We’ll have our own committee #LeftBehindCommittee

With hookers and blackjack, because we don’t discriminate against sex workers and some of us are quite the card counters. I try to stick to gambling with virtual money, such as in Red Dead or GTA, as I’m sure I could fall down that addictive rabbit hold if I had the chance.

Oh, the Budget is coming up fast, 12 days to go!

Today, the Australian Unemployed Workers Union launched our response to the Economic Inclusion Advisory Committee, since it both won’t have any current welfare recipients on it nor be listened to by the government anyway. It’s called the “Left Behind Committee” and we’d love to have your submission about what it’s like to “live” off welfare in this country and what you’d like to see in the Budget and upcoming “announceables” since there’s an election in 12 months too.

Post your submission to Twitter with the hashtag #LeftBehindCommittee, or if you want to send something longer email it to media@auwu.org.au (with “Left Behind Committee” as the subject-line). The union is going to collate and print the submissions and take them to Canberra.

Greg Jericho posted a piece this morning calling the government out for not WANTING to Raise the Rate of jobseeker. For choosing to not fund it, for choosing to fund other things, because budgets are all about choices and it’s certainly a choice to have called for JobSeeker to remain above the poverty line post-covid supplement while you were the opposition but continue to think that celebrating the $20/wk raise last year for the lowest payments as having done your job and being enough to take you through the the next election? A twenty dollar a week increase that was absorbed before it even came in 6 months later. You honestly can’t believe that the average person believes that people are better off now than when you got into office?

The call for Jobseeker to be 90% of the pension is weak, but I was hoping you’d decide to do it, and then you’d be left alone by many for awhile. I mean it would make a HUGE difference to people’s lives, even if it’s still leaving everyone who relies of welfare as their main income below the poverty line. Yep, even pensioners and the like. Even most single parent pensioners even when you take into account their other family benefits and rent assistance, they’re still likely to be below the poverty line, and then their kid turns 14 they’re thrown onto Jobseeker again, a suddenly slashing of a family’s income.

As a disability pensioner, I lay low. I resent that aged pensioners got ore wiggle room with how much they can earn before their pension reduces, even though I’m not working currently myself. Giving people options to try to go into the workforce is one thing that being on DSP is meant to bring, without the hovering disability employment services telling you you’re doing it wrong, or transitioning to more hours too slow, or taking too many days off for your disability. The slight amount of more money also allows for a bit less stress when dialing up or down work hours. But, the truth is, on the partner rate I’m getting $60/day instead of $80 since I simply have a partner. “Fortunately” he earns too little for me to lose any pension, but isn’t that a whole issue in itself, that disabled people lose benefits because the state sees their partners as their carers and keepers? The same applies for the aged pension, based off the 80s single income family, buying a house, retiring having 1 or certainly probably not 2 full time wages leading up to retirement. Those who don’t own their own home by then are screwed, continuing to rent while rent assistance comes in as an afterthought.

I’d be curious to see what would happen to partner and pension rates if the JobSeeker single allowance went up to that 90% figure, or about $72/day. Where would that partnered rate go to? Would it be like when the covid supplement came in and people were getting more on Jobseeker than DSP? Weird times that I hope happen and create chaos and make people think about what the hell we’re doing to people in the name of a budget surplus.

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