Strict lock-down laws, business shutdowns, job losses and the looming threat of a recession makes many believe we no longer deserve to be known as “the lucky country”.
When faced with the Coronavirus, our nation’s true colours came out!
Thanks to panic shoppers clearing shelves, we started to see fistfights in supermarkets and were forced to go without household staples. Crowds sunbaking at Bondi Beach while “working from home” on the 20th of March showed a blatant disregard for community health and government restrictions.
Is this because the average Aussie doesn’t understand severe hardship?
Despite the GFC and a recession in the last 30 years, we’ve had it pretty good. In our disposable society, we crave instant gratification and as a result most of us live paycheck to paycheck. Why save for a “rainy day” when you could be snapping the perfect selfie?
When a state of emergency was declared, our first reaction was to ask the government for help. The Government’s $191.8 billion dollar welfare package reinforces just how lucky we are, and demonstrates our over-reliance on Government bailouts for both individuals and corporations.
The pandemic has been a financial reality check for Aussies. It’s time for us to lose the sense of entitlement and start working harder to support ourselves and others within the community. In a land that offers immense opportunity, equality and abundance, our “no worries” attitude and excessive consumption has created unhealthy debt and spending habits.
For real financial security and investment success, even in the property market, we need to practice delayed gratification.
Zaki Ameer, Founder of Dream Design Property (DDP) said, “Delayed gratification is one of the key factors to every successful investment. If you hold onto your investment for long enough you’ll come out on top after a recession or crisis.”
“A new outlook post-pandemic is needed,” he said. “It’s time for the Government to implement fresh policies based on sustainability, independence and resilience.”
“According to aph.gov.au, the Australian Government spent around $158.6 billion during the 2016-17 financial year on social security and welfare payments alone. By lowering the current tax rate, Australian’s would be encouraged to take more responsibility for their own income, spending and savings.”
Zaki suggests all Australians should be required to save money through a compulsory savings scheme (similar to our current superannuation policy). This would safeguard the population against future emergencies and unforeseen circumstances, while also helping to prepare individuals to accumulate a deposit for their first home. He believes this policy would ensure less reliance on the Government.
Suffering touches each of us, allowing for compassion and empathy and a stronger appreciation for what we once took for granted. It teaches us how to be practical and prepare for the future. When the pandemic is over, our nation will be transformed – stronger, wiser and more self-reliant.