census data, the ratio of imprisonment rates of Indigenous to non-Indigenous persons was 17:1; Indigenous people had an imprisonment rate 17 times higher than that of non-Indigenous persons.

This has an obvious flow on affect to employment. Criminal record checks for jobs advertised as “public sector positions” are covered by specific recruitment guidelines. The guidelines say that checks should only be performed on the people who are to be offered jobs. Generally, checks for convictions, other than sexual convictions, will only go back 10 years, but the guidelines do not explicitly state this. Minor offences more than 10 years old may be treated as spent convictions.

The reality is, if you have a criminal record you are unlikely to be able to gain employment in the public sector. Given the high incidents of official Aboriginal criminality, this ‘bar’ on public sector employment acts as a type of hidden racism to the disadvantage of an already marginalised group, Indigenous Australians.

This type of racism becomes even more entrenched when we consider the reluctance by some police and indeed in the case of the Australian Federal Police, the outright refusal, to investigate crimes committed by white Australians against Aboriginal Australians.

So the Gillard plan is to force Indigenous Australians off their land, in search of jobs they can’t get, in a vain attempt at assimilation which will never happen, so that the likes of FMG and Clive Palmer will have easier and eventually unfettered access to the stolen resources of an entire race of people, to the benefit of a few, while the middle classes sit back and watch in their fear induced catatonic state.

Isn’t it great to see the Australian Labor party remaining true to its core values!

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