Wednesday 11 December 2013

The Audacity of Government

I try not to be political on the blog, but from time to time I can no longer bite my tongue and stand by incredulously. I will preface this by saying that while you don't have to agree with me, I will delete abusive comments (aimed at myself, other commenters or the Liberal Party). I will also state that the figures are averages, on the low end of the scale, but it is the low end of the childcare and political wages - thus the PM figure is conservative by a long shot. I am also limiting the post to the three incidents this week.

I take great issue at someone on six figures telling someone on basically a little more than the minimum wage that it is wrong to take a pay rise. Child care workers have a tough job - they have to engage the whole day. They can't play around on the internet, take long lunches or duck out for an appointment. For this hard work, and the welfare of a large percentage of this nation's children, they get in the lowly ball park of $31,000. Our Prime Minster has insulted them in general, their skills and their importance by implying that it is wrong that they should get a pay rise.

There was also the highly insulting comment that the downfall of Holden was due to the workers wanting higher than minimum wage. Again, someone on six figures telling low income workers they are demanding too much.

We are obviously in dire financial straits, if these low income workers getting a tiny $3 an hour extra is draining the business coffers. So I have a solution, which should work for everyone.

If all the politicians did the right thing by the country and went back to minimum wage, then that extra $140k not paid per pollie would boost the surplus. If it is acceptable for childcare workers and car manufacturing factory floor workers not to want a better standard of living, then politicians must surely find it acceptable to live by the same standard. I would hold you in the highest respect, Mr Abbott, if you choose to lead by example.

There are, of course, other ways that really should be considered as mandatory, to free up some over-spending and boost the Govt funds. If every time a politician attended a sporting event, either as spectator or participant, they paid their own way, that would cut back on substantial Govt spending. (I include in this also, weddings and other non essential political travel, but that sounds like I'm having a dig.)

Political pensions too, should drop to the average pensioner rate. As this is deemed acceptable for the average tax payer, it should be acceptable for all.

These simple cuts, are as you say, in order to 'do the right thing by your Country' so I look forward to seeing them implemented quickly. I'll even let you take them as your own ideas - I need no credit. Once these are in place, I estimate you'll have easily $140 million* at your disposal, which will easily cover the miniscule $3-$6 an hour increase for underpaid childcare workers.

I loved Fahrenheit 451, and especially the line "If you don't want a man unhappy politically, don't give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none." So I applaud that you are using his novel as part of your political operations. However, even I have to draw the line at the criticism that it is unfair for the ABC to give the news online for free at the tax payers expense. I need to point out that it is the tax payers that are choosing to read the news for free. I am unsure that any spin doctor can really sell this idea. Though as it was pointed out to me, if we keep cutting the education funding, we really will be that stupid, so you have maybe just tried it on a little too soon to get away with it.

People of Australia, I ask you to give voice to these insulting inequalities. There comes a time where we need to demand our leaders change their ways. If the media is being asked not to report something, it is rarely in the interest of the majority of the people.

For the record, I am not a child care worker. I am not in the car industry. Nor am I employed in the media. I am Joe Citizen, wondering why nothing is being done about a growing inequality and a very alarming loss of information available to Joe Public. It brings to mind ‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing’. I am asking you, dear reader, where are the good men? Are you one of them?

*It's actually probably a lot more, I've been very conservative in my maths, to be fair.

Digital Parents Blog Carnival


  1. One of the workers at Dyllan's daycare left to go and work at Maccas because the pay is better. Seriously, it's better pay to flip burgers than to take care of our future. I see a massive problem there. I definitely agree that if the pollies cut some of their claimed expenses (the legal ones) then the budget would be in surplus again before we know it..or even better there would be more money available to be spent on valuable things like health and education.

  2. Sounds like a fair solution to me, Lydia and how novel of an idea for our pollies to lead by example. I am shaking my head at what has been going on in this country this week. It's shameful.

