Apparently the Federal government (with the help of the Victorian government) is looking at handing over $42m to Alcoa. This is to ‘save’ 600 jobs. That is $70,000 taxpayer dollars per job. Presumably with no long term guarantee.
$70,000 per job. Wow, that is a lot of cash for a job when the relevant worker would probably find a new job within a couple of months anyway. So here is the thought experiment that the governments should do:
Go to each of the 600 workers with the following deal. They can keep their current job at their current pay. Or they can leave their current job, with the same redundancy payout that they would receive if Alcoa closed, PLUS an extra $70,000 from the government.
I wonder how many of the workers would take the offer and leave their jobs? I suspect quite a few. For those close to retirement, it is a no brainer. For those under 40 years of age, getting a new job would be relatively quick and probably only a couple of weeks judging by the SMH article linked above. So taking the money would be sensible. For those in their 40s and 50s, the trade off is a little harder. But I reckon many would take the money and go – particularly if the alternative is no job security past a year or two at Alcoa anyway.
Unfortunately, this policy is just the standard ‘snouts in the trough’ handouts that are bleeding the Australian taxpayer for $9.8b per year. See here. Meanwhile we have labour shortages in WA and parts of Qld. Oh, well, anyone know if the Alcoa plant is in a marginal seat?
Finally, the story was broken in the AFR, but as it is behind a paywall, here is the Business Spectator link (before it goes behind a paywall).