The public cost of supporting those who game the welfare system

This is how the welfare system works: it is as if someone has moved into your house, uses your kitchen, bathroom and one bedroom, but doesn’t contribute to the groceries or help to pay the rent. There may be reasons to allow this: sick relatives, friends who are down on their luck or because of a charitable streak in the owner of the house. But whatever else, this outlay does draw down on what is available to everyone else and leaves those who offer the welfare less well off than they otherwise would have been.

Most societies have offered welfare assistance to the sick, the disabled, the elderly or others who cannot provide for themselves. But they have also always limited the amounts provided for a number of reasons including the ever-present possibility that some of those receiving welfare could be earning their own incomes and contributing to total output, instead of taking from the earnings of others while putting nothing back in.

I say all this because of an article that showed up on the front page of the Herald Sun this morning: Warning over booming Australian welfare bill. From which:

TAXPAYERS are coughing up $300,000 a minute for a welfare bill that has soared $40 billion in 10 years.

The Herald Sun can reveal that the total lifetime welfare bill for all those currently receiving benefits has been estimated at $2.1 trillion.

The frightening figure emerged as federal government debt reached a record $506 billion yesterday, renewing concerns about the public cost of supporting those who game the system or are locked into a cycle of welfare dependency.

Remarkably, anyone currently receiving government help to study is expected to be on welfare for nearly half of the rest of their lives, costing taxpayers an average of $247,000.

This is the equation showing in miniature how out ability to spend works:

Income Earned – Taxes Paid + Welfare Payments Received

There is no reason in any particular instance that Income Earned minus Taxes Paid will be greater than Welfare Payments Received. Especially if for those receiving welfare are able to keep Taxes Paid to a minimum relative to Hidden Income Earned.

Welfare should not be a way of life, but assistance given when it is needed and only then. But now that Voting for a Living has become a viable alternative to Working for a Living, the constituency to do something about what is shown by these latest studies on our exploding welfare bill may no longer exist.

Not everyone on welfare is gaming the system, of course. But not every payment on welfare is legitimate either.

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81 Responses to The public cost of supporting those who game the welfare system

  1. Chris

    Tax-hoovering is its own reward.

  2. Sydney Boy

    I think you will find that much of that welfare bill is the old age pension. Prior to the 1980s, very little money was invested as superannuation for retirement, and it certainly didn’t get the favourable tax treatment it received until recently. So people who retired even well into the 2000s didn’t have the superannuation required to support them and have relied on the old age pension.

    That being said, I hate that line “I’ve paid taxes my whole life – I deserve a pension”. FFS, the money wasn’t put away awaiting your retirement. It was spent on police and roads and ports, and much was also wasted (such as on renewable energy subsidies). I would also estimate that more than half of old age pensioners pull out more from the government coffers in the old age pension than they ever contributed, and I know plenty of people who have never worked and are still drawing a full pension.

  3. John Constantine

    Their ABC is hellbent on progressing their services economy.

    Recent report preached the need to import diverse staffers for the NDIS, as Australia simply isn’t giving more money quickly enough with the current too small welfare service s .

  4. GerardO

    If Australia can’t cover its welfare bill, then the government should raise taxes. Simple.
    This is the economy that neoliberals wanted. To live in a large city, you need two incomes to service a mortgage. That means some people are going to miss out in the labour market — they either steal for a living, or they get a small handout from the State.
    Your choice.

  5. tgs

    That being said, I hate that line “I’ve paid taxes my whole life – I deserve a pension”. FFS, the money wasn’t put away awaiting your retirement. It was spent on police and roads and ports, and much was also wasted (such as on renewable energy subsidies).

    Yep, taxes paid are not a piggy bank.

  6. Dr Faustus

    The frightening figure emerged as federal government debt reached a record $506 billion yesterday, renewing concerns about the public cost of supporting those who game the system or are locked into a cycle of welfare dependency.

    At some point, probably towards the end of the Shorten/DiNatale Government, loaded down with the burden of a decade of fairness, Australia will be forced to start defaulting on its debt.

    At that point Philip Nitschke’s policy suggestions will appear prescient and politically workable:

    ‘Rational people make decisions, and of course suicide is not a crime,’ he told Sky News on Monday.

