Hope you’ve got two free hands, baby boomers: you’ll need one to clutch at your pearls and the other to check your hip pocket.
There’s a “new breed of Aussie bludger” sneakily funnelling your tax dollars to pay for their latte lifestyles and bad decisions.
That’s right, an entire army of young Australians “unwilling to work”, who would rather spend their days “sleeping, watching TV or playing computer games” than looking for jobs — at least, that’s what the News Corp wants you to think.
A new study from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) shows 580,000 young people, aged 15 to 29, were categorised as NEETs last year; an acronym that stands for Not in Employment, Education or Training.
One in five young Aussies will spend at least a year as a NEET from the ages of 16 to 24, with young women at least 50 per cent more likely to carry the label because of child care responsibilities, those sneaky buggers.
Now, forget for a moment that in a context of soaring house prices, piles of debt and a shortage of real, long-term employment opportunities there’s a very real possibility this generation of young people will be the first actually worse off than their parents.
And forget that there’s a complex system built on entrenched disadvantage and privilege, that means finding work — and keeping it — is easier for some people than others.
Now, News Corp wants you to meet 21-year-old Ashleigh Whiting who would rather “munch on Maccas and take her Holden Barina on ‘off-road tracks’ than look for a job”.
Watch: Twenty-somethings share their thoughts on buying property. (Post continues after video.)
The young woman from Western Sydney says she doesn’t want to “work my whole life and just die” and uses her meagre allowance from Centrelink to pay her rent. A real piece of work.
Ashleigh is presented as the typical NEET; young, able-bodied, entitled and apparently absolutely content to let hard working, middle-class boomers pay her way and probably her smartphone bill.