Welfare is going up a dollar a day from March 20

Well, 96 cents if you’re on Jobseeker. Personally my pension indexation is $1.05 a day. That certainly won’t make any impact whatsoever when it starts getting indexed from Thursday (March 20).

Allowances Family Situation Previous Amount 20 Mar 2024 Increase Single, 22 or over, no children $749.20 $762.70 $13.50 pf Single, 22 or over, with children $802.50 $816.90 $14.40 pf Single, 55 or over, after 9 months $802.50 $816.90 $14.40 pf Partnered (each) $686.00 $698.30 $12.30 pf Single, principal carer of child, exempt from activity test* $970.20 $987.70 $17.50 pf

And don’t worry, Rent Assistance will only be going up about $1.50/week so it won’t help at all with this year’s rent increases.

We saw news articles last week where people are suddenly realising that people who are retiring to the aged pension and don’t own a house are fucked. No real acknowledgement though that that’s already the reality for people on DSP and Jobseeker, and that we’re not really adding to our Superannuation in any significant way to help with those costs if we live til 67.

Personally, my Super has been hovering around $150k since I stopped being a speech pathologist, fluctuation with markets. See how much it devalues over then next 25 years hey, and see what opportunities I have to add to it.

In personal news, I’ve moved sides of the living room. Bruce’s son is moving in this week, so we’re rejigging a bunch of things ahead of that. It means I’m under my hue lights now and have a nice solid wall behind me rather than open room/tv. Now to phona-fy the rest of the corner.

The move is done, we’re tired, sore, hot, frustrated and broke and omg can Jimmy just fk off with his MYEFO right now?

*insert rants here*

I don’t know where to start and what to leave out?

This is why I’m leaning towards merely political commentary because if I say the wrong thing about the wrong person shit will hit the fan and maybe that’d be for the best.

So where to start?

It’s gonna be 40 degrees today. I’m hoping a storm comes through early so I can sleep tonight. I didn’t sleep enough last night, too sore from sore muscles and joints from moving, but I’m less sore than Bruce who shouldered most of the heavy work. I’m taking inventory of my bumps and bruises, like the ankle I rolled a few days before we did the main move and it’s still aching. Or the elbow I ignored in the same fall. Or the toes and ankles from kicking and tripping into things. Or the dehydration from moving in an official heatwave.

So I’m pottering around this morning having woken too early so Bruce can get a few hours of work in to catch up from the last week, money and tasks wise. Trying to bring some order to this chaos. Cleaning the kitchen. Sorting my clothes, doing some washing that will be dry five minutes after I hang in out.

I’m still pissed off at the lac of internet connection. I checked and I have more than 1000 gig spare data to use on my Aldi plan for us but it’s not as fast and it’s not the point. They’ve also said they’re going to credit me once the install in done, but that doesn’t help right now hey?

I’ve seriously not cried enough the past week or so. It’s all pent up.

I want to do MYEFO commentary, but I can’t, I’ll just point you back to my recent post on the ten cost of living measures that Labor keep saying are responsible and potentially helpful, but I haven’t found them helpful so there’s that.

I just wanna get myself into a rhythm again. Routine, not the time of year to try that but it really didn’t have top go up in the air like that.

I’ll put my clothes away today. I did the linen earlier. And more of the living room clutter. I’ve done the dishes since apparently no-one else will. At least I have a dishwasher here, but it needs to be loaded not just looked at.

At least I’ve yet again moved to somewhere beautiful. Have to walk down a street to get to the creek it’s not just in the backyard, but you can see it from the back deck and yeah, I love having cows and sheep and the RFS in the street.

I’m tired.

11 Days til Xmas.

I just cried to the TPG lady. How are you?

Suppose I’m due for a blogging brain dump, might as well start with how I just cried to the TPG lady because my internet install isn’t until Jan 8, and I read the text as today because you’d assume the internet would be installed the week you said you were moving house.

*breathe*

So we’re currently tethering on our Aldi sims with the excessive amount of accumulated data we have on our family plan. The plan that just went up from $80 to $95 a month because of course it did.

So, the move is actually going okay. Most stuff was moved in the truck Tuesday. The new place was dirrrrrty including a sly sprouting potato in the cupboard. But you know, we’ll leave our old place spotless because that’s how it works. I removed the last of the items from the main house yesterday, and decobwebbed and vacuumed. Next step for me is wall washing, bathroom scrubbing and bleaching and kitchen cupboards and oven, So I’ll head back Sunday armed with cleaning products and dig in. Tomorrow is supposed to be 41 degrees so we MIGHT get the carpet cleaner and do the only two rooms with carpets because they have the aircon. But aside from that, I’m clearly exhausted, plus I’m sore from rolling my ankle moving boxes the other day. And I did 20k steps yesterday on said ankle.

So everything feels hard, I keep feeling like I’m going to get in trouble for something. But I’m setting up my little house. Set up the coffee yesterday morning. Found everything to make dinner last night – despite having already tried to burn the place down and setting a box on fire I sat on the stop and the stove had been knocked on. So I’m down some kitchen items, like a vege peeler, some knives whose handles caught, and my cutlery tray. Ugh. So, yeah, the fire alarms work, but three people stayed in bed.