    ‘The only assistance people want is access to the best drugs. You don’t have to actually assist you simply have to remove the restrictions on the best drugs.

    Tuck in…

  7. manalive

    The obvious solution to the rising cost of the age pension is to include the principle residence in the assets test.
    At present part-age-pensioners can receive the full pension amount as well as income from investments etc., by taking out a pension loan, a government reverse mortgage scheme.
    Opposition to including the principle residence is mostly likely to come from those who think they are likely to be the pensioner’s beneficiaries.
    The euthanasia debate can be a bit of a worry in that regard.

  8. Charity and welfare used to be more or less a responsibility of the church. Now it’s become a profit making industry, in more ways than one.

  9. stackja

    manalive
    #2530964, posted on October 23, 2017 at 5:39 pm The obvious solution to the rising cost of the age pension is to include the principle residence in the assets test.

    As prices increase the pensioners get poorer. Then:

    “The only assistance people want is access to the best drugs. You don’t have to actually assist you simply have to remove the restrictions on the best drugs.”

  10. dauf

    Some rough figures that I thought I heard on Fox TV show ‘SWITZER’ from one of his guests last week:

    the top 10% of income earners pay 50% of all income tax
    the next 50% pay the other 50% of all income tax
    the last 40% pay no net income tax

    the top 20% of household incomes pay all the net income tax
    the other 80% pay no net income tax

    the median household income (~$88k) get paid ~2.7 time in welfare that they actually pay in tax???

    I must have herd wrong…otherwise, this would be a pretty easy basis for arguing for change by our politicians

    Someone please tell me I ‘heard wrong’

  11. Defender of the faith

    I am wondering how much of Kates’ life employment has not involved income paid directly by taxpayers (Uni) or indirectly (Canberra lobbying). And how does that fit in the equation?

  12. Natural Instinct

    Charity and welfare used to be more or less a responsibility of the church. Now it’s become a profit making industry, in more ways than one.

    Once heard on Radio National an interesting speech about how government was 10% of GDP (in 1910) and how come all the poor/sick/infirm/overbred were not dying in the streets of Melbourne. The speaker explained that that churches and other welfare agencies, using private donations, did the “picking up the pieces” work.
    He also explained that there was little “free loading” because if the working man saw a loafer getting his donation, then he just stopped donating – so the agencies were very rigorous about fraud.
    Then along came the GOVERNMENT and the OPM on OP problems all arose, and that was that: G=35% of GDP, i.e. G became 3 times larger – a major growth industry of the 20 century.

  13. iain russell

    This will all come to a shuddering halt when the Chinese take over. They have no truck with welfare.

  14. max

    The West’s governments are going to default, one way or another.

    The welfare state is defended ethically as a system of safety nets. These safety nets are defended as ethically necessary for a good society, meaning ethically good.

    the West’s intellectuals have defended the spread of the welfare state by means of a system of ethics. It rests on a variation of the Mosaic commandment against theft: “Thou shalt not steal, except by majority vote.”

    the welfare state was ethically corrupt before it was fiscally corrupt. It is based on theft by majority vote.

    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2012/04/gary-north/the-moloch-state/

  15. Texas Jack

    And since Abbott was shishkabobbed the last chance of government attempting to rein-in utterly out of control community expectations was lost. Need a new NBN connection to that mansion Madame? No sweat, we’ll cover the $90-grand without so much as batting an eyelid.

  16. Snoopy

    To live in a large city, you need two incomes to service a mortgage. That means some people are going to miss out in the labour market — they either steal for a living, or they get a small handout from the State.

    Or they live somewhere else.

  17. Senile Old Guy

    TJ: And since Abbott was shishkabobbed the last chance of government attempting to rein-in utterly out of control community expectations was lost.

    Please! Abbott signed on to every big spending ALP at the end of the election campaign. Yes, he did talk about cutting costs but he folded at the end.

  18. Empire GTHO Phase III

    I am wondering how much of Kates’ life employment has not involved income paid directly by taxpayers (Uni) or indirectly (Canberra lobbying). And how does that fit in the equation?

