The Age of Entitlement

The Age of Entitlement.

The other day Joe Hockey was reported in the SMH to have said, ”the age of entitlement is over, and the age of personal responsibility has begun”.

The word entitlement means:


noun \-ˈtī-təl-mənt\

: the condition of having a right to have, do, or get something.

: the feeling or belief that you deserve to be given something (such as special privileges).

: a type of financial help provided by the government for members of a particular group.

Source: Merriam Webster online

So what does Joe Hockey mean when he says that the age of entitlement is over?

Does he mean that no one has any rights in society?

Does he mean that people should not have an expectation of help in a Democratic Society?

Or does he mean that financial help will not be provided for various groups in society?

There is a further Question I would like to ask and that is one of Mandate. If Joe Hockey means that any one of the three conditions above has gone – then from where does he claim a mandate?

Let’s look at their Plan

Skills Training

Investing in job skills training

We will invest in advanced job skills training – including trade skills.

W e will boost and retain skills in the workplace and give incentives to employers to take young people and older

  Australians off welfare and into work.

O ur immigration programme will focus on skilled migrants targeting skills shortages and people who can make a

  contribution from day one in a job.

W e will work urgently with the States to aim to have 40 per cent of Year 12 students studying a foreign language,

   preferably an Asian language, within a decade to equip them with the skills necessary for the jobs of the future.

Given that the Liberal State Governments of New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland have slashed their TAFE funding and introduced the Private Model of TAFE, which is an utter failure and in many cases a fraud, I cannot see how these so called aspirational goals (they are not a plan either) can be achieved.

No costing – just a lot of pretty words. Where is the substance? Looks like just as he said – it’s up to you!

Delivering a fair go for Rural Australia.

We will stand up for regional Australia to ensure that they receive their ‘fair share’ of support from government on a wide range of policy programmes.

W e will restore policy stability and certainty to our live exports trade.

W e will better manage our precious water resources to help our agriculture sector grow to become the ‘Food Bowl of

   Asia’ and achieve ‘food security’ in a world demanding more food resources.

W e will further unlock potential growth in Northern Australia as we develop new land as a result of building new dams

  and securing our nation’s water supplies.

W e will deliver a strong, powerhouse economy delivering more jobs and generating the real wealth needed to drive

   growth in Australia’s tourism industry.

W e are investigating options to strengthen the rules governing the sale of Australian agricultural land and agribusinesses

  to foreign entities.

Their fair share?  Isn’t that an entitlement?

What about their fair share of a world class NBN? They won’t get that share!

What about the 3000 jobs at SPC Ardmona in the Shepparton area? They refused to give them any assistance so that Coca Cola Amatil (CCA) would be able to upgrade their factory. What about all of the farmers who rely on SPCA to buy their fruit?

They argued that CCA could afford to go it alone because they were a successful corporation and had the money themselves.

Here are some maths. If SPCA closes down and the 3000 direct jobs go onto Centrelink at $501 per fortnight – that will cost the Government coffers $13,026 per worker or $39 million dollars a year. What this doesn’t show is that a person on a wage is a net benefit to the economy. They pay PAYG Tax, they consume other goods which attract the GST, they help others out by consuming their goods. Without a job for these workers the town of Shepparton will become a ghost town. The farmers will bulldoze all of their fruit and their land will be worthless, apart from those who can afford to purchase the land. That is overseas investors.

Where is the ‘food security’ in this policy?

(See heading as to Centrelink and Welfare benefits)

Where is the plan for the new dams?

Where is this ‘Powerhouse’ economy? All we hear from Joe Hockey is doom and gloom – and he blames Labor.

Building on our strengths in Manufacturing Innovation

 We will unleash the real economic potential in our manufacturing industry by removing the shackles and burdens holding the industry back and by making the industry more productive and competitive. We will:

repeal the world’s biggest carbon tax which makes Australian businesses, particularly manufacturing, less competitive in

  domestic and international markets;

cut red tape costs by $1 billion a year;

get business costs down and get productivity up by ensuring Australian businesses have the right incentives to invest in

  Research and Development;

create the environment to revitalise Australian industry’s international competitiveness;

we will provide better links between government, business and research institutions;

act immediately to deliver a level playing field for Australia’s manufacturing businesses with more effective anti-dumping   

  measures. We will crack down on overseas producers who don’t cooperate with anti-dumping investigations. We will

  strengthen enforcement of the provisions of the World Trade Organisation Agreement on subsidies and countervailing

  measures. We will transfer anti-dumping responsibilities from Customs to the Department of Industry; and

build on our comparative strength in Manufacturing Innovation.

