Aust becoming an 'entitlement society': Liveris

The Australian-born chairman of US manufacturing giant Dow Chemical, Andrew Liveris, has warned that Australia faces the challenge of an “entitlement society” and that the country “has lost its way a little” amid tense political in-fighting and growing spending on social reforms, according to The Australian.

Mr Liveris warned that the recent political tension risks spilling over to effect areas much broader than just the government.

“I do think, and this is by the way things we're seeing elsewhere, we have political dysfunctionality. I didn't think I'd see that in Australia again and yet we have seen it these last several years and I do think we are getting acrimony into the conversation, much like the US,” he told Sky Business, according to the newspaper.

“We're starting to spend money before we have mony and that's a very bad things to do.”

He called for a rethink of social reform spending that is more closely tied to revenues.

“We can't go into an entitlement society again,” he reportedly said. “I do think, being an exporter means that we better be able to export. So we better build infrastructure. I think lots of those things are not happening as well as they used to. There are lots of things to worry about in this current version of Australia.”

Mr Liveris also repeated his call for energy policy reforms, reiterating that Dow would invest in big-ticket manufacturing projects in Australia if it could find access to cheaper gas, The Australian added.