15 February 2010

A few thoughts on parents

I lodged a Contributory Parent application for a client on 6 January. The Department receipted the fee on 19 January and sent out an acknowledgement letter on 27 January. Why rush? It's going to be well over a year before the application is processed.

For this the couple will pay in excess of $70,000 to the Australian government. If they can't afford that, they can do a Casablanca (wait.... and wait..... and wait).

But hey, they are old folks aren't they? Not much older than me, actually. The rationale is apparently that the money is intended to cover the enormous drain on the public purse of bringing in a couple of old codgers who will presumably go straight into high cost medical care.

It's certainly true that in the later part of our lives most of us will end up costing the taxpayer a lot of money. My parents worked and paid taxes all their lives and then required some expensive care before they died, but that was only a small return for what they had spent, wasn't it?

No it wasn't. That's bad economics. My parents taxes were fully expended on the government services of the day, including my education. Their health care was paid for by my taxes, and yours, and the taxes of millions of migrants working in today's economy.

So if those migrants are paying their taxes just like me, why can't their parents get the benefit of them like mine did? They paid for their children's education like my parents did, either through taxes or privately, and the Australian economy gets the benefit of that. Their children don't get a tax deduction because their parents aren't here.

Besides, $35,000 a head is only a fraction of what it costs to provide health and social security support for the elderly. As is so often the case in our spin-politics age, it's more for show than anything else.

It's just one more example of the mentality that sees migrants as commodities to be exploited for the quickest short-term gain.

No comments: