The tendency for human beings to kick another whist he or she is down is not a well known Christian practice but perhaps it should be. The Royal Commission into the Robodebt Scheme, currently underway, reveals a religious zeal by the ministers responsible in hammering this automated debt collection program home. This is despite the Robodebt scheme being understood by government lawyers to be illegal. Scott Morrison, a proud Christian and the minister responsible at its inception had no qualms about using income averaging to impose large debts upon the poorest and most vulnerable among the Australian community.
Robodebt The Righteous Crime Investigated
There is a saying that the fish rots from the head down. This religious zeal in revenue raising from the lowest hanging fruit, those unable to defend themselves or afford to fightback, permeated the government departments responsible for it. We have heard in the hearings, again and again, senior public servants putting aside any thoughts about doing the right thing in exchange for Brownie points on the greasy pole. Professional men and women who should have had standards and ethics conveniently forgetting them in return for job security and possible promotion. This is the Australia we live in.
Australian Culture & Pissing In Your Pocket
Australians constantly receive positive affirmations from their political leaders. This is done because it is politically astute behaviour. Praise about our embrace of a multicultural society deflects from the ingrained racism within white Australia. Pats on the head about the values of ‘mateship’ around ANZAC day celebrations are hoisted up the flagpole. The cultures established in Canberran government departments are not so widely shared on the national stage. The behaviour by ministers like Christian Porter and Alan Tudge and parliamentary staffers at Parliament House, drinking and womanising, not so readily promoted. The reality of Australian culture is very different from the airbrushed versions promulgated.
Some Australians are doing it tough!
Money More Important Than Lives
Money is more important to many more Australians than ever before. The fact that the Australian home is a money making industry and not merely a place to lay your head and find sanctuary is a big part of this. Australians don’t make things; they invest in property and live off the dosh generated from an overheated market. Rents in Australia are now sky high and unaffordable for the working poor and unemployed. Inflation caused by corporate greed and profiteering is stealing food off the table of struggling ordinary Australians. The RBA is run by bankers who applaud the record profits generated by corporate Australia.
“A Profit-Price spiral is the main driver of inflation in Australia, rather than a supposed “Wage-Price” spiral, which does not exist.”
- (The Australia Institute, 24th Feb 2023)
Inflation Fuelled By Corporate Greed
Qantas declares a $1.6 billion half yearly profit on the back of very high airfares. Complaints about poor service have also been at record highs. Qantas received billions of dollars in government handouts during the pandemic. They used these funds to lay off thousands of workers, who have not be reinstated and will not be.
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) recorded a $5.1 billion half yearly profit. Putting up interest rates is a profitable business move, especially when you don’t raise the interest rates on savings accounts. This is the kind of banking sector we have in Australia. Philip Lowe, the RBA governor, applauds such banking practices, as an indicator of a strong economy.
Santos makes a 230% increased half yearly profit of $1.6 billion on the back of inflated gas prices and the war in Ukraine.
Ampol records a 30% half yearly profit increase to $325.5 million on inflated oil prices.
Woolworths half yearly profits up 25%, and Coles six month profits up 11%.
The Australia Institute reveals a profit-price-spiral fuelling the high inflation rate of 7.8% currently plaguing the nation. It is corporate profiteering costing ordinary Australians at the checkout, and not the wage-price-spiral bogeyman, so beloved of Philip Lowe and economists like him.
Returning to the Royal Commission into the Robodebt Scheme. In case you have missed the main points. The scheme was known and later found to be illegal. In addition, the income averaging was factually wrong and falsely applied debts to hundreds of thousands of welfare recipients who didn’t owe this money. People killed themselves over these huge debts. Onward Christian soldiers – Stuart Robert, Alan Tudge, Scott Morrison and Tony Abbott. This is probably the most shameful episode in the history of Australian government. All of those involved will bear these marks of opprobrium until their graves. These righteous ministers were served by cowardly bureaucrats more interested in their own pots of gold than the lives of vulnerable fellow Australians. If the victims did try to fight back via the media, they were beset upon.
“It involved punishment of people, dead or alive, whose cases and complaints made it into media reports. Alan Tudge, the then minister for human services, found there was no bar so low that he couldn’t contort himself and slide under it. He collected the Centrelink files of every single person who complained in newspapers, radio or television, and authorised the release of their data to selected favourite journalists in order to “correct misinformation”.”
- (Rick Morton, The Monthly, March 2023)
This appalling scheme has cost tax payers billions of dollars, it has cost us, and has damaged trust in government even further, if it needed such assistance. There was a class action, which was settled. None of the politicians or public servants will pay a cent in compensation or spend any time behind bars. This is the Australian way. Only blue collar criminals go to gaol. If you met these men and women on the street you would not be able to spot their evil, as they look just like ordinary Australians, if a little smug. This is the face of Australia in 2022-23 – get used to it.
By Robert Sudha Hamilton