So I’ll hopefully get down to the community centre and op shop in Cooranbong next week before they close for the Xmas break and can replace some of the kitchen stuff and pick up a few other things. I think their food bank closes Thursday. I stocked up on short dated chocolates at the little church one near the old place yesterday that has its last week next week til school goes back in February.

If anyone’s feeling generous and wants to buy us some things for the new place off our wishlist the house one is here and mine is here. The kids could do with more size 3 nappies, bub is 4 months old now and growing well! Also my new monitor did NOT survive the move :'( Not that it matters if I don’t have a proper internet connection. My “plan” is to get back to streaming and practicing Japanese on Duolingo and Twitch in the new year, and find my happy little routine in the new place. There’s a local fish shop and butcher next to it and I’m hoping to be able to get us fresh meat and seafood there and have it with veges that are in season and either in the fruit and veg box I’ve got the first one coming today from Farmer’s Pick, with supplemented excess veges from OZharvest when I figure out the local foodbank hours and routine. I got a bag of frozen pies from the Woodrising community centre yesterday which the kids have already started on which is good because then they’re eating something at least. I’m supposed to be doing more for me and less for others. Let’s see how that goes!

17 days til Xmas

Half-Term for Labor… and a 50-50 2pp?

Don’t listen to the polls unless they suit you, and then don’t listen then, but surely Labor finding themselves at a 50-50 two party preferred 18 months into what they hope to the be the first term of many should be a wake-up call for Albanese and co? The fear of many in my circles in they’re seeing it as a signal they need to be more like Dutton, and the rushed legislation to continue criminalising the immigrants that had been ruled to be detained indefinitely illegally doesn’t sit well. Labor needs to remember they’re not necessarily losing votes to the LNP by being shit-lite, but to Greens and Independents from across the political spectrum.

They saw it blatantly with the election of Dai Le in Fowler, Labor took a population for granted, and in more than one seat went against the wishes of the local branch to pick their candidate. And Keneally’s loss was spectacular, And State and Federal parliamentary Labor are thumbing their nose once more at voters they continue to take for granted – Muslim and Arab families, and those who love them, by ignoring their local branches – including the PM’s own Marrickville –  calls for stronger language to be used when calling for Israel to stop their slaughter in Gaza and the rest of the region. The “pause” we have at the moment, Israel not receiving any condemnation for its blatant breaches and ridiculous actions that their army is willingly boasting about on Tik Tok of all places.

But what do I want from Labor? Have I given them enough time? Let’s look at their current 10 points they and their stans keeps talking up and letcha know how they’re working in reality.

1. Energy bill relief

For me in NSW, as a concession card holder, I get a total of $500 over this financial year credited to my account. This has ben $125 each quarter so far, but it has quickly disappeared and been absorbed by the doubling of the power bill by taking on the kids – who while they also have concessions can’t get additional support towards the bill, because it’s once per household. I hear that different places are rolling out more community batteries soon, which is awesome and really helps balance that load, but wouldn’t it be nice if renters were able to get their landlords to install solar and take advantage of that cheap cheap electricity?

2. Cheaper child care

Initial reports of fees going up with the subsidy going up abound, overall child care costs less per hour per child now than it did. But there’s many parts of the country where there are not enough places, workers are still underpaid for what they do to support the little ones and there’s still a requirement to be working or studying a certain amount to access the subsidy, which rules out a lot of precarious workers and kids who would benefit developmentally from attending childcare or preschool.

3. Increased rent assistance

*insert snorting milk out of nose gif here* – I’m getting a whole $13 a week extra in rent assistance now. And my rent is going up $60 a week in the upcoming move, not even taking into account the thousands we have to spend to move between bod, rent in advance, overlapping rent, and utilities, cleaning, petrol and van hire, time off work for Bruce and general stress expenses. “Fortunately” Bruce received his Nan’s inheritance earlier than expected, and instead of using that for car upgrades and tools for work we’re having to drop a lot on this move, and hopefully get some of it back when we get the bond, sell my AU and hopefully sell some of Bruce’s car parts. But it succcckkkkkkkkssss.

4. More Medicare bulk billing

I’ll letcha know Wednesday if I get bulk billed, but nothing on the doctor’s website indicates they’re going back to bulk billing kids and concession card holders despite the increased incentive, so I’m gonna rock up with that $69 to pay and hope they tell me nah, it’s on the government. But we’ll see.

UPDATE 29/11 – I wasn’t bulk billed.

5. Cheaper medicines

Not for concession card holders, ours were indexed with inflation on Jan 1. Happy for those without concessions who’ve seen some of theirs go down though.

6. Boosting income support payments

How’d my frens out there on youth allowance and jobseeker spend their extra $20 a week? Don’t know, it just got absorbed because the costs of essentials continue to grow faster than inflation? Yeah, if you see someone shoplifting, no you didn’t. And, no there was no increase to DSP, my $59 a day partner rate is doing some heavy lifting.

