Gemma Jones

Nov 11, 2011

Is there any sorrow like unto their sorrow?

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With $700 extra coming out of her husband’s $150,000 a year, Teddy Samuelson was forced to choose between reducing her family’s energy usage, putting less towards superannuation, or selling the least-liked of her children into slavery.

Imagine you were professional journalists Gemma Jones and Nathan Klein, required by your editor to try to manufacture outrage that people on $150,000 a year – several times the average wage – might be maybe $700 a year worse off (So $149,300 instead) in order to help struggling families. To write a story burying the detail of the 4 million families who would be directly better off and instead trumpeting the “suffering” of the million fewer comparatively very comfortable families who’ll lose such a small fraction of their overall incomes that they will barely notice it.

Fortunately, Nathan and Gemma found a really sympathetic family with which to beat their point home:

Teddy Samuelson and her husband Nik from Castle Hill will be out of pocket about $700 a year even after receiving increased family payments of about $75.

The stay-at-home mum said her husband worked “bloody hard for his money” with the family battling existing expenses and the cost of raising three boys in Sydney on Mr Samuelson’s wage of more than $150,000 a year…

She said the concept of taxing families who are earning more but not compensating them was unfair: “I don’t see why we have to suffer because he earns slightly more.”

Well, quite. As they used to say:

O vos omnes qui transitis per viam, attendite et videte:
Si est dolor similis sicut dolor meus.

Is there any sorrow like unto her sorrow?

And before you assume Mrs Samuelson is just some privileged self-satisfied right-wing housewife who spends her morning listening to the brief bits of Alan Jones that can be heard between advertisements on 2GB, prepare to have your assumptions shredded:

“A lot of the debate is based on inconclusive scientific evidence … we don’t really get a say in anything any more.”

Well, okay, not that bit. The bit where she inadvertently damns Tony Abbott’s “direct action” plan:

While the increased financial burden will hurt, it was the way the government handled the policy which frustrated the Samuelsons most: “I don’t believe the Australian public should pay for big business’s carbon emissions.”

Nobody point out to her that that’s the Opposition’s plan, not the government’s. She’s a little confused, but it’s probably because of all the “hurt” from her “financial burden”.

I just hope Mr Samuelson doesn’t decide his $150,000 a year job is no longer worth it and chuck it in to take it easy on the dole. It must be so very tempting right now.

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101 comments

101 thoughts on “Is there any sorrow like unto their sorrow?

  1. Gerard accuses the entitled of being un-Australian | Pure Poison

    […] couple asking Daily Telegraph readers for sympathy for losing 0.46% of their income each year on a worst-case interpretation of the impact of the carbon price if they made no change whatsoever to their energy consumption: […]

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