Government Minister hit with questions from carers, over-60s

If you’re a regular to ABC’s Q&A or tuned in last night, you would have been watching with interest. The

If you’re a regular to ABC’s Q&A or tuned in last night, you would have been watching with interest.

The episode featured Social Services Minister Christian Porter on the panel and he faced some tough questions about reforms to welfare.

One of the questions directed at him came from an over-60s member of the audience, who asked Christian Porter about the fairness of “a person in their 60s, who has worked all their life, but now is crippled with arthritis being denied a disability pension and told to retrain, when “young, fit people, who could work and/or be retrained are getting government payments”

As you would expect, Mr Porter’s answer wasn’t exactly clear.

But host Tony Jones pressed him on the point.

“There seems to be a general point made, that young people should bear the burden of welfare reform, not the old who have worked for a long time and paid taxes do. You agree with that general point? and these people have never paid taxes?,” he asked.

And it turns out, Mr Porter seems to agree.

“As a general principle, I think that is fair,” he said.

You might be wondering what the other panellists had to say?

Well, social commentator and activist Eva Cox had her say on the question as well.


“When you’re 60 over, your chances of getting a job are zilch because employers don’t easily want you … if you’re worried about aged things, do something about superannuation concessions which cost us more than the aged pension, rather than banging on about fixing the aged pension,” the 78-year-old said.

If you missed Q&A, Mr Porter was also questioned by a 16-year-old named Rose, who has been caring for her wheelchair bound mother since she was a child.

She explained how she was living on just $8 per day while caring for her mum.

“I don’t want to be seen as a burden on the government, nor do I wish to be welfare dependent for my lifetime. My question, Mr Porter is, how will changes to payments and a blanket policy understand the very unique and often stressful experiences of young carers like myself and my sister?,” Rose asked.

Mr Porter began to explain the Government’s $96 million Try, Test and Learn fund using figures and data.

Host Tony Jones attempted to get a straight answer out of him.

“So what I’d like to ask is, is your investment approach likely to give more money to someone like Rose, who is now getting $8 a day for all the work that she just described?,” Jones asked.

Apparently, Mr Porter didn’t give a straight answer.

Did you see the episode? What did you think of the Social Services Minister’s answers?

  1. Will  

    Typical pollie pussyfooting around an answer!
    Most pollies’ couldn’t lie straight in bed!

    Most of them have ‘jellyfish backbones’.
    Don’t have the courage of their convictions’,
    Don’t know what they’re doing.
    And are as useless as t@&$ on a bull.

    And Australia’s the ‘lucky Country’?
    What bollocks!

    • Joy Anne Bourke  

      Very well said and so true

  2. Margaret Cassidy  

    A friend of mine who was dying 12months ago from cancer it got into her bones she couldnt walk unassisted she was told she didnt qualify for a carer.

  3. Russell Boucher  

    Don’t worry they will not do with out a thing them selves probably looking for a raise next week and Rose and her family will get zero they will pat themselves on the back saying how they took $33:00 a day of pensioners and not loose any sleep over it. Well I can’t say Im surprised that’s another big reason why Mr Abbott & Peta Credlin were replaced doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that, Lot more to come from the Lefties I am afraid.

  4. Barry O'Neill  

    Disgusting I have had a claim for carer’s allowance in for more than eight weeks without any progress being made on my claim. My wife who I was caring for passed away on Saturday without any assistance from these so called representatives of the community. If I had my way they would ALL be without a job and have to find assistance like we have to. And try to survive on what little they do give us. It is amazing that they can receive such large payouts after only short times in parliament.

    To this minister thanks for nothing in your help (NONE AT ALL) in our time of need.

  5. June Walker  

    I would like to see Q & A do a program on Elder Financial Abuse/EXPLOITATION and the misuse of taxpayer funded Guardianship Tribunals by Financial Predators.

  6. David Clarvis  

    mp’s can not give a straight answer, they need a member of their staff to tell them what to say. scared to go against party policy

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