So the Minister for Workplace Participation (where are you Don Watson?) has decided that all those lazy crippled people have to go to work and stop stealing from the honest taxpayers of Australia.
As an official cripple (on the Disability Support Pension), with my official cripple card, I have occasionally dared to poke my head into the world of employment, only to be brought up sharp against the able world. So, Minister, there are one or two matters that that you may have overlooked in developing this exciting proposal.
1. In this pretty city, how many employers are going to be happy to employ a person with a disability? Is the government going to run an ad campaign promoting wheelchair basketball in the office as an employment incentive?
2. Will those with a disability with high medical costs be offered the same level of tax breaks as those that buy an investment property? I would love to be able to negatively gear all the crap I need to open a jar or have a shower, let alone get to and from work. And no, it’s not tax deductible.
3. Will City Rail make sure that the disabled seats near the door of the train carriages are available to all these newly employed gimps? And that there are enough accessible taxis and buses? Or should I just crawl to work?
4. In my new found employment, can I have as many hours off as I need to go to the various docs, profs, nurses and other medicos who love to poke and prod at the malfunctioning bits of me?
5. If my dysfunctional body becomes even less functional, can I take the amount of sick pay that I need, or should I also take my holiday pay so I can go into hospital for treatment, or should I take leave without pay when all this has run out?
6. Will there be a nice, neat set of guidelines for those eager employers of cripples that will naturally fit every single different disability? Will I get aides for my non-existent visual impairment while my blind co-worker gets a TTY phone and my other co-worker with one arm gets a wheelchair ramp?
7. Will I still have to be humiliated every two years by Centrelink by having to beg for the official cripple card that gives me the medicine that enables me to work 10 hours per week? Or will that 10 hours of work magically make the need for that medicine disappear? You are a miracle worker, Minister!
8. Is there going to be some kind of tops education campaign to prepare the poor mistreated taxpayers for this influx of gimps into the wider world? You know, not ‘Be Alert, Be Alarmed’, but ‘Be Nice, and don’t mention the weird bits’.
9. Have you got a job in your office? I hear Canberra is nice and flat.
10. Oh, yeah, and finally, thanks to the GST, even cripples are taxpayers. And we vote, too.
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