The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) today seems to have suffered a monumental memory lapse, completely failing to remember the word employment, and more importantly, what it means to employ someone.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald:
Australia’s peak business body wants to expand the work for the dole scheme, allowing the private sector to use young unemployed workers who would be paid for from the public purse as a way of addressing youth unemployment.
SMH: Work for the dole needs to be in the private sector, Rachel Browne, 20-02-2015
This seems to be an entirely novel idea – people doing work for a business in return for monetary compensation that they can use to buy goods, services, luxury items and pay for lodging and accommodation in a suitable place of their own choosing. It’s remarkable the boffins in the ACCI haven’t come up with something like this before!
Basically what the ACCI is saying is: “Businesses we represent are too tight and unwilling to pay people to work for us. We want you, the government, to make them work for us and pay them for us.”
A return to the days of indentured servitude? The terrifying thing of course is that with a government like this one, they may very well get their wish.
Given it’s been roundly stated that unemployment benefits in Australia are woefully inadequate, we need to stop these discussions in their track and refocus the discussion onto why so many businesses are seemingly run so badly they’re unable to pay people to work for them, and why successive governments (Labor and Liberal/National) have been entirely unwilling to provide unemployment benefits that allow for an appropriate base standard of living.