JobKeeper and Barnaby
Fair suck of the sav, Barnaby. Why is it that people who are comfortably well off are always the ones to criticise programs that assist people who are battling against the odds? ("Joyce hits close to home", May 15)
No matter droughts, floods, bushfires nor pandemic, Barnaby, you could comfortably sit on your backside and the $211,000 salary + privileges would keep rolling into your bank account.
Not to mention that $675,000 in expenses you racked up in three short weeks as Drought Envoy, without a formal report. By the way, how are those promised drought and bushfire relief payments going?
Now you've chosen to spread the seeds of propaganda for the government plan to unilaterally end the JobkKeeper program.
Just when small business owners were heaving a sigh of relief, looking forward to opening up again, re-employing workers and paying those bills that have been accumulating, you are proposing to pull the carpet out from under them; and doing it mere weeks after copping the political glory of announcing the program. How good is that?
Your puerile con with words like, "Of course our hearts say that could work", and "it is money that is borrowed and money that has to be repaid", along with a little dose of China xenophobia, are childish and offensive.
The bald truth is that removal of the Jobkeeper program will not only have dire financial consequences for New England businesses, communities and the unemployed, it will exacerbate the social and psychological damage that this virus is already creating; and that will take a long time and more expensive resourcing to mitigate in the future.
Once again the government is putting the economic cart before the welfare horse; and people, once buoyed by the announcement of the initiative, will continue suffering, while those cruel lines outside Centrelink offices get longer.
Good money managers? Another political myth of convenience.
Bert Candy, Glenvale
The COVID-19 virus continues to befuddle all and sundry in our communities. Nobody appears to have any clear idea about its virulence or its lasting effects on all humans. Its origins are the subject of much debate along with Chinese antipathy towards any sort of primary responsibilities.
Back in 1898 the writer Hilaire Belloc summed up our problems today, in poem entitled "The Microbe", (More Beasts for worse children, Duckworth, 1898).
The Microbe is so very small
You cannot make him out at all,
But many sanguine people hope
To see him through a microscope.
His jointed tongue that lies beneath
A hundred curious rows of teeth;
His seven tufted tails with lots
Of lovely pink and purple spots,
On each of which a pattern stands,
Composed of forty separate bands;
His eyebrows of a tender green;
All these have never yet been seen--
But Scientists, who ought to know,
Assure us that they must be so....
Oh! let us never, never doubt
What nobody is sure about!
It is clear that few, if any, of our medical 'experts' today have any better understandings. The response to close down just about every human activity which make ordinary life truly liveable has been the official, authoritarian response from our 'leaders'.
In the process our economy has been trashed. People have lost their work and incomes. And we all are advised to fear our neighbours in case they are carriers of the virus. Is it really sensible to scare adults, as well as children, with the apocalyptic nonsense retailed by our leaders, and sundry medical academics?
When I was young Australians had a much stronger grasp of the realities of our lives. Constant fear and trembling at every problem was largely absent in the way we thought about our lives. We simply got on with what we had to do, and ignored the doom sayers.
Belloc's understanding was even clearer. (Cautionary Tales, 1907)
Physicians of the Utmost Fame;
Were called at once; but when they came;
They answered as they took their Fees;
There is no Cure for this Disease.
Even this might well not be true. But it is no reason to stop living confidently and vigorously together today.
Bruce Watson, Kentucky
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