Are we “breeding bludgers”? 432



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Australia’s 47th richest man, billionaire Con Makris says we’re breeding bludgers here in Australia and that the next set of challenges facing our nation will be because our younger people are not conditioned to working extreme hours and putting in the hard work required to build businesses.  Whilst he has opened a can of worms with this statement, could he be right? Do we need to reset the younger generations’ work ethic to succeed as a nation in the next wave of the economy?

Makris spoke to the Sydney Morning Herald this week discussing his outlook for investment and property along with the Australian economy.

He was blunt about the next set of problems confronting Australia. He says younger people aren’t conditioned to working extreme hours and putting in the hard work required to build businesses. There are exceptions of course, he says, but there has been too much of a hand-out mentality that has wound its way through society.

“The country has been breeding bludgers,” he says.

“I truly believe, 100 per cent that Australia has lost its hard work ethic,” Makris says.

“Too many people are looking for a lifestyle. They want to go to Byron Bay and those sort of places and sit in the sun all day.”

Makris says he thinks Turnbull’s approach of building an entrepreneurial culture will help our nation adjust, but expects it will take some time yet.

“I think it’s going to take another couple of years,” Makris said to Fairfax but acknowledged his belief that we’re on the right path.

“Turnbull is a businessman and he understands what needs to happen to get things moving.”

Do you agree with Makris.  Do you think we are breeding bludgers and that this is having an effect on the Australian economy?

image: Makris website

Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. I’m sure there are many “bludgers” in our midst. Probably always have been. Maybe the percentage has increased. But so has the number of bosses – and politicians – who care more about themselves than community good. We need more people like Dick Smith to show us the way.

    1 REPLY
  2. I worked and paid taxes for 47 years, and now I’m being told I’m a bludger for being on the Age Pension. You rich people might have always had super, but we ordinary people didn’t. When I finished work I used my little bit of super to pay off my mortgage. Now I have almost nothing. All I can say is I worked really hard for rich people who paid only a survival wage, don’t feel in the least guilty about my pension, and am happy and satisfied with my life.

    16 REPLY
    • Kathy kelly i feel exactly the same and i too worked very hard and paid a lot of tax over a long period of time like you i dont feel guilty now I’m on age pension and why should we

    • and now they are trying to make us guilty for owning our own homes with backyards?? Give us a break!!

    • not sure if this is correct but I read or heard somewhere ages ago that personal income tax was introduced early last century specifically to pay for age pensions.must try and confirm that somehow and stick it up the nose of those who give us age pensioners a hard time

    • Beverley Miles – I do know that when my mother migrated here from UK in 1958 there was a clear statement about income taxes paid covering the cost of the age pension on retirement – a statement effectively denied by gov’t by the time she was compulsorily retired at age 60 in 1972.

    • If only they stop giving them self all the big pay rise and leave the pensioners alone after all we work so hard and pay taxes so what ever we have we should give it to them or too refugees who didn’t work even 1hr and more likely never will just leave us alone and stop trying to make us guilty because it does work

    • There was a fund that money was paid into for aged pensions many years ago but that account is gone government spent it.
      I too worked for years and never got handouts from government like they do now. But people think you are bludging when over 60 and cant work. Yet government is happy to give someone earning 80.000 plus 400 a month in day care fees. Never had anything like that years ago. And one person getting this whines because they cant afford luxuries. But pensioners who have no super and still paying house off are penalised as they are getting nothing compared to renters. In Qld car rego and licence is so expensive for pensioners. Not free like some states.

    • I agree Kathy. We went without holidays, restaurants, luxuries etc for 15 years to ensure we owned our own property. We were lucky enough to have a small amount of super to finalise the payment on it. We can just survive on the pension as it is, although when we have months like this one, gas HWS died, car needed $3000 to stay on road, LPG gas bill came, we really know what struggle is! And you notice that every now and then they make noises about us owning our own home! Its not taxpayers like us we can’t afford – its the rich bludgers, who just want more and more!

    • I too worked for 47 years and i had very little super. I had no handouts from the government only child endownment.
      I thought eons ago that the government put up income tax by 1% to have enough money in their coffers to pay retired workers their pension as they knew a lot of baby boomers would be retiring around the same time. I could be wrong but i seem to remember something about this.
      We have earned the right to have an aged pension which we paid for with our taxes.

