Australian Government Considering Cancelling Welfare Of People Who Protest
Australia has been rocked by protests of all shapes, sizes and calls to action this year.
The ones that have grabbed the most headlines have been about climate change and animal welfare.
Hundreds of thousands of people rallied across Australia last month to raise awareness about the planet's health, while smaller groups of Aussies have stormed farms to protest against their slaughter or stopped traffic to sound the alarm about the weather.
While they're certainly different in terms of scale and intent, these events have certainly divided the nation. Some back them and others reckon they should get back to school or work.
It's this latter point that has Australian politicians considering whether they should cut the welfare of people caught protesting.
Coalition MPs suggest that these people shouldn't be spending their time out in the streets with a megaphone and should instead be looking for work.
Employment Minister Michaelia Cash has told The Australian: "Taxpayers should not be expected to subsidise the protests of others. Protesting is not, and never will be, an exemption from a welfare recipient's mutual obligation to look for a job.
"Those who refuse to look for a job because they are too busy protesting may find they have their payments suspended."
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Not only should welfare recipients who take a little time out of their day to protest against something they believe in have their benefits cut, but they should should also be publicly named and shamed, according to the Home Affairs Minister.
Petter Dutton was asked on 2GB radio about his reaction to a group of climate change protestors trying to shut down traffic in Brisbane this week.
"People should take these names and the photos of these people and distribute them as far and wide as they can so that we shame these people," he told the host.
"Let their families know what you think of their behaviour."
He also backs having welfare cut for these recipients, adding that taxpayers expect those on welfare are actively looking for work.
"The state government can pass laws that do reflect community standards and, at the moment, they don't," Mr Dutton told 2GB.
"The community expectation is that these people are fined or jailed and they should be jailed until their behaviour changes because they're diverting police and emergency service resources from tasks they should be undertaking otherwise."
What do you think? Should welfare be cut for those who protest in public?
Featured Image Credit: Extinction Rebellion SEQ/Facebook