  3. You are spot on, Lydia. It is sickening the liberties politicians take. I found out the other day how much "some" politicians continue to make when they are out of office, even! INSANE! Good on you for speaking up about something so important.

  4. Our government really seem to be messing up the stuff that's important to us... Childcare, equal marriage rights, Holden, education :( It just gets worse!

  5. Hear hear Lydia I couldn't agree more. And it just seems the country is becoming less likely to challenge or stand up for what they believe in. Those asking for higher wages are usually those who do the jobs the six figure people don't want to and they are usually very under appreciated! Em

  6. Couldn't agree with you more. But I hate to say it, I'm not surprised by what the Coalition's been up to. It really is sad that we can't give child care workers the respect and the remuneration they deserve.

  7. I totally agree ... not just childcare workers but teachers as a whole are massively underpaid and under valued. They play a very important role in moulding our future adults! Those pollies get far too much money and keep on getting pay rises all the time. It makes my blood boil.

  8. Lydia, doesn't it just seem like the obvious solution, but I think we would all be very surprised if it happened! Even taking a percentage cut would be better than nothing, but probably also just a dream.
    Our childcare workers and teachers in general have one of the most important jobs in the country, yet are so undervalued.
    Surely the individuals that make up the government can see the direction our economy is heading, but no doubt they'll all get a lovely Christmas bonus this year.

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  10. I had to take out the first and last lines - sorry. (I have said the exact same thing but I tread carefully in these matters.) The rest of your comment is as it was:
    in fact, I'm sure he'd be well pleased if we all took our kids out of childcare and stayed at home chained to the kitchen sink where we belong. Then childcare workers' wages would be a non-issue. Oh and of course we'd all smack our children because that's the best way to stop them growing up to be homosexuals who *gasp* want marriage equality!

  11. You've put out there what most of the country talk about amongst themselves everyday. I can only shake my head, I don't think the politicians realise that there are real people struggling out in the real world while they play around(rolling in money) in Canberra. I do hope they enjoy cruising around in their new BMWs while us common people wonder where the money is going to come from to put new tyres on the family car, or fuel in the tank.

  12. Good on you Lydia! Great Post!! I considered working in childcare when I left school but I earnt more money working as a checkout chick at Coles. I could not justify the study and low income as I had to support myself at a young age. The job is such a responsible one and I just don't get it. How can scanning groceries be paid higher than looking after our kids. My daughter is an apprentice hairdresser and in her 2nd year full time she earns less than $400/week. Her friends in retail earn $600 for as many hours with far less skills and training...another system that needs an overhaul. Thanks for getting up on your soapbox. Love it!!

  13. Good for you for sharing your thoughts Lydia! It's so easy to sit on the fence but it takes a brave person to say what they really think! :-) Lucy from Bake Play Smile

  14. I don't get how our country works...
    What about Our Aged Care Industry??? If we put a politician into care into the system as the way it is now, that said Politician would not accept the way our Aged Care Residents are treated.
    What about the Comfy Prisons? Change their cells for the aged care industry and then maybe it would be a bit more fair.
    Then there is our Military Forces - what about giving them a service where we pay respect to those that are protecting our country.
    Don't get me started on the Aged Care Pension....ask a Politician to live each fortnight on what our aged care people get - be a different story then hey!
    I guess it pays to be a member of the Parliament - and pays to be a Politician - they get way above the basic wages...yet have no idea how the real world lives ;)

    1. The aged care got announced the day after this was written. We have become a country that fights the poor, not for the poor. I think it's really sad and I don't understand people standing by. I don't even have an issue with politicians earning what they do (well, not much, if it stops them being corruptible) but to say to others - it's wrong of you to take that payrise?? It takes a certain amount of audacity...

  15. The hypocrisy of saying on one hand that he genuinely thought a wedding was a claimable event and on the other expecting others to live on minimum wage makes me sooooooo very angry.