Fabulous set of words but what do they mean?

Did the bloke who wrote this just come home from watching Gladiator?

Remember in the beginning of the film when Russell Crowe said “On my signal unleash hell”?

I can just see Joe Hockey in his Toga holding his trident at the IPA and shouting “Unleash the economic potential.”

In the case of Holden, the worlds biggest Carbon Tax cost Holden $45 for each vehicle (page 14 of their submission to the Productivity Commission) . A mere pittance compared to the claimed Carbon Price impost on the Australian Motor Vehicle Industry by the Liberal Party. (See my post.

Since writing about Holden’s decision and the extraordinary actions of Joe Hockey and Warren Truss, I have found a


which details the assistance given to other countries as a result of the economic downturn during the GFC.

The amount of assistance given to Australian motor vehicle manufacturers compared to other developed countries is pitiful.

The comparison is on page 14 of the report

r Cap Assistance for the Automotive Industry, $US 2007 (purchasing power parity), 2008-09
Country Estimated Assistance (Local Currency) Population (million) Per Capita Assistance (Local currency) Currency Conversion (purchasing power parity) Per Capita Assistance $US
Australia $573.3 million 22.0 $26.11 1.467 $US17.80
Canada $C4 billion 32.5 $C118.55 1.23 $US96.39
France €8.6 62.1 €137.36 0.932 $US147.38
Germany €6,5 81.7 €79.52 0.88 $US90.37
Sweden 28.5 billion kronor 9.2 3085.81 kronor 9.234 $US334.18
United Kingdom £1.15 billion 61.8 £18.61 0.665 $US27.99
United States $US81.3 billion 307.0 $US264.81 1.0 $US264.82

As you can see from this we gave the least amount of support to our car industry, yet we are the most competitive market with the lowest Import Tariff.

Where also does the age of entitlement sit with the $16 million for Cadbury’s factory in Hobart, Tasmania? Well it doesn’t sit that well. If the same arguments that were used for SPC are to be used with Cadbury’s then the argument falls flat on its face.

Cadbury was and probably is still owned by Kraft foods, which in turn was/is owned by Philip Morris. Whatever the ownership, it is a remarkable tangled web of huge multi-nationals who make more money than the whole of Australia will ever see.

If you want to try and sort it out read the following.

So why give money to Cadbury, and refuse to give anything to Holden and SPCA, because they are owned by companies which have huge profits?

Of the three the Cadbury group (owners) have the hugest profits of the lot.

So the economic argument is just rubbish.

Where is the detailed costing of the savings to industry of $1 billion per year? I actually know the answer to that. It doesn’t exist – except in some policy writer’s imagination.

I agree that the Australian manufacturing industry needs to do better – I used to work in it and am aware of the influences which affect business profitability. I can assure you that they are not only to do with workers and their wages.

I agree that business people are time poor, but they also don’t know what they don’t know. There are a range of requirements to running a business and core amongst them is an appreciation of the financial aspects of the business.

This is about having more money flowing in than is flowing out and enough so that you can make a profit. I am sick to death of so called business people complaining about the GST and the time it takes them to do ‘it’.

The business activity statement (BAS) is a simple thing and is incorporated into all of the accounting software available for business. The simple fact of the matter is if you enter all of your transactions correctly, the program will spit out the BAS in about 30 seconds flat.

It’s actually a simple concept. You buy goods which attract the GST, you then do something with them and sell them which attracts the GST. So you are not paying twice, the GST you have to pay is the GST you sell, for minus the GST you buy at. This is what the BAS statement calculates as well as any pay as you go (PAYG) tax for your employees. Again if you have the payroll system set up correctly in your accounting software this is also calculated for you.

I would rather Joe Hockey and Co. spent some money on assisting business to understand the dynamics of business, rather than talking a huge amount of meaningless rubbish.


To the Liberal and National Party this is a dirty word. Or that is the impression I get.