    Neither are welfare. RMIT is partly funded by up front full fee payers. If you have evidence the ACCI was funded by taxpayers- cough it up.

    Your comment once again proves you are a no nothing troll with an axe to grind. What did Kates do to you? Why does he own your mind?

  19. Baldrick

    “People have got the entitlements too much in mind, without the obligations, because there is no such thing as an entitlement unless someone has first met an obligation.” – Margaret Thatcher

  20. Shy Ted

    It’s a full-time job remaining unemployed for the majority. And who would employ the usual suspects at basic wage? They aren’t worth it.

  21. Sydney Boy

    Good point Ted. Many of those on welfare are unemployable – no matter how many certificate IIs the taxpayers subsidise.

  22. Alan

    Age pension, gamers and “community expectations” aside, who else could be caught “locked into a cycle of welfare dependency.” I would point to “diversity” laws that no one cares to highlight: legally enforced active discrimination within Govt and corporate entities. Champions of change?
    Federal Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012 (Cth); Enabling Act: WGEA
    Take particular note of the ratchet clause – where only men are tossed overboard to maintain compliance and contracts: “… if a minimum standard is not met, makes improvements against it by the end of two further reporting periods.”
    ALL Listed Corporate entities? ASX Corporate Governance Council – Diversity Principles
    What about the Federal Public Service? Public Service Act 1999 (Cth): (see sections 10-11A)
    [28 Apr 2016] See Current Strategy; [23 Apr 2013] See Previous strategy.
    The States? Public Service Act 2008 (Qld): (see sections 30-34)
    [17 Aug 2017] Current Qld Diversity Strategy.
    Now think of the defence forces 🙂 Gender Equality Strategy 2016-19
    Quadrant Opinion.

  23. duncanm

    To live in a large city, you need two incomes to service a mortgage.

    you really do say the dumbest things GerardO

    What are we going to do about those poor souls that can’t afford to live in Balmain?

  24. Roger

    …you really do say the dumbest things GerardO

    He has a valid point as far as this is concerned: a majority of jobs are in the large cities. Iirc, a significant amount of all new jobs each year are created in the Sydney and Melbourne CBDs.

    I would advise anyone who can to seek an alternative, but there just aren’t enough jobs in the regions to support everyone who would like a better lifestyle. With the benefits of new communication technologies, we should be looking at decentralisation.

    As for the social welfare bill, I suspect demographics explains much of it, but there are certainly reforms to be made in the area of middle class welfare. Stop the tax-welfare churn, for a start, as it really only benefits the public servants who administer it.

  25. I consider public servants on a million or more and company executives scamming 5,10,15 million to be on welfare just like the unfortunate in our society. The only difference is the size of the package. We all pay for them in the charges levied against us. Don’t start me on refugee welfare.

  26. Empire GTHO Phase III

    Not sure if this the current version, but for those interested in qango welfare, read it and weep. Most of these people produce no genuine public good, but are paid multiples of median earnings with our taxes.

    http://remtribunal.gov.au/media/documents/2017/2016-compilations/full-time-compilations/2015-21-remuneration-and-allowances-for-holders-of-full-time-public-office-compilation-no-14.-annotated/2015-21-FTOH-Determination-Compilation-14-Annotated-30-November-2016.rtf

  27. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    I would advise anyone who can to seek an alternative, but there just aren’t enough jobs in the regions to support everyone who would like a better lifestyle

    My own experience is that I’ve never known anyone with a skilled trade, or profession, to have any difficulty in finding work in the regions.

  28. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Many of those on welfare are unemployable – no matter how many certificate IIs the taxpayers subsidise.

    Don’t get me started on those, who are on welfare, and would appear to have taken every possible step to render themselves unemployable.

  29. Roger

    I consider public servants on a million or more and company executives scamming 5,10,15 million to be on welfare just like the unfortunate in our society.

    Not to mention the sheltered workshop that is the ABC.

  30. Roger

    My own experience is that I’ve never known anyone with a skilled trade, or profession, to have any difficulty in finding work in the regions.

    Sure, but very many people aren’t professionals and don’t have a trade, they simply have a job…besides which there’s only so many dentists, lawyers or plumbers Wagga, Toowoomba, Ballarat or Cairns could support.

