Another issue that sticks in my mind after watching this debate was a question about immigration. If immigration was slashed by the figures proposed by the Liberals, how would they fill in the jobs left by the no-longer-there immigrants?
Hockey’s answer resounded with me- we need to get Aussies off welfare and into work. Get Australians to do the jobs. Mind you, this question should also be fielded to Labor, whom I understand have very similar ambitions to cut immigration to similar levels. It would be interesting to see their perspective on welfare.
One of the Bible’s most constant themes is to look after the poor. The prophets were forever declaring the heart of the LORD regarding the treatment of the poor, the downtrodden and the widows.
“Woe to those who decree unrighteous decrees, who write misfortune, which they have prescribed. To rob the needy of justice, and to take what is right form the poor of My people, that widows may be their pray, and that they may rob the fatherless.”(Isaiah 10:1,2 NKJV)
“What do you mean by crushing My people and grinding the faces of the poor?” Says the Lord GOD of hosts.” (Isaiah 3:15, NKJV)
Like cages full of birds, their houses are full of deceit; they have become rich and powerful and have grown fat and sleek. Their evil deeds have no limit; they do not plead the case of the fatherless to win it, they do not defend the rights of the poor. Should I not punish them for this?” declares the LORD. “Should I not avenge myself on such a nation as this? (Jeremiah 5:27-9 NIV).
That is the role of welfare, especially if society will not take it upon itself to care for it’s members.
However Solomon reminds us,
“Go to the ant you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which, having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest. How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep- So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, and your need like an armed man.” Proverbs 6:6-11 NKJV).
Welfare never should be about feeding sluggards. There are many people on welfare who are not sluggards- they are unable to work, or currently out of work and need our help. That is Biblical, I believe. It stops being Biblical when we use welfare to bring food to the mouths of people who won’t feed themselves (Proverbs 26:15). That’s the approach we need in welfare; the Christian charity and diligence balance.