World standard scrooge

Apparently Joe Hockey, who I had thought was Shadow Minister for BBQ‘s, has made a speech while he was on a tour overseas, saying that our welfare costs are too high.

According to Joe, we should fall in line with world’s best practice, which he thinks is Korea, in order for us to remain competitive as a nation. We apparently spend around 16 per cent of our GDP on welfare and Korea spends under 10 per cent.

Top of the list of caring nations is – quelle surprise – France, which spends 28 percent of its GDP on welfare. Also ahead of us on the list are all the blonde, good-looking nations (Scandinavia), other Euro nations, Canada and even the UK.

But Joe should be happy as we are in good company with Estonia. But still Joe’s not happy. He wants us to be on par with Korea and Vietnam.

What the !?$%%^&*)* ?

It’s not enough that Australians are now working as hard as Koreans (not me personally – take that Joe!); in Joe’s ideal Australia, he wants the government to spend the same amount of money as Vietnam on the dole, aged care, sickness benefits. And this is a fair go, how exactly?

Now, apparently the sweetener is that he says that these countries have strong family ties and we should work on strengthening our own family ties. And this is meant to make us feel good? Spend more time with our families?

Maybe Joe on his magnificent overseas adventure didn’t think his feel-good comments would be picked up. Maybe he was just hungry and had low blood sugar. Maybe he had eaten too much and left his brain in the soup bowl. But no matter. The day our benefits for those who are generally more marginalised in society, are on par with Vietnam is the day I really pack up for New Zealand.

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