The new IR bill: it's about choices

You don’t mean, do you Minister,that under these proposed IR changes that an unemployed person will need to accept any job regardless of the conditions offered?
- Well,yes. He has no choice. If he doesn't take the job no matter what the conditions he loses his benefit.We don't make any excuses for this.
No one is asking you to make excuses.
--Well they won’t get any --
But we would like some clarification.
--You got it.
Yes. I suppose we did. But...correct me if I’m wrong.. but wouldn’t that mean, in the long run, wages and conditions would tend to deteriorate?
--Ah. But you miss the key point: they’ll be working.We believe that the best form of welfare that a person can have is to have a job and remembering this: when a person gets a job it is the best way of getting another job.
But what sort of job would that be?
--A paying job. What other kinds are there?
But how much pay and under what employment conditions?
--That’s up for discussion between the parties concerned. You know, across the table.
But you just said, Minister, that if the unemployed person " doesn't take the job no matter what the conditions" he loses his benefit.
--So?
Well, how can that be a matter for discussion?
--It just is. I’m sure they’ll discuss it. I’m not a fly on the wall, you know.
But surely the result is forgone, isn’t it? as the person on the dole has to accept the job no matter what!
--No matter what what?
They’ll lose their benefit won’t they if they say no?
-- I don’t quite follow you. They can still choose not to take the job.
And lose their benefit --
--Or take the job. That’s choice. That’s free enterprise.
But what sort of choice is that?
--Remember, if they don’t like that particular job, they can go looking for another. That’s what we’re doing-- creating jobs. They’ll be tons of jobs out there once this bill gets up.
Paying and offering less.
--I don’t know that, do I? I’m not a fly on the wall.
But it stands to reason.
--What’s that got to do with it? This is all about choices. The bloody thing's called "Workchoices" for chissake!
But the unemployed person won’t have any.
--Then they shouldn’t have been so unemployed in the first place.

[Inspiration: ABC TV --The Insiders interview with Barry Cassidie]

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