Middle Class Welfare

Posted: December 8, 2008 in Australian Politics
Tags: , , ,

I don’t really want to introduce politics into this blog, but I feel that I have to at this point in time. I do understand that by doing this I may expose myself to ridicule over my ignorance or otherwise of the current issues that face us today. So what?!

Today is the day when many pensioners, carers and families receive a cash windfall from the Australian government, as part of a stimulus package to boost our economy and stave off recession. The Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has told the recipients of this cash bonanza that they need to immediately spend, spend, spend it, instead of putting it into the bank to save it, as the only way to save jobs and our economy.

Whilst I don’t begrudge needy pensioners or carers receiving this one off payment, I am very bemused and dismayed that this will be yet another bonus payment that the government have given to parents. From what I understand this bonus will not be means tested, which means that the money will not just going to struggling families living in Footscray, but also to millionaires living in Toorak who don’t really need the money. I don’t object my tax dollars being used to help the needy, but I do get very upset when they are used just to bribe the greedy.

Call me cynical but just like John Howard’s baby bonus this is just a way for the government to win a few cheap votes at the next election, not a way to really help the economy or protect jobs. There are several other ways that Rudd could have helped the economy, such as President-Elect Obama’s plan to invest in infrastructure, or to give everyone some tax relief.

People may say that I am just sucking on sour grapes because I won’t see a single cent of Rudd’s financial rescue plan. Maybe I should just shut up and pop out some kids of my own (if only it was that easy), and then I will be eligible for all the middle class welfare that the government has been throwing at families? Maybe I am just jealous that at a time when my partner and I are under increasing financial pressure due to rising rents and general inflation, the government throws more cash at families so that they can buy new plasma TVs? This is perhaps partly true, but just imagine if the government stopped all these bonuses that are paid to parents just because they are lucky enough to have children. Taxes could be cut that would benefit everyone, which would mean higher wages, which would mean that no one would need to rely on government payments just to survive.

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