Thursday, September 09, 2004

Bribing mature age workers

Since 2001, 57 per cent of Australia's employment growth has come from workers aged 55 and over - and 25 per cent from workers aged 60 and over.

In other words, the older boomers (and also the cohort just older than them) are doing just fine economically. Who would have thought it? Statistically, the over-55s are (i) far more likely to be home-buyers/owners than GenX, and are (ii) far less likely to be tertiary educated. The implication is plain, although inexplicable (and therefore inadmissible) by conventional economics – tertiary education and home renting both negatively correlate with employability.

My explanation? Money follows money – thus compelling government to throw taxpayer money in too, for good measure. Thus, despite the over-55 jobless being the least disadvantaged sector of the unemployed, July saw special measures, from both centre-Right parties, pandering to them.

Then today, PM Howard upped the bonanza, announcing a new annual tax rebate of $500 (maximum) available only to the over-55s:

We are committed to providing enhanced opportunities and greater choice for mature age workers.

Which translated simply means that the Liberals are committed to driving GenX further into the economic abyss; a tactic and policy identical to Labor's.

Update 10 September 2004

Wouldn’t you know it – the would be prime beneficiaries of PM Howard’s bribe are spitting it back, thus once again proving that baby boomers are angry toddlers who never grew up. For 58 y.o. Derek White, the $10 a week would only pay for a pie and a beer. Dunno about you, Derek, but I can get a pie and a beer for $5. In any case, it’s free – so what’s your problem?

Meanwhile Trevor Moir, who runs the taxpayer-funded TECG Association for mature-age employees, joins in the whinge from the other end – what about the workers earning more than $48k who won’t be getting their pie and beer money? Here’s a hint, Trev – why don’t you spend some of your presumably abundant free time updating your group’s website, and especially its “News” section? Oh, and since you’re also presumably earning too much (or too little?) to score a free pie – go and fuck yourself, instead.

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