Australia’s inhumane welfare system is based on a number of Myths

Click on the links below and help us BUST THE 10 MYTHS that prop up our unfair Welfare system.

MYTH #1: “The Australian government spends too much on welfare”

MYTH #2: “Australia spends too much on Unemployment benefits”

MYTH #3: “Newstart is a temporary payment”

MYTH #4: “In Australia, anyone can get a job if they try hard enough. Therefore, unemployed people are dole bludgers and job snobs”

MYTH #5: “An Unemployment rate of around 4-6% is unavoidable”

MYTH #6: “Forcing the Unemployed to Work for the Dole will help them get Jobs”

MYTH #7: “The Australian government is spending far too much on the aged pension”

MYTH #8: “Elderly People are increasingly retiring on Newstart”

MYTH #9: “Many receiving the Disability Support Pension could work if they wanted and are instead rorting the system”

MYTH #10: “There are too many people on the Disability Support Pension”

Repeated again and again by the mass media and the government, these 10 Myths have become deeply entrenched within Australian society.

As a result of the acceptance of these Myths, millions of Unemployed, Aged Pensioners, Disability Support Pensions and Single Mothers are labelled as ‘leaners’ or ‘bludgers’ and are forced to live unhappy lives of poverty. According to Australian Council of Social Services Four out of ever Ten people living on Social Security live in poverty.

Simply put, these 10 Myths have become the building blocks on which the Australian
government has built this inhumane welfare system.

Bust these Myths, and the whole inhumane system will inevitably crumble!

Want to help us bust these Myths? Become a volunteer!


  1. I have 6 University Degrees but I have been unable to obtain employment for 4 years. I live on the Old.Age Pension but find a decent standard of living impossible. My house needs repair, I have trouble paying rates,gas,electricity,water;I can’t afford to repair or service my car. I did work for over 40 years but women didn’t have Superannuation. The cost of living continues to increase! The Pension isotope enough to survive

    1. I have 4 UTS degrees and can’t get a job either. No super either. I put money into a Super company but they bled it dry and sent me a letter 2 years ago after I lost my job to let me know there was nothing left. Sorry I ever gave them a cent. I could have put that money into something worthwhile instead of fat cat insurance companies. Trying to find someone to fund a business start up now otherwise I’ll never be employed.

    2. Elaine,
      I really feel for you. I have a number of degrees as well plus many years of experience. Through out my career I specialized very heavily in one area and honestly thought I would be good all the way to retirement. But the Australian Government pretty much sold my job out to overseas contractors a few years ago and they are proving that they have no idea. Unfortunately I am in that situation of being way over educated like yourself and most employer’s won’t even consider me.
      For me the hard thing is going from a job that was my whole life and i was the person people came to get things sorted.
      It is nice to know I am not the only one dealing with this.

  2. Employers don’t want to hire anyone over 40 or 50 when there are so many young backpackers and international students to choose from. Government jobs used to be the best sources of employment for mature job seekers but the incumbent Liberal governments have been slashing state and federal public services.

    Labor and the Libs both have a calculated policy to maintain a pool of unemployed to force wages down, and the current government keeps handing out more 457 and other temporary work visas to create even more competition for available jobs.

    Employers are now unwilling to train people on the job. They’re also demanding experienced workers, so undertaking training courses gives no guarantee of finding employment. Mature-aged job seekers still face discrimination at the end of their course.

    And don’t get me started on the Job Mobs – privatising employment services has created a serious conflict of interest. These people are only interested in their bottom line, not in assisting the unemployed.

    1. Rose I could not have detailed this better. I have worked in Admin for over 25 years but if you do not meet every detail of a job there is just no consideration given to you for a role. It’s just so disheartening. What you say about privatisation of the job search employment agencies is incredible it is appalling the money that is invested into these businesses for very little return, they sit you down push some buttons and you waste part of your day with a hollow conversation that means nothing and has no value in helping you at all. They offer no real training or ideas on how to assist you.