  31. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    …besides which there’s only so many dentists, lawyers or plumbers Wagga, Toowoomba, Ballarat or Cairns could support.

    And when the local vehicle dealer is bringing in diesel mechanics on 457 visa’s, or there is a weeks wait, if not two to see the doctor, or the local pub employs backpackers, because Australians don’t want to work behind the bar, or a cleaning business can’t find staff, at $25.00 per hour?

  32. Welfare was originally conceived by Conservatives for the Aged, injured soldiers and disabled workers. People unable to support themselves.

    But modern Welfare is targeted at the young and capable – beer money that demotivates and deskills them.

    Welfare to the middle class – Family Payments – is merely tax churn that creates dependency on government.

    Welfare payments to the permanently and marginally unemployed – Single Parents – Long term Newstart – Disability Pension, is logical and perhaps unavoidable because of the high minimum wage.

    We are going broke spending money on sit down schemes that create huge future costs and liabilities, while permanently dumbing us down.

  33. Roger

    And when the local vehicle dealer is bringing in diesel mechanics on 457 visa’s, or there is a weeks wait, if not two to see the doctor, or the local pub employs backpackers, because Australians don’t want to work behind the bar, or a cleaning business can’t find staff, at $25.00 per hour?

    The doctor issue is a bit different – offering scholarships tied to regional /rural service would, in the medium to longer term, be a way to address it rather than importing foreign doctors.

    For the rest that’s where more scrutiny needs to be applied to eligibility for unemployment benefits.

    Mind you, there can’t be many competent diesel mechanics who’d prefer the dole to a job in the regions…?

  34. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    The doctor issue is a bit different – offering scholarships tied to regional /rural service would, in the medium to longer term, be a way to address it rather than importing foreign doctors.

    At one stage, the part of the Wild West, where I was was reliant on overseas doctors – there had been a scholarship scheme tied to rural/regional service. Gen Snowflake signed up for the scholarship because “we really wanted to do medicine” and then bawled so loudly at the prospect of rural service that the whole scheme was quietly abandoned.

  35. stackja

    Gough legacy again on welfare.

  36. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Mind you, there can’t be many competent diesel mechanics who’d prefer the dole to a job in the regions…

    To be fair to all concerned , this was just before the mining boom folded, but the last I did hear – two or three weeks ago, there was still the same difficulty in attracting diesel mechanics to the regions. There is a mindset in Perth that sees anywhere East of the Darling Range as being an uncivilized wilderness.

  37. Splatacrobat

    Welfare should only be provided as a leg up, not a chair to sit on.

  38. Zyconoclast

    The obvious solution to the rising cost of the age pension is to include the principle residence in the assets test.

    That still misses the maximum tax moochers who have lived in public housing all their life (looking at you Albo’s mum) and even worse, families that have done it for generations.

    Also, private renters who on all the maximum benefits, and now also NDIS.

  39. Zyconoclast

    Don’t start me on refugee welfare.

    Please do.

  40. well, it’s expensive to buy votes you know

  41. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Welfare should only be provided as a leg up, not a chair to sit on.

    That’s all it was meant to be, until Gough came along, and made it an alternate lifestyle.

  42. Botswana O'Hooligan

    Ah, manalive, love yr comment for it proves that the system is working just fine, the socialism system mate. Make it mandatory for potential retirees to have a means test on their hovels so no one will strive to own anything that might some day in the future prevent them from getting any government largesse (read taxpayers taxes) and no one will want to work to save, own a house or anything worth whatever because the government will means test it or take it away. Think mate, think, and it’s obvious that you haven’t lived under a socialistic system as some of us have.

  43. candy

    I think Sydney Boy has a good point there. Perhaps the majority of welfare is on aged pension and associated health issues which can only increase, as people live longer. For the rest, there is not enough work, not enough hours and unreliable work. To live on a welfare benefit is exceedingly hard for those, because Internet and mobile phone are pretty much necessities. It’s not possible to study a course, apply for jobs, etc without that and electricity is expensive too, for power. And rent.

    I think the term welfare bludgers is old hat. Nevertheless, there are groups who don’t work, seemingly are not pressured by Centrelink to look for work or study, and see the Centrelink benefit as their “pay”.