    • I’m with you Kelly. When I retired and paid my house off five years ago, I could live on the pension…I can’t now! But, I must remember that it’s all our fault for being a drain on the economy!!!!

    • No Gerry Gageldonk many years ago there was money but its gone. It was on news a few times but so far the government havent had to answer where it went. We pay a lot of tax here. Even in small countries like Holland they pay 27 percent tax only and lots of cheap things same in USA which has a huge population but Australia is so expensive even housing. It makes me angry to think the hours i put in working 14 plus hours a day to be treated like rubbish. When government gives away so much to people who should budget but government tells pensioners to budget more. I want to know how thats possible with huge increases in government fees power etc.

      1 REPLY
      • Yes we pay an awful lot if tax in our country and if one can just get casual hours one has to do two jobs just to make the hours up to one full time but government slug you till it’s not really worth all the effort , in America I am told they don’t have government pensions just your own pension that you pay into all your working life , some women work until they are 90, how awful us that.

    • Yes Christine Love its time we let the government know that we never were blunging and we never got thousands of dollars when we have children like they are getting this days ,but we work hard to get some wear and yes we wear told that if you worked a percentage was going a side for the retirement I just like too know what happened to all the savings what the government did with it they only know haw to squeeze the pensioners as much as they can

    • Gerry here is the time line for the measure Trisha was talking about:-

      1942 – 1943
      As a Wartime measure, the Federal Government gained sole control over Australian Income Tax. Labor Prime minister (Ben Chifley) introduced three bills to establish the National
      Welfare Fund, to be financed by a Compulsory Contribution (levy) of one and sixpence in the Pound (20/-) on all personal income.
      Opposition Leader (Robert Menzies) stated that the Compulsory Contribution (levy) should be kept completely separate from other government income streams, that it should be shown separately on the Taxation Assessment and paid straight into a “TRUST” account, and not mixed with the General Revenue.Menzies said “The stigma of charity should be removed from the Age Pension.” and that
      “It should be an entitlement earned by the person’s personal contribution to the fund.”

      Prime Minister Chifley agreed and established The National Welfare fund as at 1/1/1946.
      A “Trust” Fund with the Parliament as “Trustee.” The Compulsory Contributions (levy) commenced as at 1st January 1946. It was shown separately on the personal Tax Assessments for 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949 and 1950 and the compulsory levy was properly paid straight into the Special “Trust” fund and Welfare claims were paid out of the fund. The balance in the fund in 1950 was almost 100 million pounds.

      Robert Menzies became Prime Minister and he introduced Bills to amend the acts governing the National Welfare Funds. The Compulsory Contributions (levy) was then grouped with the Taxation Assessment and appeared as one amount on the Taxation assessments and was paid as one amount straight into the Consolidated Revenue Account. The sabotage of the National Welfare Fund had commenced.
      The Opposition Labor Party had collaborated in this sabotage by remaining silent instead of opposing Menzies’ action.

      1951 – 1985
      The compulsory levy of 7.5% now included in the tax continued to be collected and placed in the Consolidated Revenue Account treated as General Revenue and spent, until 1985.

      1974 – 1975
      Labor Prime Minister (Gough Whitlam) abolished income test for all persons 70 years of age and over and paid pensions to all people over that age.

      Liberal Prime Minister (Malcolm Fraser) cancelled the Whitlam legislation.

      Liberal Prime Minister (Malcolm Fraser with Treasurer Philip Lynch) transferred the balance in the Welfare Fund Account (approximately $470,000,000) to Consolidated
      Revenue Account.

      Australian Labor Government repealed acts No. 39, 40 and 41 of 1945 (The National Welfare Fund Acts). Thus the funds finally ceased to exist yet the 7.5% levy continued to be
      collected as a proportion of the Income Tax revenue.
      It also introduced the (much maligned) Income and Asset Tests, thereby excluding millions of levy and tax paying
      Australians from receiving Social Services Pensions.
      This money these self funded contributions paid as a percentage of the total income tax

    • J.O.K.E. these corporate types have never had to live from week to week. They always receive generous salaries with even more generous perks, the perks they receive are greater than many people’s pay packets. Very easy to mouth off and throw stones when you have never walked in the shoes of the people you’re slagging off.

