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Marc My Words

Marc My Words.

By Marc Alexander MP

Families and Common Sense are Endangered Species

Single income families are a dying breed. Only 24% of two parent families can afford to have one parent at home to look after their kids. That's well down from a generation ago and, given the 'rosy' economic statistics this Government trots out ad nauseam, how can this be so?

Unemployment is well below 5%, retailing and agriculture are doing well, and with a massive budget surplus, how is it possible that a family earning the national average wage is doing so poorly? The easy answer of course, is that wages are far too low. The highest tax bracket starts chomping away at $60,000 - hardly a huge income for a family. It's easy to blame immigration and double income families for driving up house prices and so on.

The reality is actually more simple: the insidious amount of tax we pay has eroded the purchasing power of our incomes, has diminished our financial self reliance, crippled our initiative to better ourselves and our families, and battered our self-confidence.

A family on $55,000 for example, is liable for an income tax of $13,020; whatever is left and spent is subject to12.5% GST, not including petrol tax and other duties, levies, rates etc. If you add a student and/or home loan repayments, it's clear that a family in such circumstances comes under intense economic pressure.

The real question is, how can a family on $35,000 a year be only $50 per week worse off than a family earning $55,000, but be entitled to benefits that all but obliterate the difference?

Sadly in response to this dire circumstance this government is likely to go down the well-beaten socialist path of increasing benefits rather than enabling families to look after themselves with what they earn. In other words, take away the fruits of your labours so that you have to go cap in hand with your begging bowl to the government!

The tragedy is that such an approach undermines self-reliance and replaces it with a disconnection between what you do and what you have. Government imposes itself as the uninvited 'partner' in the management of your life. This is utterly disempowering.

With this approach, the lifestyle a family leads will have more to do with its economic relationship to government, than with what it does for itself. Ethically and ideologically it confuses being free with being free and easy.

Welfare and dependency give socialism its mandate through the purchase of voter loyalty. Both are hated by those who pay, held in contempt by those who receive, and derided by those who want to stand on their own feet.

Welfare dependency is the antithesis of freedom.

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