Improving productivity – by boosting

workforce participation

We will deliver higher productivity growth by boosting workforce participation. We will encourage every Australian to be a productive contributor in the nation’s life and give every Australian the opportunity to get ahead and build

a better life for themselves and their families.

W e will provide incentives for employers to employ young people and seniors and take them off welfare.

W e will ensure that people of working age are actually working, preferably for a wage – but if not, for the dole – by

   reinvigorating the work-for the dole programme that was one of the great successes of the previous Coalition Government.

W e will introduce a genuine Paid Parental Leave Scheme and help ensure that childcare is more accessible, affordable  

   and     flexible – ensuring all families have more choice. The Coalition’s Paid Parental Leave scheme is based on a

  mother’s    real wage, rather than a minimum wage.

  According to the Productivity Commission’s report into parental leave, Australia is one of only two countries where

  Parental  leave isn’t based on the mother’s actual wage.

W e will introduce a new Job Commitment Bonus for long-term employees who get a job and remain off welfare for 12

   months and a further bonus if they remain off welfare for 24 months.

We will introduce a new Jobseeker Relocation Bonus for young job seekers who move to take a job.

We will provide better structured incentives for employers to employ people over 50 years of age.

We will make work-for-the-dole mandatory for all long-term unemployed welfare beneficiaries under 50 years of age and

   tighten work-for-the dole  requirements.

We will start suspending dole payments for people under 30 years of age in areas where unskilled work is readily


We will adopt a smarter approach to the disability pension that distinguishes between disabilities that are likely to be

   permanent and those that are not, which will help to prevent older unemployed people being parked on welfare.

We will support the Australian Employment Covenant and its many supporting employers to create more opportunities for

  Indigenous Australians to get ahead by actively engaging more indigenous Australians in real jobs.

There are a couple of Elephants in the room here and one of them is the discriminatory paid parental leave scheme. If as Joe says the age of entitlement is over then he forgot this scheme: Where a person earning a huge wage can be the recipient of half of that wage for the period after their pregnancy, whereas the low paid worker would be the recipient of half of their low pay. Seems a bit discriminatory to me.

The second Elephant in the room (the one with the huge ears) is the jobs market. How many jobs are out there in Australia to be had? Well using punitive measures to put people back into work and blaming people is in the Liberal DNA. However they haven’t yet demonstrated any Economic nous to show that helping Industry with small outlay (in terms of Australia’s overall budget) actually helps keep and expand employment.

Will Abbott create 1 million Jobs in 5 years? He has claimed he can, but is off to a pathetic start.

October 2013

Employment increased 1,100 to 11,639,200. Full-time employment decreased 27,900 to 8,094,700 and part-time employment increased 28,900 to 3,544,500.

November 2013

Employment increased 21,000 to 11,659,900. Full-time employment increased 15,500 to 8,107,900 and part-time employment increased 5,500 to 3,552,000.

December 2013

Employment decreased 22,600 to 11,629,500. Full-time employment decreased 31,600 to 8,067,700 and part-time employment increased 9,000 to 3,561,800.

ABS 6202.0 – Labour Force, Australia

In the three months since Abbott has been Prime Minister, the statistics show that Australia has lost 500 jobs net.

His claim to create 200,000 a year is 548 jobs a day.


October          =16,988

November      =16,440

December      =16,988

Total             = 50,416 – new jobs Abbott and the Liberal National Coalition claimed they

would create. Yet at the end of 3 months Australia have lost 500 jobs.

Abbott and his government are 50,916 jobs behind budget.

What jobs will the people in their policy have? It’s just a recipe for punishment.


In every sphere this Coalition Government have talked big and delivered little.

They have just obfuscated, hidden, and outright lied about the Australian Economy, the state of the debt and an array of other issues.

Eric Abetz says there is the risk of a wages explosion. With the employment figures (and remember I am quoting verbatim the Australian Bureau of Statistics here) like they are, there is no chance of a wages explosion any time soon. He lied.

Joe Hockey continues to say that Labor left us with a huge debt burden. Its 10% of GDP. Other countries in the OED have debt burdens of 100+% of their GDP. He lied.

Kevin Andrews attacked the Disability support pensioners. Saying that the payments were unsustainable. It has been proven that he is wrong and there is no blow out. See my blog (

He Lied too.