  3. The wonderful Graeme Innes ex disability discrimination commissioner stated a fantastic idea. Instead of the BILlIONS of dollars being given to Job Networks, and I would add Work for the Dole administrators, give it directly to employers to subsidise wages and assist disability workers with equipment within the workplace. It is taxpayers money going into Australian businesses and workers pockets. What an employment stimulation initiative. Better than punishing the unemployed for government failure to stimulate the employing sector. Better than wasting massive $ for less than useful and thieving employment services. Cut out those parasites.

    1. That would be a far better solution. Same dollars but more going through the local economies would also create more jobs and so forth. No one can work a job that doesn’t exist…

  4. This article is so true. I wish more people could hear and understand how they have been duped by the dominant political discourse into supporting the systemic impoverishment of our most vulnerable. Since the big protests of the 70’s public schools have taught our children to be ‘individuals’ who don’t know how to come together to fight for their cause and have a voice in our society.
    None of the welfare payments are enough to be secure in our society by design, the neo-liberal way is to pay your own way (except for them whose invisible privilege pays for their way). The Australian government should be ashamed of the measures it is going to in order to be more internationally compeditive. We’re actually working our people to sickness and dispare, and that’s if you’re lucky enough to have a job!

  5. There is a solution and it has to do with the power structure. The system is always going to be unfair in its current system. The system of master and slave is the problem. This was shown to be the case academically by Thomas Pikkety that it is only going to get worse. The norm is we have a two class society based on nepotism and and a peasant class that lives or dies on the whims of the wealthy class. Only together can we change this disastrous future.

    The Soviet styled central planned economy was state capitalism irrespective of what it was called. Just because Stalin called it Socialism or Communism does not mean it was the case. I am not advocating to go back to this. If you put lipstick on a Gina Rhineheart, it is still a pig.

    Why did the Soviet system have the same problem that capitalism has? It is now impoverishing the majority at the expense of a few lived in luxury. If you are working more hours and feeling like it is unfair, it is because that is the reality.

    The fundamental observation is that a few people made off with the profit and it is a failed system for the rest.. Now ,lets look at capitalism in General. We have a few people ( CEO and board) pay themselves stupefying amounts because they decide on the profit. Now centrally planned Soviet economy had a few people again they decide on the surplus and everyone else suffered. I hope you can see the problem.

    There it is people. Absolute power Absolutely corrupts. The problem is that a few people are making off with the profit and the rest miss out. That is the fundamental problem. Does it have to be that way? Is there an alternative. There are many. One in particular has a track record of success and it has almost 100k employees. The name of this business? Mondragon. What is it? We have Employee self directed business enterprise. In Mondragon, the workers hire the manager and fire the manager.

    This is the fundamental shift of power that makes this corporation different from others and it can be done right here in Australia. You have to believe in and have to learn about the detail to make it happen. I believe. This will also shift the balance of power in politics because the loot is spread over many and they can fund the politics rather then a few who will use the wealth to subvert democracy.

    I believe that 1.5 million Australians who want to work can if we do better then capitalism and we can be more efficient because all these people can be put to work. Not just to work but to make Australia better for everyone. I believe that all these people can be working in decently paid positions. This in itself is the is an opportunity for a better Australia. We need to end the lost opportunities and not let all these people down.

    There it is. There is always risk. Thanks Dr. R. Wolff and so many others.

    If you don’t vote, you lose. Stop giving your vote to failures like Liberal and Labor

    1. Mondragon’s appliance company, which I am hope I am spelling correctly Fagorr, went bust. 3000 people lost their jobs. Weren’t absorbed into Mondragon despite protests by the 3000. Richard Wolff mention that? Or Yugoslavia? Co-ops have a limited function. They aren’t a panacea. Give me the New Deal any day.

  6. I agree the solutions of the Government in the unemployment/welfare system are inadequate. BUt there has to be acknowledgement that there are people out there who do not want to be out of the system, they want something for nothing. BUT not all .. I think if the Government stopped offering payments for certain people to be taken on by employers and just had an incentive for employers to hire anyone,all ages deserve employment. The education system needs a new outlook it is NOT doing what it was meant to do. Fix what will enhance the country not what will enhance the coffers/pockets of its leaders

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