1. Tara Leslie
    @ 10:14 am

    All so true. I’m qualified, experienced and willing to work, but when I had to give up a job a few years ago due to too many weekend and night shifts it took me absolutely ages to find something else. It’s not a lack of wanting to work, it’s all the other commitments such as those you described – it’s bloody hard to KEEP the damn job unless you have an incredibly understanding boss.

    I’m now at the stage where my older children can babysit my youngest when needed, which has made all the difference. I’m now working FT, which is ridiculously hard combined with all the kids’ needs, but it’s just about doable.

    If, during the time I was on SPP, I had been put on Newstart I simply could not have managed at all. I was studying and looking for work the entire time, taking short term crappy casual jobs when available, but even that wouldn’t have been enough.

    To put it eloquently and succinctly – IT SUCKS!


  2. Anonymous
    @ 11:12 am

    I’ve just been put on Newstart, after the SPP and my child turned 8 last month. It’s $200 less each month, and that’s WITH an extra education supp while I am studying! (austudy was the other option, but that’s even LESS and WITHOUT the supp) I am one of the lucky ones renting a small cottage for just under $300pm in Melbourne, but just wow. I struggle to hold on to work, even study, due to anxiety and depression, yet under the new disability assessments I don’t think I qualify. I can admit freely how scary this is.

    I am extremely lucky to have a very close and supportive extended family. I can’t imagine what this would be like for those who have none of that. This year will be a challenge for so many.

    The vegie patch is being carefully cared for, to make every garden expenditure last. I’m in the process of going over my budget with a fine tooth comb so all bills are paid for and my son has healthy food to eat. It’s a tight spot – making choices that save money, yet many of those choices take time to execute (like caring for a veg garden, giving up the car) – damned if I do, damned if I don’t. I am not sure how I will handle the stress, but have put my doctor on alert!
    I am grateful for every thing I have, and for the roof over our heads. I am grateful that my son and I are together in a house and not sleeping in a car, as I know other families are facing this reality.
    I’ll just have to suck it up. I’ll stay grateful for what we have, and continue to work for a better life for my son and I. I’ll be writing to Jenny Macklin in later months to tell her exactly what it’s been like.



  3. Anonymous
    @ 11:17 am

    By the way, My lovely friend Maz has written a great open letter to Jenny Macklin…


  4. Tash
    @ 11:55 am

    Not ‘bad enough’ for Apsergers is so ridiculous….if only the policy makers could shared the lived experience for even a month!

    10 years ago people may have been institutionalised, instead of being out on the streets, battling homelessness. The change still needs work, cos the support is just not there.

    Great post, so spot on.


  5. Peta @ Great Googa Moogas
    @ 3:25 am

    There needs to be a serious evaluation of government payments rules and regulations. Those who need it and do the right thing are made to jump through hoops while others who abuse the system sit back and get paid for doing nothing. I for one am sick of being penalised and punished for doing the right thing.


  6. Janet Camilleri
    @ 7:19 am

    I really feel for the parents affected by these cuts.

    I was made redundant from my “secure” government job in October; luckily though my husband’s job is still okay. But it hasn’t been easy.


  7. Annaleis Topham
    @ 4:26 am

    I choose to stay home like you because who would do all the running around my children need and because the nearest daycare is 50 km away. We now miss out because we are in that middle section.

    Out here where we live it cost $5 for one loaf of bread and nearly the same for 2lts of milk. Do they factor that in for rural and outback people.


  8. Kathy G
    @ 3:20 am

    I have yet to be changed over to Newstart but am dreading the day that it happens, i will not cope with 2 children under 10 who as they get older cost MORE to feed & clothe not less

    This is a typical fortnightly (SPP & FTB A&B) budget for me:

    500 rent
    120 bills
    80 petrol
    80 Insurance & internet
    60 swimming lessons
    200 food

    Which leaves me with approximately 60 spare (just in case a child gets sick, or i get sick (god forbid)

    So, take out the roughly 120 that i will lose (and i say ROUGHLY as it will more than likely be double that from postings i have been reading from others)

    so that puts me -60, cancel swimming lessons, so that puts me back to ZERO … god help me if the kids need cloths or more shoes or anything else, esp if they require medicine. I cant NOT have petrol in the car as i have walking problems, i cant NOT have insurance on the car as i wont drive without it (too many idiots on the road), doesnt leave me with much else to take away from except food …. how do you live on 100/week or LESS for food to feed 1 adult & 2 growing, hungry childrren?!? Because the way things are going, we will be living back in the depression era living on vegemite/marmite sandwiches and potatoes …… I already budget shop but i will have to be even more thrifty when this happens & my kids will be the ones missing out

    these politicians really need a BIG dose of reality and not their 650/day, we can do it all, income and live in the shoes of those who are living below the poverty line already!


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