Graphic design of a garbage dumpster on fire with bin juice pooling at the bottom above the text "centrestink"
Centrestink bin fire by Jez Heywood

7. Fee-free TAFE training

In select courses and limited in number, and with Austudy and Youth allowance so far below the poverty line how can you even AFFORD to study even if the course itself is free? How do you pay for transport and internet and food and texts and course supplies?

8. Building more affordable homes

Hoping to see these happen, but wow, there’s a long time before we see any impact there. And how the fuck does one even define affordable when it just needs to rent out $10 a week lower than market rate. Which is unaffordable for essential university trained teachers and such let alone supermarket workers, students and disabled people. It doesn’t stop rents continue to go up, renters being in such a vulnerable position. State, Federal and Councils need to directly buy and build public housing. They only way to fix the housing stock is to build for those at the bottom, get the families out of the caravan parks and tents, allow families to live and stay in a community for their kids to grow up, not fear having to move at the next rent hike.

9, Expanding Paid parental leave

I’m incredible uninformed on this. Probably would have been awesome as a baby producing allied health worker on $100k a year. As the second parent of a newborn, the son in law was entitled to two weeks off mutual obligations when bub was born, and got cut off several times for missing appointments because the baby was up all night. At least parents next is gone, but hey all those parents who got to access single parent payment up to their kids turning 14 now have to do mutual obligations…

10 Creating jobs and getting wages moving again

Oooh is that the 3000 Centrelink jobs to deal with the massive call wait times, months delays in processing payments and the 180 staff leaving the agency each month? Union members are striking in the meantime because despite promises to restore the public service the government can’t agree to a pay seal for Services Australia staff. The government needs to set the standard it expects from the rest of the employers out there, and in this they are failing.

A red background with text 10 ways we are helping Australian with the cost of living 1. Energy bill relief 2. cheaper child care 3. Increase rent assistance 4 more medicare bulk billing 5. Cheaper medicines 6. Boosting income support payments 7. fee-free tafe training 8. Building more affordable homes 8. Expanding Paid parental leave 10 Creating jobs and getting wages moving again

So yeah, I’m tired, stressed, broke and disappointed in the Albanese government’s first 18 months. I’m sad to see Palestinians being killed and the founder of the Friends of Palestine unwilling to put his neck out and condemn the slaughter.

I’ll get through this move, and vow to use the faster internet I’ve been promised by TPG to do what I can to continue to speak truth to power. We get the keys in a week, and hand back the keys for the current place on the 13th.

Send coffee, cleaning products and chocolate. So much chocolate.

Love you guys.

Having your adult kids move in and not on the lease is the new having undeclared pets in a rental

 

There was an article in the Guardian this week “‘You can’t send them to their room’: the tensions and challenges of parenting adult children” and credit to my parents who took my sister and me back in as growned ups, a certainly not in easy times in our lives. But this is my challenge now, parenting 18 year olds, when I didn’t even parent them as kids. While they themselves are parents now trying to figure out how to do that too.

Yes, I’m a mountain of stress at the moment, moving house before Christmas wasn’t in my plan, but here we are, and I’m glad that the finding part was so short (8 days between finding out the owners were selling and being accepted for a place). But this next month is gonna be crazy. Crazier than normal for a homeful of neurodivergent people just trying to find their place in the world. At least we’ll fit into the new place – aside from the purple bathtub it has a secondary bathroom that I get to relegate the kids to!

After reading that Guardian piece, I was thinking about the situations of having to move back in with your parents, and how I did that, but I was moving in with parents who own their own home. While it puts pressure on everyone, one big strain that’s come from having the kids here is us renting this place (and the next place) and them being here being in breach of the lease agreement that only two adults maximum would live here regularly. After three months it’s certainly regularly. Them being in their mum’s house but over 18 and not on the lease was included as a reason why they could be considered homeless by the social worker before bub was born, because they could be asked to leave at any moment.

I guess that makes them homeless still now.

So, when they moved in and shortly after we were informed of an inspection. my fear was that the real estate wouldn’t take too kindly to there being extra bodies in the house. Which is one of the reasons why that inspection and trying to get everything clean was so stressful, not a hair outta place was the aim. And getting the kids to get their stuff done was a task in itself with the new bub and mental health issues and so forth. Fun. But we got there. And then we thought we’d get to stay.

PSYCH!

So, they’re coming to the new place with us, again not on the lease, and I was thinking, are adult children that aren’t on your lease the new undeclared pets that you hide at your mates when it’s inspection day? That you could have legally had one they were under 18, but full time as adults is naughty naughty and it’s not like you’re going to try to GET them on the lease when you apply since, like not declaring your dog, they make you lower down the list and youth don’t look good to any real estate agent?

So, I was able to stay in the home my parents owned, but then we’re smuggling kids here in our rental, risking our own tenancy and not just our sanity. And their kids? I can’t exactly being the teenagers back to my parents like Jen did with her bubs either.

It’s also not even about saving for a house deposit any more. Somehow they’ll need to find at least $3000 upfront for bond and 2 weeks rent when they DO find a place. Hard to save for any, impossible on youth allowance, and I know there’s bond loans but ugh they do now look good on paper do they :/

Good luck out there x