Free Beers and Free Medicare

NSW Gift Voucher Scheme

The state of New South Wales has implemented a cash giveaway scheme to inject some money into the local economy. It is called ‘Dine and Discover’. We got ours a couple of days ago. I guess other states are doing similar so called ‘stimulus’ schemes.

Basically they are giving every adult in NSW $100 worth of vouchers. There are four vouchers each worth $25. Two ($50 worth) can be spent in the hospitality sector such as pubs and restaurants, while the other two are for entertainment and cultural activities such as concerts or entry to certain attractions. The official line is “to encourage the community to get out and about and support dining, arts and recreation businesses.” Encourage? Hardly. Who is gong to turn down the chance of free money? Then again, that old saying springs to mind, “Nothing is free”. It all has to be paid for somehow.

We had to wait a while as obviously when the government is handing over cash – or in this case gift vouchers – for free, then there will always be people eager to wait in line. Personally I think it’s bloody crazy but hey. If it’s there for the taking why not? It will only go to someone else if we do not claim what is rightfully our share of this mad handout. As far as I am concerned my vouchers will be spent in one particular area of the hospitality sector. One that I have already been supporting right the way through this “pandemic” – when they have been allowed to open that is… $50 still buys a few beers over here.

It begs the question: Wouldn’t it have been better not to tank the economy in the first place by forcing businesses to shutdown and then not have to inject wads of cash to get it going again? Just a thought….

Medicare

This week I actually got around to submitting my application for Medicare for Dani and myself. Dani’s mum does not qualify being (full) Spanish, but as I am a British citizen I qualify under a reciprocal agreement for free health care between the two countries.

I wasn’t sure Dani would qualify as his passport is Spanish but after a quick check the ladies in the office said that he did. He will now be on my Medicare card when it arrives. Again it’s free medical care so although we already have private health insurance (a re-requisite to getting the visa) this will be easier to use as most medical places charge first when private insurance is used then you claim it back. With Medicare most (I am told) do not charge as it is covered by the state. We shall see how that actually works in practice. Not that I am keen to use any of the medical services of course.

It wasn’t that I didn’t know about this or that I hadn’t completed the paperwork. It was just that every time I went near the office there was always a long queue just to get in the bloody building. This particular day however there was only a queue inside the building.

Once inside one of the two security guards asked me had I experienced any covid symptoms. I just said “no” but could have easily said something like, “No mate, I have been too ill with TB and the Hep. C hasn’t helped.” I am sure he wouldn’t have known what to say. The world has gone covid nuts. It’s like there is no other illness or ailment. So pathetic.

Looking Forward…

The future does not seem good for us being able to travel out,  then fly back into Australia. Not in the foreseeable future at least (I think). They are not even allowing Australian citizens to return to their own country! I know that sounds bizarre but it is all down to the numbers and how many they can deal with in “quarantine” when they return. Still, I find that failure to recognise their own citizens rights a scandal.

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