WHEN THE DOOR TO SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY ONLY SWINGS ONE WAY

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You thought I was about to go on a rant about anti-vaxxers, didn’t you? Well I’m not, but wanting to enjoy all the benefits of living in a society whilst not necessarily fully contributing unfortunately isn’t confined to just northern NSW. You may not know a rabid anti-vaxxer, but I wonder if you know anyone like the people I heard on radio recently.

A parent called in to join a discussion about property developments that had gone bust, and explained how their 18 year old son had lost his deposit when a dodgy builder first went under, and then went missing.

“What an awful experience for a young person” empathised the show host.

The parent – a lawyer from Brighton – explained further:

“He’s done everything right – researched his properties, had a surveyor check the plans, a financial advisor helped him set up a trust. For a first time investor it’s devastating.”

My ears pricked up immediately, and thankfully, so did the radio show host’s:

“Er, a trust? Look I empathise with your son’s plight, but why does an 18 year old who lives at home need a trust?”

I’d love to tell you that the answer was “oh, inter-generational tax avoidance”, but it was more an awkward silence followed by “…well that was the advice he received.”

This is the bit that bothers me. Not only are we becoming comfortable and desensitised to looking past what we should or at least could do, and increasingly seeking out what we are allowed to do, but to make matters worse many of us are encouraging this and considering it part of well-rounded financial education.

Anyone would think we want the less well-off in society, who don’t have professionals for parents or their own financial advisors, to carry the majority of the tax burden?

Derek Green, Managing Editor
editor@thewestsider.com.au

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