Could the fact that there are 11,000 more people on jobseeker support benefits and the fact we can't get anyone to plant trees be linked? I think it can.
The government's excuse for the increase in numbers is what they call “industry-specific issues.” That is hot air, the only industry-specific issues we have is industry after industry that can't get people to fill the gaps.
The argument up until now, and indeed it's been carried on this very week by the unions, is that the pay is crap. This, of course, one, isn't true, and, two, is a sad reflection of the modern attitude towards practically anything that involves effort.
Yes, in some cases pay isn't flash. But that has never been, nor should it be, the sole determinate for work. Work is about pride, dedication, direction, and desire.
And the day welfare is more attractive than a wage, is a day you have too many people whose attitude and outlook is perversely skewed in a negative direction.
It was indeed with some dismay yesterday upon broaching the tree planting problem that I was inundated with various excuses as to why things might be the way they are, because the tree planting is actually worth good money - $100,000 a year.
So with that tired old argument of wages no longer applicable, the complainers have to invent new issues.
And they came, the pace of work was a big one. The only way you'd earn $100,000 is to plant a tree a minute, so what? They drummed up the weather, the location, the physical aspect of the job.
I tell you what, if creativity in finding dumb excuses not to work was work, we'd be rich, because we are good at it.
Another was, why don’t you do it? Brilliant, so much brainpower operating in the area of avoiding anything that remotely indicates a need to get out of bed and make a living.
Now, it was bad enough this past year with all the industries, gaps, and labour shortages but these latest jobseeker figures appear to support the idea that the government is now endorsing the practice.
The business of sanctions and penalties for not applying or not turning up, appears now not to be policy. You don’t want to work, you like the government paying you to do nothing, that according to the government is just fine, hence the 11,000 increase.
A country full of jobs and 11,000 more people doing nothing. Not only is it mathematically insane, it is also morally reprehensible.