Hinkler Year 12 kids aspiring to go on the dole, says MP
MEMBER for Hinkler Keith Pitt says high schoolers in the region are telling teachers their dream in life is to go on the dole.
Mr Pitt made the claims on Sky News on Friday night as he spoke about his reasons for believing in the Cashless Debit Card in Hinkler.
Mr Pitt said he was especially concerned about children in school when it came to why he wanted the card in Hinkler.
He said many teachers, who were not able to tell their stories openly, had come to him with stories of Year 12 students who say their career goal is to go on welfare.
"I hear about these stories of kids who they get to grade 12 and they say 'what is it you want to do with your life?' and (they say) 'well I want to go on the dole', I mean what sort of ambition is that?" Mr Pitt said.
"The stats are incredible."
Mr Pitt referred to the results of a Department of Social Services assessment in the Hinkler region.
"For those who are under 30, on Newstart, 90 per cent of those - 90 per cent - have one parent or more on unemployment benefits in the last 15 years, the majority for nine out of 15 years and the worst part of this is for those kids under 30, 57 per cent will still be on welfare in 10 years time," he said.
"Now for me that's unacceptable. That is clearly a social problem which needs to be addressed..."
Mr Pitt said his support of the cashless card was a tough and politically risky move.
"My job is to get out there and make change, it's not to sit around drinking cups of tea," he said.
When asked about the potential threat from Labor and whether he was confident in retaining his seat in next year's election, Mr Pitt said it was up to the public to decide.
"I think locally, first and foremost, if you go into politics with only the concern about keeping yourself in the seat, well you shouldn't be there," he said.
"You should be there to actually make things better... if the people of my electorate make a decision that they want someone else, good luck to them."
Mr Pitt also spoke about self-funded retirees' concerns over franking credits - a type of tax credit that allows Australian Companies to pass on tax paid at the company level to shareholders.
Bill Shorten has said he plans to abolish franking credit cash rebates for retiree investors, branding the status quo "millionaires' welfare" bankrolled by ordinary Australian taxpayers.
But Mr Pitt says this would affect many self-funded retirees in the region.
"Their biggest complaint is that we're not making enough noise about it, you know, 'why are you in the media?' and my response is 'I can't make the media run what I want' but there's around 5000 which will be directly affected by Bill Shorten's tax hammer to the economy," he said.
Mr Pitt said he's expecting the election to be held in May.
"Bill Shorten and the Labor Party they want to take more of your money from you so that Bill can spend it where he wants, we want to ensure that you keep more of your money so you spend it where you want," he said.