Surely there is a way…
I heard from someone recently who is involved in a campaign to see superannuation contributions freed up and made available to those farmers who are in dire straits, because of the drought. I’m not talking about just anyone’s contributions but those that belong to the farmers in question, their own money.
Since then, I have spoken to a farmer, let’s call him Bill (not his real name), who is currently trying to access his super for just that reason, but it is looking unlikely that he’ll be able to do so. I may not be an Oxford Scholar but after hearing his story, I just scratch my head again wondering how some things like this work. I’ve mentioned on several occasions, a saying that I like, it goes “rules are for guidance of wise men and the adherence of fools”. This would seem to be another situation where fools are in control.
Bill is a local farmer who, for reasons completely out of his control, finds himself a victim of the drought. He’s exhausted his resources, has stock he can’t afford to feed, can no longer pay his mortgage payments, and says that his bank is soon to foreclose. He says, he will then be given 12 months to vacate his farm.
Bill is trying to have his own superannuation money freed up to solve his problems. Apparently, this is currently not an option, winning Lotto it seems is easier than getting superannuation money early. What makes Bill’s situation more interesting is that he’s 60 and just a few years away from being able to access it. Does that sound a bit crazy or not?
Obviously, the Government would have some pretty solid rules about releasing superannuation early, but surely, good sense has got to come into it somewhere. It appears the Federal Government is willing to give eligible farmers like Bill finance, but again, my understanding is to access that too, the hoops they must go through are monstrous and many and it seems to be, simply offering the Bill’s of this world the opportunity to put a bigger noose around their necks.
Of course, I’m basing my opinions on my understanding of Bill’s situation, and of course there is never one size that fit’s all. All I’m suggesting, is that if the Government had a heart and was willing to work problems like this, rather than simply adhere to the rules, a bit more humanity might be seen and felt by people who find themselves on the fringes so to speak.
Given the mountain of rules, the threat of litigation and everything else we now have to contend with now, governments and their various departments, can often come across as cold and heartless and although that’s understandable in today’s environment, it sure doesn’t make life easy for the rest of us.
Something must change if we want to see a return to good sense being used as the basis for making all manner of decisions including those on the fringes like Bill’s situation.