Gina Olivieri | The Mercury | 11 March 2017

Thankfully, Stan Forbes’ suggestion that ‘it is nice to help those worse off, but only when you can afford it’ (Letters, 8 March) is not one held by everyone. Indeed, in Denison electorate, there are over 10,211 individuals who give to aid charities, along with 93 corporate entities, 58 church and community groups, and 44 schools. Over 1.6 million Australians donate $920 million each year. I very much doubt they all live debt-free (ignoring for a moment that debt is not the same as deficit) and can thus ‘afford it’ by Stan’s definition. The Federal Budget is a reflection of what our Government values. When our Government decides we can afford new fighter jets but can’t create more revenue through taxing tax-dodgers, it is making a statement of what it values. And when spending on aid, schools, hospitals or domestic violence shelters is cut, that too speaks volumes. Personally, I can’t afford the kind of future being created by our Government right now. But rest assured Stan, no matter whether I can ‘afford it’ or not, I will always help someone like you if you need it.