  44. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    and see the Centrelink benefit as their “pay”.

    “social wage” is the new buzzword.

  45. Jessie

    Tom Palmer gave a good talk 2013 on the welfare state.
    I remember being interested in his thesis that the welfare state was created as a political strategy (Bismarck)

    Palmer gave Australia 30 years…….before collapse.

  46. mizaris

    Are there actually enough taxpayers to maintain this?

  47. Stimpson J. Cat

    Are there actually enough taxpayers to maintain this?

    No.
    We must import as many as we can immediately.
    That will solve the problem surely.

  48. Boambee John

    Splatacrobat
    #2531143, posted on October 23, 2017 at 9:03 pm
    Welfare should only be provided as a leg up, not a chair to sit on.

    That well known member of the alt-right, Ben Chifley, described it as a “hand up, not a hand out”.

  49. Boambee John

    Zulu

    “social wage” is the new buzzword.

    Or for one demographic, either jiziya or jihad pay!

  50. Piett

    There were articles in the Oz earlier in the year saying that regional Australia had much higher unemployment than the major cities (except in the places still enjoying residual effects from the mining boom). Article behind paywall unfortunately, but suggests there aren’t a bonanza of jobs waiting for people in the bush …

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/industrial-relations/youth-unemployment-crisis-sparks-exodus-from-queensland-regions/news-story/6cd2dc36c688b8ef0d3209702d275b16

    And from 2015 …

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/regional-unemployment-hits-12year-high-20150424-1msjaq.html

  51. Howard Hill

    We must import as many as we can immediately.
    That will solve the problem surely.

    But shouldn’t we be importing ones that actually work and pay tax?

  52. Shine a Light

    Ive always considered those who rort the system do most damage against the weakest in society, who are the main beneficiaries of welfare.
    However , I suppose some will reject that idea and suggest that only, the rich will benefit.
    However, rorting on any scale is illegal, whether its the rich or poor.

  53. Hasbeen

    Moving to the regions is not such an easy answer.

    My son has a number of youngish mates, early thirties, with wives & young kids. Most are qualified, with many diesel fitters, high level welders, electricians, & auto mechanics. Many are really struggling with mortgages or rents in the city.

    The cost of child care means the ladies bring in very little, even if they do work. They are well aware they could double their income, & halve their housing costs in many regions, & would be off in a flash, if they could. However, try moving youngish mothers away from family support, particularly their mums, & you will discover what resistance really is.

    Some young women are glad to get away from parental influence, but many more want mum close by.

  54. Trader Perth

    C’mon people…if our political leaders cant set a example why should we?…how many councillors, state and federal politicians , go on ‘fact finding’ trips with there families or new squeeze?..start up the RAAF jet to fly home for a kids basketball match?…if its good enough for the goose its good enough for the gander.

  55. 2dogs

    when the Chinese take over. They have no truck with welfare.

    Different cultures have different welfare needs. A culture with a lower divorce rate needs less single parent’s benefits, for example.

    The problem with a “one size fits all” approach to welfare in a multicultural society is that it institutes moral hazard with respect to culture. Cultures that create dependency get subsidised by those that don’t.

    If we are to have a multicultural society, we need provide each of the member cultures with autonomy regarding its welfare program.

  56. Tel

    Different cultures have different welfare needs. A culture with a lower divorce rate needs less single parent’s benefits, for example.

    It works both ways: when single parent’s benefits are not available, you find the divorce rate will also be reduced.

    If we are to have a multicultural society, we need provide each of the member cultures with autonomy regarding its welfare program.

    That would imply that the multicultural policy was about subdividing Australia, which will never be admitted openly.

  57. jjf

    two ways would make massive difference but no pollie would ever touch

    – include the family home in the assets test
    – lifetime cap for welfare – no excuses

  58. True Aussie

    RMIT is partly funded by up front full fee payers

    And the rest of the money is stolen from taxpayers. Kates is a government funded parasite and hypocrite.

