Cut the Dole, Cut Creativity from Australia

by Alyssa

Art and creative practices provide the essence of society. They are the pursuit of the dreamers and our imaginations. The fact that we all possess the ability to imagine and develop things from this makes it seem unfair to limit the ability to do so to only those who can afford it.

The Federal Government’s proposed changes to the current welfare system severely reduces public accessibility. While it is understood that these changes are supposed to stop those who abuse the system, are we to do so at the expense of artists and creative types?

Many artists, musicians, actors and comedians rely on welfare payments to get through the initial stages of their career. Not everyone comes from a privileged enough background where they are able to pursue their dreams with enough financial support.

To pursue these lines of creative work, it often takes a lot of time and energy. To be successful and produce quality work, real commitment is necessary and sacrifices need to be made. These sacrifices can often mean giving up full time work in order to focus on their craft.

By forcing those under 40 years of age who are looking to go on the dole to apply for 40 jobs per month, it cuts into time that people can be using to work on their craft. Society needs to start realising that pursuing creative lines of work doesn’t mean that they will be a financial burden. Given time and a little assistance through the dole, it is very possible that artists and creative types might actually develop their craft well enough that they will contribute to society in one way or another.

The “Learn or Earn” policy will, in the long run, create a society where education and employment will be on a high, but the art world will suffer. There will be no incentive to be creative and is this really a society that we want in Australia?

A little help in the beginning could be all that is necessary for creatives to get started. Cutting the dole and making these changes will help unemployment rates and weed out dole abusers but in the wider picture, will put a dent in the arts and culture world of Australian society.

Cut the dole and you cut creativity. It’s as simple as that.