Vice Guide to Right Now

Pauline Hanson Is Calling for an 'Australian Identity Card' Again

Is it possible she doesn't know about passports and birth certificates?
October 23, 2017, 4:24am

This morning, while appearing on Sunrise, Pauline Hanson said a number of unfortunate and unfortunately broadcasted things. Among them: people on welfare are "rorting the system"; around 80,000 people on disability are faking it; welfare is there to encourage people to "start their own businesses", rather than provide them with an income. Apparently.

Perhaps most baffling of all was Hanson yet again calling for an Australian identity card—a proof of identity card that will make it harder for people to fraudulently claim benefits.

Back in January, Hanson said "There's a lot of aliases out there and a lot of people are simply using their relatives' Medicare cards when they come to Australia and that gets billed to the taxpayer,'' Senator Hanson said. "It's common sense. People should need ID if they want to access welfare."

In a not totally unexpected turn of events, Hanson appears to be talking on a topic she has zero personal experience with. If she had she would likely know what a pain the arse applying for benefits is—needing at least three proof-of-identity documents seems like kind of what the ID card would be about.

Luckily, Sarah Hanson-Young also appeared on Sunrise this morning, too—in some weird sort of attempt to pit two women in politics against each other like a Gladiator-style masochistic sport—and she had the opportunity to dispel some of Hanson's claims.

Hanson-Young noted that not only are the majority of people on welfare pensioners, but also that if cutting payouts for the sake of the country's budget were in fact the motivation behind the identity card, then cutting tax breaks to the wealthy could be a good place to start—"If we're worried about a cost to the budget," she said, "overwhelmingly the biggest cost is a $65 billion tax break to big companies which are mostly foreign multinationals."

The response from Hanson-Young almost makes the whole segment worth it. Almost, but not quite.