The CEO of ANZ Mike Smith urged the government to cut unemployment benefits to induce labour shifts to Western Australia. This proposal would make sense if unemployment benefits permitted a luxurious lifestyle that inhibited work incentives but that is not the case. The argument is well analysed by Adele Horin in the SMH. Unemployment benefits for single workers are around $34 per day. That must cover rent, food, clothing and transport costs.
Mike Smith himself takes home $27,400 per day for managing the ANZ and, I guess, for offering these pearls of wisdom that are intended to drive some social advantage.
My guess is that the distortions in the labour market for CEOs are worth looking at. If Smith is as inept and gauche inside his banking domain as he is in offering social commentary he should get the sack. (1346)