(Image: AAP/Tracey Nearmy)

On failing employment services

Joe Boswell writes: The $713 million spent by government to fund disability employment service providers between 2017-18 has not gone up in smoke. There may be “abysmal success rates” from the view point of little people like tax-payers and the disabled, but I’m sure there are several very happy newly-enriched millionaires who think it’s all a roaring success. It will also look pretty good to those who have a limitless appetite for seeing misery, humiliation and despair piled onto anyone in adversity with the temerity to seek help from the government. Perhaps Crikey could follow up by finding out who pocketed the cash and how they are related to the Liberal or National parties.

Mark Dunstone writes: It sounds like yet another rort allowed by this government not unlike the immigration/visa rackets. The federal government doesn’t have a good track record managing programs. And it is really a state responsibility anyway, they should just give the money, untied, to the states. I recall many years ago that subsidies to South Australian car manufacturers came out at about twice the salary of everyone employed; i.e. we could have halved the taxpayer expense by avoiding the middleman and just paying the people a salary directly.

On Crikey’s politician of the year

Rosemary Jacob writes: Congratulations to Andrew Wilkie for being named politician of the year. As you correctly say — he stands out among his peers for his integrity and valuable persistence. If only we had more like him!

John Robinson writes: I respected Cormann for the same reasons you stated. Sound financial sense. He made a pragmatic call, in the inanity of the LNP leadership spill when most other options were, at best, terrifying. During the initial “debate” on the medical evacuation bill, I watched him state that we were about to be overrun with “rapists, murderers and paedophiles”. My regard for him evaporated, totally. How could anyone mouth that nonsense. In reality, just another politician of little substance, sacrificing integrity for a fatuous party line. It was a sad moment. Agree on Andrew Wilkie. His integrity stands out when around him the feet of clay are so often exposed.

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Peter Fray

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