Nobody is entitled to free money from taxpayers. However, it undermines fairness to penalise, for example, unemployed law graduates who cannot get a job because the government – in association with legal professional bodies – do their best to minimise competition in the industry. (For example, by setting up barriers to registration as a lawyer, requiring extensive formal study when there are flexible and cheaper internship-based options to convey knowledge.) At the same time, MPs and bureaucrats enjoy luxurious perks and pensions.
Why not go after the most marginalised in society last, after the elites have had their generous salaries cut?
(Published in The Age, letters to the editor, 12 May 2017)