Michaelia Cash, the accident-prone Minister for Jobs and Innovation, echoed the assertion made by backbencher Julia Banks, who said she could live on the $40 per day of the Newstart allowance1. Cash stated on the Sunday television programme Insidersthat living off $40 per day should be easy, because she has done it in younger (in the 1990s?) days while backpacking2. The corollary of this is that all those on Newstart should somehow jettison their children or other dependants, stick all their clothes in the biggest backpack they could find and move into a backpacker hostel or a tent, and things will be just peachy.
It is hard to understand how people like Cash and Banks (a peculiar coincidence given the current Royal Commission) could be so far off-beam. The only real explanation is that they are just idiots, not in touch with reality, and unable to put themselves in another’s shoes, or to understand how little $40 is. The inability to walk a mile in another’s shoes, in addition to the rampant stupidity, is a recipe for bastardry. This bastardry is on display in this government’s treatment of pensioners, the poor, the unemployed, the lowly paid, as well as asylum seekers. This government is beyond redemption, which is ironic given that so many of them profess to be Christians.