  3. Surprise surprise! – Yes of course we are breeding self entitled bludgers, and it started when those of us with 2 jobs were penalised with double taxation for our work ethic.

  4. WE are certainly breeding corporate bludgers and tax avoiders! It is all very well for uncaring people like him to criticise work ethics, but when the job market is every diminishing and the caring country we once had, that was much more pleasant to live in, is also disappearing, I find his comments offensive!

    25 REPLY
    • The public Servant getting $4.8 m to run Australia post the Public servant getting $1.2m To run the ABC The Banks ripping the worker off and so on Big corporations paying no tax in australia the welfare budget is so high because in a lot of instances people on welfare simply cant get a job

    • The only Bludgers we are breeding are the corporate bludgers that think they are above the TAX LAWS and that includes the politicians that believe they belong to another law, not the one the general public have to have allegiants to.

    • And some public servents of the army wasting money on personal phones and then told to find where to put money so they don’t lose money next year! !! Know this for fact. …every government department needs looking at grrrr

    • If only the ‘managers’ in the public service were as good as running it efficiently as they are in coming up with derogatory slogans and looking at spreadsheets of stats that show jobs done quickly, but not correctly!

    • So well said. If Centrelink employed more staff it would become slightly more efficient and get many off the dole. As it is they are short staffed. Most is done via the phone and more people on the dole who dont want to be on it. Mind you they do employment advertising for no jobs.

    • Carol Chapman DONT GET OUT TO MUCH DO WE ..Speak to young kids speak to employers speak to centrelink staff ..the work shy are everywhere have put fun ahead of work …losing jobs because of 4 sickies in first month turning up for job interviews looking homeless a little carol the tourism industry runs on backpackers i tackled the owners in hervey bay darwin and broome .why not employ locals ..same answer every where its ooking cleaning washing dishes making beds cleaning bathrooms ..way below the dignity of australian kids..the fact is bludging is not uneceptable now days like it was and kids can exist on the dole

    • Graeme Condely Perhaps the young are looking for permanent employment with wages, holiday pay etc. Most young people I know dearly want a decent job, with some kind of future, so that they can plan their lives—-apprenticeships etc.

    • How unreasonable they are Yvonne! And of course it’s not only the young who can’t get even virtual slave labour jobs, it’s lots of others as well! Graeme you need to get your head out of Murdoch rags! I’ll bet you’ve never worked in some of those places Graeme, if they really can’t get staff they must have very unsafe or unreasonable work practices!

    • i have a mob ot fairly ordinary kids and grandkids but they are all doing the impossible [ if you listen to this post ]] all are in full time work and most buying houses … university no WORK ETHIC YES INSTILL BY THEIR PARENTS

    • Graeme Condely can you tell me what these people pay per hour, and the number of hours they get please?

    • Graeme CondelyYes Mr Condely my kids work extremely hard to but there are a great many young people out there who are not academics but are very talented young people in other ways . They are offered peanuts for their work. In fact it’s a little like slavery. Once upon a time slaves were fed and given a roof over their heads. Now they get enough money for a roof, food suitable for the poor and cheap clothes that fall to pieces at the first wash.,My my how lucky are they.

    • Marlene Baker I think you should go and talk to a few employers Marlene, everything that Graeme said is true, I can assure you the employers I know do not have unsafe or unreasonable work practices, many Aussie’s don’t want to work and why should they, many of the young share living costs and go to the beach or sleep all day, and they think they are entitled.

    • I know people who are out of work in the south Sandra. If you know of employers who are really looking for people maybe you could list a few?

    • Sandra Wilson Strangely enough, i do not see so many young people on the beach at the Gold Coast throughout the week. Perhaps they are sleeping in their “shared” accommodation. Most employers I know are swamped with applicants when they advertise jobs.

    • Marlene, I’m with you. I admire those who have made it to their goal and remember it is their goal. However governments with Reform, Reform, we need to Reform Reform, kick out the motor industry, loose our technical skills but approve and support vast holes on now diminishing export and it is all our fault because we are not all billionaires, only a few get there then, reduce their tax obligations thru every means possible. Very very subjective statements that only seek to inflame. last but not least, what is your solution?