No where above or in the Liberal (so called) Plan have I seen a Mandate to move away from the Welfare State to one where the individual bears responsibility for his or her own life.

The Australian State we know today has evolved over a 112 years of Federation. No where did the Liberal party tell the Australian people before September 7th that ”the age of entitlement is over, and the age of personal responsibility has begun”.

Behind their booklet was their plan. The plan to punish the people they don’t like. The people who haven’t had the opportunities they have had or to go to private schools. The sense of entitlement they feel is the one we should abolish.

Where is this much vaunted Economic nous? I think its crap and I have a great deal more evidence that their credentials are crap, than Tony Abbott does for his Climate Change argument.

The approval of two of the largest mines in the world in the Galilee basin didn’t even warrant a press release from the Minister for the Environment. I think he should be renamed the minister for Mines.

So far this Government has approved 2 open cut coal mines in the basin. Their joint annual production is 90 million tonnes.  Both of which environmentalists say could ruin the ground water. They have approved railway lines to the port of Abbot Point.

Abbot Point exported 17 million tonnes of coal last year. There are plans to increase the capacity of the port to 250 million tonnes. Approval of part expansion of the port has been granted and 3 million tonnes of dredged fill will be dumped in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Reserve.

Why are two owners of mines allowed to be entitled to such largess when the man in the street without a job and the disabled are preyed upon by these vultures of the neo-conservative tribe?

The Liberal and National Parties are the epitome of the Animal Farm. All animals are equal but some are more equal than others. The Liberals are the entitled ones, and the Nationals just hang around the Liberal’s coat-tails and do what they are told like good little boys. They just don’t represent the people they pretend to.

By Vince O'Grady

Vince emigrated to Australia in 1978 from the United Kingdom, where he was a Police Constable in Brierley Hill, on the outskirts of Birmingham in the West Midlands. He saw a great deal of dysfunctional society during his four-and-a-half years’ Police service and realised the necessity of always being truthful, factual and slow to judge others. Deciding to pursue a different career in Australia, he chose telecommunications and has worked in sales, product and marketing management in the public and private sectors. In 1981, he became ill with arthritis and ceased full-time work in 1992, when he became a sessional teacher at TAFE in a number of subjects — mainly related to manufacturing. During the Howard years, he became interested in politics and after “hiding in plain sight” for many years, joined the Labor party in 2010. Vince has many interests, including social justice, inclusion and the good old Australian “fair go” for all. He has policy interests in economics and education. His interest in history shows that we make the same mistakes over and over again and hopes to make a difference to the political debate by clear thinking and analysis rather than by trite sloganeering. In his private life, Vince enjoys woodwork and also is a keen family historian, with a very Irish paternal side and a very French Huguenot maternal side — and is a mixture of a working class and an upper middle class upbringing. He has a Bachelors degree in Business and qualifications in Workplace Training and Assessing. He is also a keen home brewer of fine ales — at least according to his son!


  1. Just wish people would start listening Vince! Most don’t want to hear and certainly don’t want to see any facts. This country will be the poorer for the experiment of an Abbott govt, thanks to a compliant media!

    1. Hi Lorraine,

      Yes people just listen to the press and their refrain is “Wasn’t this inevitable?” The simple answer is No it wasn’t. I have worked in manufacturing and its a complex area where sets of skills are learned enhanced and maintaind in an ongoing cycle. If there is no industry then there is no skill and no maintenance.

      Education, another core activity, addressed by the Rudd and Gillard Governments is also key. What is happening is that these disciplines are being decimated and I can only say that it’s ideological.

      I thought Howard was bad by he pales into insignificance next to this bloke and all of his cronies. I have a very very bad feeling about all of this.

    1. Glad that your reading my Blog Jen and the answer to your question is yes I do correspond with people in the opposition. Its useless trying to talk to this conservative government because they have just no idea about industry and economics, just like they have no idea about Education. The problem they have is that their frame of reference is bare. Sure they went to school but have never delivered a lesson or written curriculum, have no idea of learning styles and a host of other and more fundamental things about Education which you would know.

      Likewise they have never really worked in a real job. never gotten their hands dirty in anything, hospitality or farming or industry. They do a good line of bullshit though. Yet they are also “Eddie the experts” and master of none of it. Believe you me it shows.

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