Why a healthy economy matters. Real investment and real jobs.
For Bean Counter and anyone else interested in “facts” – here is some personal experience information. I was one of the 10% “let go” from a bank in 2009 when the GFC struck and the bank needed to ensure its ongoing survival – which of course it has successfully done. Luckily my wife has a part time position and we are (still) ahead in our house payments so we don’t have the burden of monthly mortgage repayments just a snowball debt that the interest keeps growing. The wife “survived” 2012 work cut backs (500 positions plus contract staff were let go) however we are bracing for March 2013 and the next round of staff cutbacks as it looks like this will be her curtain call. Initially I was applying for around 4 job positions a week but constant “sorry you were unsuccessful” emails take a lot out of you and when you go to a 3 hour (repeat 3 hour) assessment exercise and get told that more than 1000 applications had been received for the 24 positions on offer and you are now to stage 2 in a group of 120 other contenders you soon realise the numbers are stacked against you. Of course you try to enhance your chances by taking courses and allocate some finance from your reduced budget to training but then find out at tax time that because you are not in a full time position you can’t claim the training as a tax deduction. And because your wife is employed you do not qualify for any – what’s the term – bludger support apart from family benefit A and B, which even fully employed people can qualify for. Now the “benefit” A and B is a poisoned challis because you have to estimate your annual income. Under estimate it and get paid incorrectly and you have to pay it back – fair enough, however to avoid this you over estimate the non-existent salary just in case but this means that at the time when you need support the most you are in fact encouraged to prudently “refuse” it. Figure out that contradiction yourself. Despite the above I am still actively seeking full time employment and am doing a Cert IV in OH&S – our mortgage “credit” took the hit on that one. In September I was lucky enough to score a casual ironing position which gave me the potential for 2 or maybe 3 x 4 hour stints a week and at $16 an hour it was gratefully accepted. Then soon after I started ironing another offer to do some casual work until Christmas came up which paid $22 per hour. Trouble was this conflicted with the ironing so my compromise was that one day a week I only worked 5 hours of the 8 hour shift allocated (effectively a “voluntary” $48 pay cut) and went and did my ironing job in the afternoon. Not only did I want to remain loyal to my ironing employer who had given me a hand up in my hour of need but I also needed to protect this opportunity since the $22 p.h. job was only until Christmas and ironing would then be my only “guaranteed” employment option. So by all means reader join the ranks of the arrogant aristocracy inhabited by the likes of Jenny Macklin and all others who pepper their verbal judgements with bludger whenever the topic of unemployment is discussed. However please excuse what you will probably see as my arrogance, particularly if we are at a Perth barbie thrown by the likes of Scotty, if I turn and walk away from you if you start espousing your depth of knowledge when it comes to the hard work that is unemployment. Thank you.