Letters to
the editor

No empathy for jobless

Why would Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his ministers, who decided on the JobSeeker increase of about $3.60 a day, worry about whether it is adequate or not to live on? (Rachel Withers, “More is less”, February 27–March 5). What do they know about living on the dole, making sure that every cent they get is accounted for and not wasting any of their payment so as to help pay for food, rent and other necessary bills? They receive a daily allowance almost equal to a week’s payment of the dole on top of their pay for each day they stay away from their home. They then have the temerity to say how good the increase is for the unemployed.

– Con Vaitsas, Ashbury, NSW

A nightmare scenario

Imagine a workplace dystopia in which, if the boss bullies or sexually assaults a member of his staff, the matter is referred back to him for investigation (Karen Middleton, “Full account: Tracing the Brittany Higgins case”, February 27–March 5). He is not going to find himself at fault, so there are no consequences, and in any case the finding is withheld from the victim. Moreover, the boss can fire the victim whenever he pleases. No civil society would allow this dystopia to exist, let alone to govern it. But imagine if a country were governed by this lunacy. Its citizens would be subjected to madhouse antics such as illegal demands for money that assumed guilt and reversed the onus of proof. Dystopia indeed.

– David Clarke, Battery Point, Tas

Helping others to help ourselves

At the end of December 2020, the Peoples Vaccine Alliance reported that rich nations – representing 14 per cent of the world’s population – had bought up 53 per cent of the most promising Covid-19 vaccines. The World Health Organization continues to warn that control of Covid-19 and the return of safe freedom of travel depends on the universal availability of effective vaccines. In other words, even if wealthy countries were bereft of compassion and morality, enlightened self-interest would demand that they look beyond the immediate needs and demands of their citizens. The same principle is surely relevant to extremes of wealth and poverty, both internationally and domestically. The breakdown of American society is a stark reminder that a safe, stable decent society cannot exist with gross inequality. The Coalition is glibly ignoring this reality with scandals such as our miserable foreign aid budget and callous mistreatment of the unemployed and disadvantaged.

– Norman Huon, Port Melbourne, Vic

The line on Kelly

Paul Bongiorno refers to Craig Kelly’s “fulsome praise” of Scott Morrison (“Snake oil and ladders”, February 27–March 5). As definitions of fulsome include “nauseating”, “disgusting” and “gross”, I assume he was referring to Kelly’s private views, rather than his public comments.

– Richard Mason, Newtown, NSW

Housing needs a redesign

In “Safe as houses” (Mike Seccombe, February 20-26), economist Saul Eslake presents a dilemma for the lucky first-home buyer. After purchasing a house, owners tend to the rational economic action of growing wealth and capital. In doing so they perpetuate the challenges faced by those looking to enter the market. To adopt the reform policies of Nicki Hutley and Eslake, we first have to change the public narrative. We must shift from trumpeting individual equity to championing social equality. Only then can we tackle the ever-growing divide between those who have and those who have not.

– Tom Kelly, Fairfield, Vic

Not hopeful for aged care

The incompetent and corrupt Morrison government has squibbed on the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry, so the 148 recommendations made by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety have Buckley’s chance of being implemented.

– Scott Ramsay, Strathdale, Vic

Letters are welcome: [email protected]
Please include your full name and address and a daytime telephone number. Letters may be edited for length and content, and may be published in print and online. Letters should not exceed 150 words.

This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on March 6, 2021.

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