Drawing the line to prevent abuse

We are ourselves a nation of immigrants, and throughout history peoples have migrated all over the world. But the scenarios are now different

By Dr R Neerunjun Gopee

Of the many posts that one gets forwarded on a 24/7 basis, most of them are not even worth a look and deserved to be deleted immediately. Others from known friends are for greeting or sharing inspirational quotes and messages, some of which can be truly elevating. From time to time, though, comes a post which draws attention to a larger issue, and I happened to receive such a post. It caught my interest in particular because apparently the story emanates from a practising doctor in Melbourne, Australia, who is in fact an obstetrician & gynaecologist, and excerpts of which read as follows:

‘Family has eleven children (Australia) – Breadwinner is the Fertile daughter.

The new breadwinners in Australia. Here is how a doctor explains it:

A woman in her late 20s came to the hospital today with her 8th pregnancy. She said to me “My mum told me that I am the breadwinner for the family.”

I asked her to explain. She said that she can make babies and babies get money from the Government for the family.

It goes like this:

The Grandma calls the Department of child services and Centrelink, and states that the unemployed daughter is not capable of caring for all of her kids. And they agree, then tells her the children will need to go into foster care.

The Grandma then volunteers to be the foster parent, and receives a cheque for $400 per child each month. Total yearly income $72,000 and soon to be more when the 8th one is born, tax-free and nobody has to go to work!

In fact, they get more if there is no husband/father/man in the home! The brother does not count. Not to mention free dental treatment, free housing, free school dinners, free tuition fees at college or Uni, free eye care and glasses, free prescriptions and various other benefits…

Total value of all benefits combined probably approaching $120,000 per annum. That’s about my salary as a senior consultant with years of experience and surgical skills in a Melbourne teaching hospital.

Indeed, Grandma was correct that her fertile daughter is the “breadwinner” for the family.

This is how the politicians spend our taxes. When this generous programme was invented in the ’60s, the Great Society architects forgot to craft an end date, and now we are hopelessly overrun with people who vote only for those who will continue to keep them on the dole…

No wonder our country is broke! Are we alarmed yet, is anybody listening?

Please know I am not racist nor am I against immigration, I just worry where this uncontrolled sort of immigration is going to take this wonderful country. There must be limits and controls in place. That’s a simple fact of life my friends.

Sebastian J. Ciancino – Obstetrician, Melbourne Vic.

Don’t forget to pay your taxes!! There are a lot of “breadwinners” depending on you!
HELLO!!! Well? Is anybody listening?? Where do we draw the line between human right act & wisdom?’

There is no way that this account can be verified, but I have come across similar stories on social media in the past and, logically, I assume that there can be no smoke without fire. In other words, even if not completely true there be at least some factual content n these accounts.

However, what to me seems of broader relevance are two points: abuse of a system, and the practice of vote bank politics that allows its perpetuation. Both are clearly inimical to the national interest, though what with their horizon fixed on only the short-term, that is the next election, politicians are focused only on their selfish pursuit of power for their own gain.

We are ourselves a nation of immigrants, and throughout history peoples have migrated all over the world. But the scenarios are now different. A complex of so many factors – wars, civilian conflicts, oppressive regimes, famines, poverty and other economic reasons amongst others – has in recent decades forced the movements of larger numbers of people across the globe.

Many countries have faced increasing pressures of a social, political and economic nature in trying to accommodate migrants especially when their numbers swell over brief periods of time, or when there are non-stop streams that keep coming, more so if they try to enter illegally. It is also well documented that while there are genuine refugees that are trying to gain a foothold in other countries, there are also economic migrants who join the bandwagon as it were and try to pass as refugees when they are clearly not.

It is no doubt galling to sweat so hard to make a decent living in your own country and be a law-abiding citizen paying your taxes to then find that others are literally riding on your back to enjoy equivalent amounts of income by simply exploiting the existing system. Who will hear the cri de coeur of this concerned doctor who has to put up with this dysfunction?

Obviously what’s required are policy changes – to ‘limit and control’ – that will prevent such abuse, and politicians who see beyond the tips of their noses and are as aware or worried as their citizens about the dislocations that their societies are undergoing, which need to be addressed upfront so as to preserve the integrity of the countries concerned.

As far as our own country is concerned, in the wake of what has been called the second industrialization of the country post 1983, which concerned mainly the textile sector, there has been a regular import of workers from a few countries to man that sector. However, by the by workers have also been imported to service other fields of activity though in more limited numbers. To the best of our knowledge this activity is regulated by legislation that is abided by, workers having contracts for a specified period, and their terms and conditions of work locally are under official oversight, with unions stepping in when needed. Nevertheless, vigilance must be maintained so as to prevent any potential abuse which, as the case cited in Australia shows, may well occur for political or other occult reasons.

* Published in print edition on 8 December 2020

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