Saturday, March 5, 2016

Older folks and Government departments




Dear Fathers, Friends in Christ, 

As a Dutch born Priest I picked this up via Twitter. A staff member, Jean Dohmen wrote this Tweet via the Dutch Elsevier magazine, which I used to read when residing in the Netherlands. The translation is fairly ok, but what Jean is telling us that the Dutch tax department makes life so difficult for the elderly and that people so often whether they are computer liteterate  or not or drawn out of their comfort zone in order to meet tax requirements via the net , which otherwise could be done via the Tax office or the telephone. 

We have similar situations here in Australia with the Department of Human Resources / Medicare where  they make it so difficult to get them on the phone  or where one has to wait long long times in their offices to get seen. We are now forced to choose from a menu on the phone and then we are interogated by a the voice recognizing computers. It is all about costs and saving money on wages. Less staff at the counter and less staff on the phone, but it makes life of many elderly folks difficult.I recently moved interstate here in Australia and am now in Tasmania, but you would be amazed to hear what it takes in visit and phone time to get pensions and a drivers license transferred to a different state. 
Telephone companies such as Telstra also make life difficult for elderly people, who need to contact them by phone. Sometimes the waittime can be 18 minutes or more. 

I for one would like to see some changes to how Government departments deal with the elderly. Let them try earnestly to make contact between them and the elderly and especially the elderly folks in need, who are many, a bit easier. 

If you are a Catholic Christian and you are working in a Government job and in which you deal with the elderly, why not take a step forward  and live out your Faith and ease the burden of those at the end of the lives and sometimes desperately need your help. Jesus, our Saviour told us that we should be loving one another, because He loves us. 

John 13:34-35New International Version (NIV)

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

If we can follow this commandment  and give love the priority over greed and profits we are easing  the heavy burdens some of us have to carry. 

A blessed Sunday, 

Father Ed Bakker
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province 
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne 
Launceston, Tasmania 
Australia

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