  59. I think Sydney Boy has a good point there. Perhaps the majority of welfare is on aged pension and associated health issues which can only increase, as people live longer

    I would like to the breakdown of the figures on how much aged pension and health costs for the aged. I for one do not receive a pension being self funded ,I do not have private health cover so my costs for health are mainly borne by me and if you think older people have unfettered access to the public health system then think again. Over 65 and big brother wants you on the My Aged Care program denying you from access to normal services for under 65. The costs of refugee welfare, unemployed druggies and lots of other programs are where the real money is. I agree that a person should not be able to sit in the family inheritance and draw down a pension. In this case it should be a loan against the property. Actually one should go out as one came in ,with nothing but after a lifetime of taxes for useless wants it would be better going with a f*** ing great debt that cannot be satisfied😁

  60. John Constantine

    The Balkanization, divide and rule theory is funded by welfare.

    The Big Men that trade the votes of their welfare voteherds from their bunkers, deep in their balkanized enclaves, have control of welfare funding as their weapons of power.

    Comrades.

  61. AlanR

    I’m looking forward to your follow up article examining the cost of politicians playing their ‘entitlements’ and company executives misbehaving.

  62. john malpas

    It is only a matter of time that there will be talk of a ‘fair’ life expectancy which will be nominated by the polis.
    then ‘easing suffering’ will be the cause de jour.
    And strangely enough – the just solution with be a ‘final’ solution of the old and worn. Well they have had a fair go etc.

  63. Barry 1963

    I have a friend who went into a downward spiral in his life and ended up on welfare. A government funded intervention program intervened and his life was turned around. He is now a successful businessman. A helping had from the State can sometimes work well.

  64. Just looking at the government figures.
    Aged welfare = 38.96% of the total welfare bill of $154 billion at $60 billion.

    I have yet to prove this item being that refugee pensions etc cost the taxpayer $15 billion.
    About 870,000 non-citizens, mostly from Britain, New Zealand, Africa and the Middle East, are claiming $15 billion a year in welfare­ benefits, according to new analysis by the Parliamentary Budget Office, raising questions about the generosity of Australia’s social security system.

    The analysis, requested by Libera­l Democratic Party senator David Leyonhjelm, estimated that 710,000 non-citizens from nations with which Australia has no social security arrangement, includ­ing Britain, Vietnam and China, claimed an average $17,500 each annually in welfare, totalling 83 per cent of the $15bn total.

    It could be that Australian age pension recipients are being much maligned.

  65. overburdened

    In the early 1960’s the family upgraded from living behind the packing house in town to a fibro shack 4 miles out in a Commission house subdivision. 2 buses a day to town or walk. Outside dunny with the shit carters picking up from time to time. When the old man didn’t come back any more, mum would sporadically work up to 3 jobs all domestic work to try and keep her, her dementing mum and 6 kids going. Memories of helping mum hang the washing out at midnight with tears of exhaustion and futility rolling down her face. Hiding in the back room when the baker knocked because there was no money to pay him, and him leaving a day old loaf at the door. It was a shit show.
    As mentioned, man is not affected by events but by the view he takes of them. I left at 15 and never went back, taking any work that was going and my driver through life has been concern of sliding back into the pit. When I look at the intergenerational bludgers such as the 4th generation wasters blubbering that they can’t survive on a grand a week courtesy of the taxpayer, I have a few thoughts.
    -These people are lost from ever being any good.
    -The tipping point has nearly been reached where it will not make sense to have a crack when you can get a fair percentage of the same money you would earn working by sitting on your arse.
    -No one was fat where I came from.
    -My reward in my final years for doing the best I can will probably be no better than if I hadn’t bothered at all.

  66. lily

    If the family inheritance is valued at $350.000 (home) Pray tell me how a loan against the property would help.
    There would be nothing left to pay for care in an old peoples home, one would still be relying on Govt assistance.
    It’s a different story if your home is valued at a million dollars or more.
    So who is going to decide who is rich enough to go off the pension.

  67. gbees

    Coming on the back of the release by Kevin Rudd of his memoirs. So he didn’t have much faith in Wayne Swan but rather than fire him he hung on to him and even supported him. Now thanks to Rudd/Gillard/Swan we have debt which has reached $506B which, when Rudd took office in 2007, was $0.

