I seriously wasn’t expecting to be too surprised by Labor announcing something magical like the Greens #88aDay, but I was expecting SOME sort of commitment to raise the rate of jobseeker or AT LEAST COMMIT TO A REVIEW.
but, no, Andrew Leigh confirmed it today to ACOSS that they won’t commit to raise JobSeeker and not even to review it, which is the promise they brought to the 2019 election.
I’m counting my blessings to have been approved for DSP, but I’m still waiting on my partner to get his last tax return in and upload other profit and loss statements and his bank statement and we really need to scrap the partner income test too, because while I have a partner who is doing this for me, me getting a basic income coming through as a mentally ill woman who now is confirmed by Centrelink’s high bar to be disabled enough to not look for work, I shouldn’t now be at the whims of my partner, who is wonderful, but aren’t they all until I get really unwell, shit hits the fan, I’m hell to live with and he can’t uphold his part of the deal.
I’m not physically dependent on him for care, unlike the women who reported to the Disability Royal commission how their partner became their carer and they became dependent on them for finances, or care, for accommodation, for everything, and so weren’t able to report abuse because that would also take away their carer. Or in the case of mentally ill women it gets so quickly turned back onto them and you find yourself carted off to the hospital because you’ve called the police to try to find safety.
Those stories are harrowing and I don’t want to be that woman, I don’t see myself becoming that woman, but I want a social financial safety net so women(and men) who are in an unhealthy or abusing relationship can get out, be financially independent, can sustain themselves and their dependents, and not have been cut off because their partner earns too much and they won’t give you a cent, or you do get DSP or JobSeeker (at the lower partner rates so are down $50-$200 a fortnight because your partner should be looking after you). $40 a day at partner rate isn’t enough on JobSeeker for anyone, let alone in a crisis. $88 might mean the ability to keep up to date with bills, to have some savings, to at least not be laughed out the door when your payment including rent assistance is less than rent.
Labor, you’ve dropped the ball and those of us on welfare payments are scared and angry and upset and really hope you come up with something more optimistic for us in the next 40 days.
Please? I hate to beg, but this is where I am. Give us hope.