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Grandma and Grandpa sniffing out the welfare trough.

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There is currently a proposal circulating in Australia for taxpayers to fund a Childminding Allowance for grandparents who look after their grandchildren, including in circumstances where; “both parents of the child have to work.”

I now wish to give this idea both barrels.

Where the hell is this country heading?

Since when do both parents HAVE TO work full time?

For readers who live in other countries where Governments expect their citizens to be self-reliant and responsible for the welfare of the children which spring from their loins, I offer the following information relevant to Australia where legislated and generous minimum wage conditions apply;

Barrel 1.   Both parents HAVE TO work full time only when they’ve made the personal choice early in life to buy on credit all the material possessions which previous generations saved entire lifetimes for.

Barrel 2.   Both parents HAVE TO work full time only when they’ve decided that the process of generating more personal wealth should not be unnecessarily inconvenienced by having to nurture and love the previously mentioned loin fruit which they have produced.

All the pampered non-deserving welfare recipients in Australia are presently gathered around the trough of unreality snorting up all manner of unsustainable allowances.

$5000 for every newborn baby. (Otherwise known as the plasma-screen allowance.)

An extensive raft of subsidies payable until the child reaches the age of 16.

People with sore shoulders being paid lifetime Total Disability Pensions.**

Partners whose ‘other half’ suffers occasional headaches being granted a full time Carer’s Pension, the proceeds of which are used to fund overseas holidays. **

‘Totally Disabled’ pension recipients  for 35 years who nevertheless manage to single-handedly build their own four-bedroom home during that time. **

No wonder all the new grandparents in 2012 can smell the party going on around the trough and want to be a part of it.

Grandparenting should a privilege for both the grandparent and the child, and not a moneymaking project funded by those who work and pay taxes.

Or perhaps I’m just a really Grumpy Old Fart.

*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *

** Actual examples from the GOF files.

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About GOF

"Life is like a sewer. What you get out of it, depends upon what you put into it." (Tom Lehrer)

29 responses »

  1. Heh heh. Well said, GOF. I like your style.

    Reply
    • Thanks Lance. I’m not sure if ‘bludger’ is a word you use in the UK, but in Australia it traditionally applies to anyone who behaves like a parasite on other people or the country. There are far too many bludgers today and the Government doesn’t have the guts to crack down on those who rort the overly-generous system.

      Reply
      • ‘Bludger’? That’s a new one on me, GOF. ‘Benefit scrounger’ is a fairly common one over here. I’ll resist detailing the most commonly used terms as I’m not sure of your policy on profanity. 😉

        Reply
  2. Sigh. This is what makes it so hard to get people in the US to vote for universal health care. There are already too many bludger/scroungers and the financial conservatives don’t want to have anymore.
    I wish we would get universal healthcare, but some of those proposals and benefits you mentioned are definitely crossing a line and making it easy to be lazy and scrounge and bludge.
    If they keep going at that rate it won’t be sustainable.
    Use some common sense, people!

    Reply
    • Sigh indeed Lauri. Australia has one of the best and most generous health care systems in the world, but it is abused by patients who take no responsibility at all for their own health, and by health care professionals who use it as a financial milking cow. There has to be middle ground somewhere, because as you suggest our system will soon become unsustainable because of the ageing population and reduced income from China for all the goodies we dig out of the ground to pay for it all.

      Reply
  3. I disagree. For every so-called “bludger” there’s also a deserving case that critics don’t want to know about. If there has to be a fault in the system, I’m on side with the little guy rather than the billionaire Gina Rineharts of this world who think the minimum wage should be reduced.

    Reply
    • I have no issue with welfare being paid to those for whom it was intended Snowy, but see no reason why it should be paid to anyone who has the capacity to support themselves. And as for a childminding allowance being paid to effectively subsidise couples earning more than $100,000 a year, well I just find that quite astonishing.

      Reply
  4. Couldn’t agree with you more GOF. Bravo!

    Reply
  5. I don’t know what it’s like in Australia, but here in the US it is extremely hard for a family with two children to live on one paycheck alone. The parents in almost all of the households in my neighborhood both work, though that’s no guarantee that they can afford decent daycare along with mortgage payments, health insurance, and groceries for hungry little ones. If a concerned grandparent wants to help out his or her children with childcare, why shouldn’t they receive a little money for meals and transportation to take the grandchildren to doctor’s appointments?

    I was lucky in that I didn’t require childcare for my three kids. However, I can relate in that I am now the full-time caregiver for my father, who has both Alzheimer’s and diabetes. I drive him to doctor’s appointments and church, prepare his meals, clean the house, make sure he takes his medications (six of them so far), and buy groceries and pay the bills. I also see the attorney about running the trust I set up for him, keep the books, call the phone and electrical companies when there’s an error on the bills, go to City Hall and argue with the city clerk when they raise our property taxes, and fill out the paperwork for Dad’s health insurance and pension. I’m allowed to collect a small stipend from the trust to cover the cost of driving my car and doing all that work: but I don’t know what I would do if we didn’t have the money to cover those expenses. Caregiving is important work, as important as being the forking POTUS. If there weren’t willing grandparents to help with childcare or dutiful daughters to look after their frail parents, this country would be in even a sorrier state than it is now. So hell yeah, we deserve some sort of payment if not a bleeping Nobel Prize.