    • Roger, wow what a loaded question! Firstly, I am not against free trade, but believe that when we have such high unemployment we should be employing a high percentage (lets say 80%) of Australians first. Corporations should be able to sustain themselves without handouts, unless we are subsidising them for employment. Many of the current subsidies go to mining which only employs under 2% of the workforce (according to The Australia Institute) Eg, when the victorian electricity industry was privitised, it was inefficient, but it could have worked with managerial changes, it employed over 10,000 people! When Kennett privitised it, they lost their jobs and probably many went on unemployment. Surely it is better to employ people who will then spend money in Australia, than privitise and have higher power prices and the money going overseas! I wonder how many of the employers who say they can’t get people are like some of the employers I came across when I got bored with office work and decided to work in farm sheds. One instance I had was on a machine with running water, and only ordinary household power switches. The boss objected when i used a stick to turn the machine on and off with it in case I damaged the switch, but i was getting small shocks.The same shed had water on the floor and the guys were walking through it, ok you say, but there were power cords running through it, joined in the middle…. Many people suffered to get Australians the advantages we have enjoyed with safe workplaces, lunch breaks, tea breaks, holiday, sick pay…. I hate to see it all being lost. And, finally, the rich must contribute to the society they benefit from! Even if they only paid 20% tax, they would still be incredibly rich, and maybe we could get back to the Australia where we looked after those less well off, those who needed medical care, and those of us who have worked all their lives (i worked until 69)!

  5. While I see that this does apply to some I also see that young people have to have so many certificates under there belt before they get a look in the door. A degree means nothing these days you then have to go and get a certificate in something even just cleaning for some company you need a bloody certificate four in cleaning. Also unlike my age group many younger people cannot get into the housing market because they are to expensive. Buying my first home was a big incentive for me and hubby to work hard. These young people are working to pay rent many are forced to either live in a share house or live with parents. What I see is what have they got to flog there guts out for

    5 REPLY
    • A degree when I did it as an adult student didn’t mean much either. It was a piece of paper and it certainly didn’t make me better at my job. Yes it did bump me up the salary bracket a bit but not much. Its aptitude and hard work plus understanding the politics of big business. B|

    • absolutely agree with you son worked hard for cert 4 in computer studies and I T.then diploma in I T.just as he finished our state government sacked thousands of I T no jobs as market was flooded with the sacked workers.get so sick of extremely rich people…Gina Rhinehart as well being critical of those less fortunate than themselves.

    • When they changed to this competency based system it de – skilled Australia and you need a bit of paper for every little thing even wiping your bum😅 and most of the stuff has been simplified to the lowest denominator ..everyone passes you do not FAIL … are not yet competent….load of rubbish but that’s what we got and you need an academic degree to understand it

    • These days experience means nothing and bullying is rampant. I know as I was turned down for a permanent admin job I had been doing as a casual for 12 months for someone with a degree who left after 3 weeks for a better job. Did they then offer me the role? Nope. They readvertised it leaving me to claim the dole at 60 yo.

  6. Certainly…why work when some parents have never done a days paid work in their lives???I have taught my children no work no money…..both work and understand this concept.

  7. Of course we be breeding bludgers. We also take in immigrants & refugees who will mostly survive on welfare.
    Why ??????????!?????
    Because governments and private-enterprize cannot replace those that have been transfered overseas, let alone create enough new ones.
    They made the “bed” & now don’t like the costs.
    And still govt make it easier for firms to use imported labour. (357 visas).
    Then there are the double- dippers (some probably more than double).
    Then there are the tax “minimisers”. And that is a legitamite way to make things tighter.
    Our system is flooded with corruption and you wonder why there is a problem.
    ???? Really ????

    20 REPLY
    • Agree Carmel.
      Curruption permeates every part of our society.
      Seems to me that if you not be corrupt then you struggle to keep your head above water.

