Maybe Australia needs some welfare reform also

May 12th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Adelaide Advertiser reports:

The Advertiser revealed on Thursday that there are a whopping 7313 Australians who receive the disabled pension but don’t live in .

Many of them live in holiday destinations such as Bali and Thailand, where the $813 dollars they receive from the taxpayer every fortnight goes much further in the form of rupiah or baht.

More than 1200 of them are in Greece, nursing the kind of injuries which are so permanently debilitating that they apparently prevent them from ever re-entering the workforce, yet not from jumping on a 30-hour economy class flight to Europe and a ferry ride to the island of their choice.

Almost 1000 of them are over the ditch in New Zealand, just a stone’s throw from the country which is kindly subsidising their existence. …

The purse for this largesse is sizeable, coming in at $99.9 million a year. And at a time when the nation has been put on notice that the age of entitlement is over, it is a stellar example of how witless governments are when it comes to reining in unjustifiable drains on revenue, yet so adept at creating new streams of revenue by launching another assault on the people who are actually working.

The way it works now is an insult to people with genuine and permanent disabilities, exploding as it has from 500,000 to 800,000 recipients in less than two decades, its annual bill careening towards $15 billion.

The rule of thumb for government should be to provide generous support for those who genuinely cannot work.

It should also involve the ruthless denial of assistance to those who simply choose not to work, and who hide behind confected conditions to opt out of a contributive life, even heading overseas to bludge in a more agreeable climate where the beers are cheaper.

A good summary those last two paragraphs.

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14 Responses to “Maybe Australia needs some welfare reform also”

  1. Muzza M (291 comments) says:

    I’m a Kiwi currently living in the Philippines. The number of Aussies I meet here living on the disability allowance is staggering. There is no reason I can see why they can not work. They have plenty of energy for drinking piss and chasing bar girls. I believe the Australian Government is tightening up and they now have to go back to Australia every six weeks to sign on.

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  2. xy (167 comments) says:

    What is intrinsicly wrong with a disabled AU citizen living in NZ? Assuming you accept that a disability allowance is at all acceptable which I realise isn’t a very kiwiblog view, why is living in NZ a problem and living on the Gold Coast not one?

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  3. BeaB (2,080 comments) says:

    The Waikato Times has a lead article this morning about the perils of pokies. All the people quoted are beneficiaries, all put pokies before food, booze and fags before food for the kids.
    We wring our hands about child poverty yet hardworking Kiwis are funding these appalling lifestyles without any sanctions if the money is squandered.
    I don’t know what the answer is but households looking at this weeks rates bill must wonder why they work so hard with so many hands in their pockets.

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  4. alloytoo (463 comments) says:

    “Almost 1000 of them are over the ditch in New Zealand, just a stone’s throw from the country which is kindly subsidising their existence. …”

    I’d be curious as whether or not OZ is the only country subsidizing their existence.

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  5. Sector 7g (237 comments) says:

    When I first read the title I thought this was going to be a post regarding the information that come out last week that showed 52% of Australian families receive more in welfare payments than they actually pay tax. Staggering.

    52% of all Australian families pay zero tax. Unbelievable. Talk about “fair share”.

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  6. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,830 comments) says:

    Sector 7g

    Now you know why Hockey will deliver a ‘black budget.’

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  7. martinh (1,164 comments) says:

    I dont mind so long as these people have had thorough medical testing that states they cant work.
    I dont think people should be made to live in an expensive country, their disability is sentence that shouldnt be deliberately added too.
    Cheap beer is im sure not what its about for most so you shouldnt attack others due to the actions of the percieved undisabled laughing beer bonger

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  8. gump (1,547 comments) says:

    I don’t really have a problem with the concept.

    If disabled people have family overseas that can care for them, then that’s where they should go.

    Of course the people who are rorting the system should be punished with the full weight of the law.

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  9. spanish_tudor (56 comments) says:

    If they have family overseas that can care for them (feed, cloth, and shelter them), then why do they need an allowance from a government across the water?

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  10. srylands (392 comments) says:

    My son is an Australian who now lives in New Zealand. He receives a disability benefit from Australia under the bilateral social welfare agreement between the two countries. He can’t work but is now doing some part time study. He has a significant mental illness.

    He came here so I could keep an eye on him and help him. He had no family support in Australia and was severely in the shit. If he went back to Australia, he would be much worse off and the Australian taxpayer would be worse off as he would consume ancillary services (health care especially).

    I agree that disability pensions have been rorted on both sides of the Tasman. But there are some desperately needy individuals that deserve help.

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  11. kowtow (7,924 comments) says:

    “The rule of thumb for government should be to provide generous support for those who genuinely cannot work.”

    Really? Government provides support ? No they don’t,they take wealth off taxpayers and redistribute it to those it chooses to.

    There will be no end to this as sector 7g has pointed out ,52% don’t contribute at all.But they can vote.They essentially vote to steal other people’s money.Isn’t democracy great?

    ps People in real need do need support.But the welfare state is broken.And serious fixing is called for.

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  12. Grant Michael McKenna (1,157 comments) says:

    I know some people with intellectual or developmental difficulties that are living here in NZ but on an Oz benefit, because their money stretches further, and because there is suitable care available here- a consequence of the CER. None are on NZ benefits, except that one was injured in his sheltered employment and is now on ACC as well.

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  13. jcuk (637 comments) says:

    The petty minded ride rampant I see above … always questioning from a position of irresponsible ignorance.

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  14. ChardonnayGuy (1,183 comments) says:

    Would a Turnbull administration do things any differently, one wonders? I suspect we’ll have to wait until after the November Victorian state elections, which the hapless Premier Napthine and his struggling Coalition government are expected to lose. Abbott’s days may be numbered.

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