No clear goals in handout culture

by Richard Denniss in The Canberra Times
Originally published in The Canberra Times on March 1, 2014

Despite the Abbott government carrying out their commitment to slash tens of thousands of public-sector jobs and the pride taken in the deterrence effect of the death of an asylum seeker on Manus Island, our deputy prime minister in waiting, Barnaby Joyce, describes $300 million from taxpayers to his constituency as proof that we are a ”caring nation”.

All Australians should be concerned about the impact of drought on farmers, farm labourers and small businesses in regional communities. Indeed, we should be just as concerned about the impact of the high exchange rate on manufacturing workers and the impact of technological change on employment in call centres. 

Mr Hockey pretends that the government doesn’t pick winners, and because he pretends that the age of entitlement is over, we can’t have an honest conversation about which industries or communities we want to help or discuss the best way to help them.

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