As expected, our good friends from the Daily Telegraph have printed another piece of pro-government propaganda to help the Australian public morally adjust to the budget slashings of yet another social minority. Geoff Chambers, writer at the Daily Telegraph and guilty for today’s controversial article “Slackers and Slouch Hats: NSW Disability Support Pensioners now outnumber Australia’s total war wounded by more than 44, 000” compares Australia’s struggling disabled youth to war veterans, army personnel and fire fighters. His sweeping comparisons are unrealistic and portray no real insight at all. If anything, they are placed there to instill a social judgment and blame on these people suffering from physical and mental illness and who are currently receiving the NSW Disability Support Pension (DSP).
- “…the number of NSW disability support pension recipients outstrips the overall number of Australian servicemen and women injured in foreign conflicts since the 1880s.”
- “…One in 10 people in some NSW regions is now relying on the disability support pension, with statistics showing almost 20,000 people, the equivalent of five Australian Army brigades.”
- “…The size of the number of DSP recipients in NSW is double that of Ukraine’s active army personnel and exceeds the population of Pacific Island states, including Vanuatu and New Caledonia.”
It says to us that these people are not heroes, they are haven’t fought for our country, or fought for the community, they are people “now relying on payments from either DSP or Newstart Allowance, better known as the dole.” Or what you really wanted to say, Mr. Chambers: dole bludgers.
The most shocking thing about the article is yet another attack on our Aussie youth, an attack that seems well timed following the recent student protests. The DSP for people under the age of 35 is assaulted by misleading facts, Chambers informing us that “while the number of physical injury claims under the DSP have decreased, the number of claims relating to psychological and psychiatric conditions continues to climb at a record rate to make up almost one-third of all claims”. It doesn’t take much to see through Chamber’s words and understand the real agenda of the assertions, which paint a portrait of our youth abusing the system and fabricating mental illnesses to receive government handouts. I’m sorry Mr. Chambers, but mental illness is not an issue to be speculated. The harassment of mental illness and the harassment on the patient’s whom are victim to such conditions, furthers the social stigma around mental illness itself. Depression and anxiety (along with other psychiatric illnesses) are medical issues that are often downplayed or dismissed because of the non-physical nature of them. Chambers contributes to the idea that by allowing psychological issues to preside as a legitimate illness and exist on the DSP it is a waste of taxpayer money.
Physical medical issues are continually challenged, along with mental illnesses. It seems as though our Aussie attitude is lacking compassion, with taxpayers taking a break from hefty public medical contribution, now a visit to the GP costing $7 when it formerly cost nothing.
I am outraged by the angle on this story. Ballooning welfare costs should not be compromised by our citizens well-beings. Even if cuts must be made, why use such a petty excuse such as the apparent fraudulence of psychological illnesses. It is simply not fair. I feel embarrassed and offended, not only by the government’s tactics, but also by their nonchalant approach to shaming mental illness.
I am not a (current) student. I am not on any government welfare. I am a nineteen year old, working full-time in the hospitality industry. My tax incurs on average $150 a week and I am a fully-fledged taxpayer. Trying to tell me that my own money is being wronged by the DSP, being wrongly used to pay out people with the burden of mental illness, and other disabilities, is propaganda in my books. You cannot lack pure compassion and tell me that it is O.K because my money is being abused.
To read the article, head here.
Written by SAVANNA SZELSKI who wants her tax money to go to people in need.