    • Well said Doug nothing will change until the Voters of Australia rally and show these idiots we have had enough of the way they are governing our Once beautiful country

    • Hi Carmel Mifsud,
      Have you ever held down a job? Are you speaking from experience or just regurgitating right wing propaganda? If you did work did you only work 8 hours a day, get holiday pay with loading, sick pay, annual leave? Well if you did you can thank the unions. Sure there could be some corruption in some unions but just look at the corruption in this current government. Jobs for failed politicians, increase in wages while they have reduced the pension if you happen to be on the aged pension. If not good luck to you. But please don’t tar all Australians with the same right wing brush. Frankly I’m sick of it and you should be ashamed of yourself for making sweeping generalisation statements about your fellow Australians. If you’re not happy or maybe you are you have a democratic right to vote. Exercise it and do some research about what is happening in this country, especially re jobs. Australia has one of the highest casualised work forces in the world. Thanks to this government unemployment and underemployment is high. Before long if this government continues down the same track we will have a massive gap between the rich and the working poor. They are not creating jobs in new industries. Manufacturing has all but gone. Where do you think permanent jobs will come from? Duh………enough said.

    • My step son came out here from China without a bean at age 17 around 2007. By sharing a house with five kids and working three jobs, he has just bought a one bedroom apartment near Olympic Park on the eighth floor. I told him many Aussie kids waste money on poker machines, doing up cars and going out. Now he is set and can enjoy the fruits this country has to offer. Many home grown kids miss the opportunities that are laying around everywhere to be snatched up. One other boy in the house has also bought a unit and two more moved in. I admit in the last year it looks much harder for a kid to buy a unit though.

    • LMAO … on with the kneepads in front of Tony Abbott Village Idiot Always easy to stereotypically rant BS about something you choose to be ignorant about, explains the spelling and breathtaking preference for tail wagging, mind numbing pandering. He’s not going to pay you despite your grovelling fools.

    • Why do you put the Aussie kids down and put them in the one basket. All the young kids around me are doing well. They don’t need arselicks like you putting them down

    • In my rant I forgot to mention mechanisation which has seen thousands more jobs oppotunities disappear.
      Then there is the tens of thousands of jobs around the country that are left to VOLUNTEERS because nobody can make money from them.
      Then we have hundreds of applicants for every available job. Everybody’s chances are slim.
      Create more opportunies or shut up and pay the welfare bill.

    • Yes we are, but some kids have a great work ethic I have them all around me in my family,but they have parents & grandparents with great work ethic,I worked to 70 now 76 to fund my travelling life style & everything I have I own,my grandson just finished year 12 had a job in less than two weeks after he finished school because he went out & applied himself he is going onto Uni so needs a job,no abled bodied person in this country should be bludging off the tax payer & we don’t need refugees flooding into the country who have paid no tax bludging off the tax payer yet our pensioners who have paid their dues paying tax for many many years without super get very little,governments need to get their priorities right….

    • Like your agreement Doug, we are breading them …..that is you are then .so am I . Parents train station up a child in the way they should grow

    • David Anderson I think as David said our young do waste their oney &don’t try to set themselves up, but newcomers work hard, go without & set themselves up but the Aussies are then jealous of them & think they did it some way dishonest. (well done by the way)
      I dont think we are a nation of bludgers though as so many people are very hard workers, work long hours and still get ahead.
      However there are some issues with the youth of today as they have an unreasonable view on what they need to do as they EXPECT it for nothing, if they are given an opportunity they don;t actually work but frig around IF you can find them but expect to be paid. However that situation can be fixed very quickly, just take them aside & say that if they dont wish to work, then you will find someone who does want the opportunity. WAY too many people dont have balls and treat the workplace like a nursery instead of expecting adult behaviour, THAT is the biggest problem. Grow some balls ^ kids will grow up fairly quickly if they realise that frigging around will not be tolerated. Maybe not worry about political correctness worrying whether owe have hurt the kids feelings and teach them reality of working in a workforce is where we need to move towards. (we work for a lovely bloke but OMFG how he lets the kids he employs get away with blue murder DOES NOT help them in the long run and place more pressure on the older guys as they end up doing what the boys are employed to do)

    • I find this comment insulting to all the hard workers of Australia. My grand-daughter is 25, is married and she and her husband own a unit at Jannali and have recently bought a home in Dubbo. They work hard, they save hard and they have friends who are in the same position. Go to Centrelink and ask them who are the greatest majority on benefits, I doubt they would tell you it’s young Australians. I see young Ozzies working in Banks, in retail, in hospitals, teaching our future working Aussies so to call Aussie bludgers is not only wrong but way out of line.

  8. Of course there are bludgers, rich bludgers like Rhienhart, who bludge off the ordinary workers of Australia, by not paying the right taxes.

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