    Reply
    • Thanks for your very constructive argument HG. Your situation with your Dad is a perfect example of where Carers Allowance should be paid and I know that no amount of money could be adequate compensation for what you have been through in recent times.
      I still have issues with the expectation which young people have today to get married and have all the material possessions in place right from the start. It does not have to be that way in Australia. They do not have to have a half million dollar mortgage hanging over their heads right from day 1. Our social security system provides rental assistance for wage-earners and I believe our system of wage payment is somewhat different from yours.
      For example, in my State, an unskilled adult working in the accommodation and food sector is guaranteed $16 per hour under the legislated minimum wage provisions, plus double this rate on certain weekends and holidays.
      Also re grandparents; If they are aged over 65 with assets of around $500,000 they receive around $1000 EACH per month in old-age pension.
      I believe these levels of welfare will ultimately be unsustainable. If grandparents are to be paid more for childminding then perhaps we could abolish the utterly stupid $5000 baby bonus to pay for it.

      Reply
  6. I so agree GOF. I certainly support government money to help the working poor in the U.S. Some nurses, teachers, vet techs get like $50 a day while some basketball player gets $200,000 per game.

    But having a child is not like having an illness or getting old; everyone knows having children is extremely expensive and they should plan for it years in advance. The well to do now have their health insurance covering their spawn up to 24 years old. These folks are referred to as “children”. Since when is a 24 year old a child? Meanwhile childless working folks might get denied health insurance, still.

    Grandparents should be paid for sitting the kids; but not by the government. If a family with two working parents is spared the expense of daycare, the least they can do is pay granddad and granddmom some thank you money.

    Reply
    • Very well said Amelie. Responsibility lies with parents. Australia has made it too easy for parents to believe otherwise. As I illustrated to HG, our wage structures are much more generous than yours. No-one in Australia would work for $50 day.
      (except stoopid GOF when he was raising Ingrid he was paid $30 per day milking somebody elses cows 5 am to 7pm)

      Reply
  7. Yeah, but I’m guessing your attitude will change once Inga finally ensnares Josh Holloway in her web and starts popping out mini-GOF’s who are long-eared and fuzzy. Well … maybe they’ll be long-eared and fuzzy, but will also be human …

    lol

    But I agree with you. I saw in the people my age who wanted “RIGHT NOW” everything it had taken Mom & Dad twenty years to accumulate.

    I would make on small modification to this idea, however. In cases where, usually because of low wages, the gov’t is going to pay for daycare anyway, why can’t they just pay Grandma without her having to be licensed and certified? I would think the fact that she has adult children of her own kind of indicates she knows how to raise a young-un.

    Reply
    • “and starts popping out mini-GOF’s who are long-eared and fuzzy.”

      should have been “and starts popping out mini-GOF’s who are NOT long-eared and fuzzy.”

      Reply
    • Perfect suggestion with your last paragraph GOM, because working parents are constantly complaining about the lack of availability and cost of day-care centres for the kids. In cases where Govt subsidy is paid then it should definitely be available to Grandma. I think that’s called ‘win,win’.

      We have elections coming up soon. How can I tempt you to become an Australian citizen so you can run for Prime Minister. We need a fresh approach.

      Reply
  8. I agree with the sentiment BUT (you can tell it’s a big but coz it’s in capitals), there is a tendency for greedy types to paint all recipients with the same brush and that I have a problem with. It leads to things like Joe Hockey promising to axe 10,000 Public Servants jobs with the hint that somehow we don’t need them. Not only does this lead to long lag times and no staff to check out the validity of claimants, it also throws another 10,000 on the scrap heap. In effect encouraging more waste.

    It seems to be based on us copying the US and that’s somewhere we shouldn’t dream of going. I’m more than happy to send Abbott and Joe to the US but I think they are already at full capacity when it comes to folk protecting the rich. Besides they probably prefer to be a minnow in a small pond than a minnow in a larger one.

    Heeeeeeeeelp! I’m stuck up here on my soap box.

    Reply
    • I can see where you’re coming from Pete, but from my perspective I view couples earning in excess of K100 as ‘rich’, therefore this new welfare idea provides an additional unnecessary benefit for them.
      Cleaning out the welfare cheats should be done with the aim of the savings providing support for those who truly deserve it, not just for reduction of the welfare budget.
      I accept your more comprehensive knowledge about the levels of public service staffing…… I think it’s a disgrace that the few thousand asylum seekers who arrive annually have to be incarcerated for so many months and occasionally YEARS before a bureaucrat actually makes a decision on their future. Or perhaps that’s got more to do with politic-ing than staff shortages.

      We have matching soapboxes. 🙂

      Reply
      • I think you have hit the key there GOF. If the savings were distributed within the group it would take the politics out of it.

        Been quite a while since I last saw a flying pig though. 😦

        Reply
      • Incidentally, I have a rich brother-in-law who still works hard and who can’t understand how we can go grey nomadding. We are both 60 next year but he always thinks he needs another million while I have no ambition for massing a great fortune. It only makes for a coffin that is too heavy to lift.

        Sometimes the motivation for having extra money hasn’t been thought through.

        Reply
        • A moderate amount of money is nice…..enough for food, a couple of changes of clothes, a waterproof house and a modest backup fund.
          I knew a happy (but very lazy) dairy farmer whose philosophy was ” if the roof over your bed doesn’t leak, then what more do you need in life”
          He was speaking from experience. I’m afraid I like a little more comfort and security than that.

          Good luck with your nomadding and we look forward to seeing you both up this way again.

          Reply
  9. You know, if it wasn’t for political grandstanding we could probably manage it more efficiently.

    Oh. I think I just saw a fairy at the bottom of the garden.

    Reply
  10. Re your statement to HG: “I believe these levels of welfare will ultimately be unsustainable” – and that’s why all these youngsters should go forth & multiply so the taxes the loin fruit will ultimately pay help to bolster welfare…… and presumably grandparents will be paid on a per child basis.. …

    Reply

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