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Back in November we saw the Daily Telegraph cruelly holding the Samuelson family up to ridicule allowing them to complain about the fact that their $150,000 plus income meant that they would not be receiving the same level of compensation given to people on lower incomes to offset price rises due to the Clean Energy package. Now the Australian is having a go, this time taking advantage of a family in Adelaide who will lose government welfare payments if the 30% private health insurance rebate is means tested.

“It’s ridiculous – the better we do, the more the government takes,” Ms Richards said yesterday. “Every time we try to get ahead and don’t rely on the welfare system, we get a guarantee they’ll hit us again.”

It was nice of The Oz to allow Ms Richards to demonstrate that she understands progressive taxation, but a bit mean to make it look like she doesn’t understand that the private health insurance rebate is a part of “the welfare system”.

Without a government rebate on the cost of private health insurance how will this family afford protective equipment or shoes for their children?

Ms Richards estimates the family spends more than $2650 a year on private health insurance, including hospital cover and extras, with Medibank Private.

In all fairness, that is a lot of money. Without the 30% government handout they’re likely to have to find another $1100 from their family budget.

The couple, who own a commercial flooring business in Adelaide, earn a combined income of more than $258,000.

Mr Richards, an ironman triathlete, regularly uses his cover to pay for physiotherapy, and Josh has dental braces.

No new carbon fibre frame this year I guess.

It’s a bit nasty of The Australian to take a family who have an income well above average and make them look like a pair of whingers. And the final indignity is that the Oz once again tries to make their subject look ignorant.

“I think if they’re going to take away the 30 per cent, I would be looking at what we’d spent, what we received back with Josh, and whether we need it,” she said.

“Then the government would be looking at us and our use of the public system.”

Actually the government probably wouldn’t be looking at them, seeing as there’s no Medicare coverage for dental braces or for sports physio, and the well informed journalists at The Australian would no doubt have been aware of this, but decided to print the quote anyway. Shame on The Australian for using their broad reach to make this family appear entitled and ignorant.

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