    It’s the CEO’s job (in the case of Australia – Rudd), along with the Board (cabinet) to question the Financials put forward by the CFO (Swan). This is the duty of the Board. If the CFO is crap, this should have been obvious to the Board and he should have been replaced. What it does confirm is that neither the CEO (Rudd) or the Board (cabinet) had any idea of how to run the conutry’s finances. Of course, us plebs out here already knew that.

  68. Billy

    Roger,
    When I studied at UQ many students were on government fellowships — no fees and a small allowance was paid — which meant they were obliged to work for the government for several years after graduation. They provided the manpower for country hospitals. When Whitlam made universities free, the fellowships were abandoned as no one wanted them. The shortage of country practitioners has worsened since then.

  69. If the family inheritance is valued at $350.000 (home) Pray tell me how a loan against the property would help.
    Well the person can live in the house and draw a pension (aged) and upon the demise or vacating by the aged inhabitant/s the property is sold and the amount of pension provided by government is recouped from the sale. Any monies left over can be paid to the vultures. This would mean a person with a $2 million house not wanting to relocate to fund retirement could receive a pension that would be recovered in total.

  70. Barry 1963

    Overburdened–luxury!

  71. overburdened

    tell it to the young’ns these days and the wouldn’t believe it.
    BTW we were so poor we couldn’t afford goldfish. We kept silverfish instead. Ha does give morale a boost to drop that old gem.

  72. Rossini

    Well Deplorable those living in public housing get to enjoy living and sleeping on the taxpayer whilst
    those in the $350,000 house get to pay even after death. Why should they buy the house when they can just live off the taxpayer ?

  73. Stimpson J. Cat

    But shouldn’t we be importing ones that actually work and pay tax?

    Don’t be ridiculous.
    Facts have no place in this debate.

  74. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    BTW we were so poor we couldn’t afford goldfish. We kept silverfish instead. Ha does give morale a boost to drop that old gem.

    We spent four years living in a tent, on the West Australian sandplain. We had to borrow money to be considered “poor.”

  75. lily

    DEPLORABLE How long do you think a $350.000 thousand dollar loan would last if the home was refinanced the bank does charge interest.
    To down size cost money eg. real estate fees, plus a small unit in rural areas or outer suburbs can cost as much or more than a $350.000 house.
    A friend has moved into a nursing home a decent one requires a lot of money, public waiting lists are long. I am 71 working part time and receive a small part pension. Tell me why I do not deserve that compared to long haired tattooed bogans who live in public housing and have never paid a drop of tax in their lives and probably have a tribe of kids as well that we are paying for.

  76. Roger

    Different cultures have different welfare needs.

    But they all seem to adapt quite well to our welfare provisions.

    Indian and Chinese sons are supposed to take care of their parents, but those that migrate to Australia and pay a bond of $50K to bring their parents out are subsequently farming out the cost of keeping their parents in good health to the tax payer. Reference the 2016 Productivity Commission report on the economic impact of migration. Our welfare system is bad enough, but with migrants piling on it’s even more unsustainable.

  77. DEPLORABLE How long do you think a $350.000 thousand dollar loan would last if the home was refinanced the bank does charge interest.

    Well Lily if you read my post I did not mention bank or loan. $350,000 could mean a single aged pensioner could receive around 20 years of pension. A $2. Million house could mean around 117 years of single pension. Now some exemption could be applied but where do you start? Of course the bludgers in society will need to be reined in some how but we should start at the top. Nursing homes ? Well they have blown out haven’t they. When you consider the number of non working immigrant families who have not worked since they arrived the children they have bred and how many of those who are on the public teat and now the older ones want hospital and aged care and a commission house to live in coupled with the locally bred drug stuffed embiciles who leave home for the streets and the permanently unemployed fit bludgers no wonder their is no cash left in the pot and taxes are insufficient.
    Vote for a party that will make a difference with harsh medicine not for labor and labor lite.

  78. JamesS

    No wonder why governments are pushing for euthanasia laws. It could not be for cost savings could it?

    A government bean counter might like it, but down the slippery slope we go.
    I hope your family has your best interests at heart.

  79. cynical1

    I believe Mrs Rudd did rather well out of the welfare system.

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