Paying taxes to feed the ‘lazy’ | Daily News

Paying taxes to feed the ‘lazy’

It is high time to eradicate the ‘dependent mentality’ and ‘social welfare culture’. As Sri Lankans we have to look into the bitter truth we were hiding up to now. It hurts a lot of people but we have to tell the truth.

What is this bitter truth? It is the working and employed people paying tax to feed a large number of other people who are lazy, who do not work, who are not willing to work and who cannot work. The social welfare scheme has been there since Independence!. No matter which name was used to name them, all of them were social welfare schemes. It is true we have to look after those who cannot contribute to the Gross Domestic Product but we should not feed those who can work but not working.

It was ‘Stamps’ (Haal Potha/ Muddara) in the 1970s and then it became ‘Janasaviya’. After a few decades it became ‘Samurdhi’. No matter what name you call it, it is a social welfare scheme. There is no argument at all offering a social welfare scheme for a special social group which includes the aged, permanently disabled people and patients suffering from chronic illnesses such as CKDU, cancer, etc. It is a must to protect them and it is the sole responsibility of any State and any Government in the world. But, how about the others who are being covered by the same social welfare scheme?

It is very interesting to check the others who are covered by the social welfare scheme in Sri Lanka. They are unemployed people. We can laugh and cry at the same time when we see who has been covered by the Sri Lankan social welfare schemes since Independence. People cannot get a good job when they are not educated. But they can get any job at any time if they really want to. Why can’t the people work? No one questions why.

It is more interesting to check what those unemployed people have been doing here in Sri Lanka since Independence. Several decades ago they only used illegal liquor and ‘Beedi’. They were freely involved in all types of anti-social activities. Most of them are in the age group which should be included in the country's active workforce. They became a huge burden to their families, especially to the family members who earn a few rupees by doing odd jobs.

This ‘burden’ has now become modernized with the changing times. Now they have various natural and artificial illegal drugs to consume and the internet to watch porn sites. But they still receive the benefits of social welfare schemes!. This is the most pathetic situation in this country.

If we say this in simple words, the workforce of the country pays money to maintain a bunch of lazy drug addicts and anti-social elements who harm the country and the people while the nation as a whole becomes poor day-by-day. By now we have fallen to the bottom of this pathetic situation and that is why we cannot go forward without the help of the IMF. But even the IMF will not help us any longer if we continue this sick culture of looking after the lazy.

Enough is enough. We have to put a full stop to looking after unemployed people. We have to employ them or force them to work in State projects in return for the benefits they receive from social welfare schemes. This system was there from time to time but it was not properly planned and not implemented covering the entire country and the entire population which receives the benefits of social welfare schemes. Now it is the time to do this. This system will save billions of rupees when various development projects are implemented by the Government and also when delivering certain essential social services such as the free health service.

It is understandable that no political party, trade unions or anyone in the country do not talk about this burning issue which has existed since Independence because they do not want to lose their vote bases. When there is a population whose votes can be bought by giving them something like a few roofing sheets or fooling them by telling lies, those political parties can do politics. If there are no such voters, then their politics will be over. This is why all successive Governments kept them as the ‘recipients of benefits’ of various social welfare schemes that came in various names since Independence.

The other most important factor is that the Government should remove all ‘recipient families’ of social welfare schemes who have expensive properties, incomes generating avenues that cannot be detected, etc. There is a large number of such families in the country who enjoy all the benefits of the social welfare scheme while having all the luxuries. They become henchmen of politicians or bribe the relevant State officers such as Grama Niladharis, Samurdhi Niladharis etc. and stay on the list of ‘recipients’. This should be detected and prevented.

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