Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Permission to Lie

There have been more changes to the way that the Australian Government approach unemployment. Now, instead of going into their offices on a fortnightly basis to hand in a form detailing our jobseeking efforts, it’s all to be done online or on the phone.
Which is fine, if you have internet access on a regular basis or have a phone which allows you to make calls to Centrelink, costing you the same as a local call.
Online used to be optional. It isn’t anymore because the funding isn’t there.
I was in Centrelink this morning and I had my form with me detailing some of the jobs that I applied for. That’s when I got told that they wanted me to do it online. I explained my reservations. They were dismissed as I am not elderly, illiterate or otherwise incapable of using the internet. So I did the internet thing while I was there.
I didn’t have to give any exampled of the jobs I’d applied for and I didn’t need to talk about my volunteer work either. I just had to click on all the right buttons. No proof needed.
Um, okay, so what’s stopping those less honest from tapping all those buttons without actually applying for jobs?
Absolutely nothing.
The Australian Government is giving us permission to lie and cheat the social security system by not encouraging us to go into the offices and sit across from a person. It’s going to make it harder for those of us that do the right thing when this system falls into pieces in six months.
Not that they ever checked the jobs that people applied for anyway. I mean, I’ve heard stories about people writing on their forms that they applied to be an astronaut and they still got paid. Not something I’d want to test though. Knowing my luck I’d get caught in a big stinky lie. To be fair to Centrelink though, there is no way that they could get the funding for one office to check into people’s jobseeking efforts in a town the size of Ballarat, let alone a capital city like Melbourne.
I just don’t think it’s a good idea. I think it’s going to make people lazy about applying for jobs because if they don’t need to show a form, then they’re probably not going to even try.

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