Government shall weary them

| October 31, 2014

It has been recently suggested that the family home should be taken into account in determining age pension entitlements. Laurence Strano says this is the last thing we need as we are already over-governed and over-regulated.

“God bless Australia, Home of the Anzac, the strong and the free. It’s our homeland, our own land, to cherish for eternity, God bless Australia, the land of the free.” This was a proposed 1961 Australian national anthem by Australian songwriter Jack Hagan who provided patriotic lyrics to the traditional tune of Waltzing Matilda.

One has to ask now: How free are we? Are we over-governed and over-regulated? Does government intrude into our lives in Australia to the detriment of privacy and innovation or crowding-out? Are civil liberties being encroached upon to too great an extent?

Now people such as John Sydney “Joe” Dawkins, AO, who was Treasurer in the Keating Labor government from December 1991 to December 1993, is suggesting tightening pension criteria by taking the sacred family home into consideration to determine pension eligibility (Australian Financial Review 28 October 2014). Others are suggesting that “Reverse mortgages must be enacted now” (Ramani Venkatramani, Australian Financial Review letters 30 October 2014).

It would be extremely unpalatable for government to seek to dictate what level of housing people should have and to impact adversely on future generations by forcing people to leave family homes or sell off equity. I strongly suggest leaving it all to the market as we need to reduce, not increase burdens on the aged and future generations, especially since Australia continues to be over-regulated and over-governed. There is need to better understand that life and the cost of living can be sufficiently disruptive without further hardship. No matter how grand or simple the residence is, people still have to meet ever increasing government imposts and costs of living.

Why didn’t we clone Jean-Jacques Rousseau who at least argued that private property was conventional and the beginning of true civil society? I think that a smaller government and less regulation are needed, not further encroachments on civil liberties.