I’m tired, sore and disappointed. Happy Budget Hangover day

This but it’s May 2024:

A couple of days ago we heard that there was gonna be some sort of increase to the useless rent assistance payment in this budget. That turned out to be 10% from September 20’s next indexation, up to $9/week depending on how much you already get, if you’re one of people who can actually access it. If my rent goes up less than $10/week at the end of the year (if I’m lucky enough to get a renewed lease hey) I’ll be shocked. Shocked.

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5000 people on JobSeeker who have assessed work capacity of <15 hours (and by all rights should be on DSP if the rules for that weren’t so restrictive) will get a slightly higher rate of Jobseeker, like the over 55s who have been on Jobseeker for 9 months or more. I guess it’s their substitute for not having a sickness benefit – so Cancer patients can afford to pay for parking at the hospital for treatment or something.

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No actual JobSeeker or other welfare increases, despite the hopes and prayers of the community sector and the Economic Inclusion Advisory Committee. Thoughts and prayers that I beg them to at least persist with for the next 12 months, because Labor can’t be re-electable without a plan to bring welfare payments to the poverty line in their 2025 election promises.

The $300 energy bill subsidy for all is less than pensioners and families got this financial year (you might be getting some extra in Qld or WA from their state labor governments going to elections this year), and won’t be felt by those who don’t need it and $50 less subsidy a quarter WILL be felt by me. So Yeah. Not impressed. Also, straight to the billing company, quarter by quarter no chance of using it in one hit to catch up or to use for something else. (or someone else if you want to spend your subsidies and tax cuts on Andrew Leigh’s dream of a doubled charity sector by 2030).

Medicines are being capped at their current top rates ($7.70 for pensioners, $31.60 for everyone else) for a few years. So that’ll mean getting less behind, something I yelled about them doing sooner, and yay they’ve done it. Which is great, cos I’ve been having health concerns, and having to pay upfront for the GP isn’t going anywhere for most of us as most GPs haven’t returned to bulk billing, and the average gap in $44 a session now. My scans and blood tests were bulk billed last week, but still need $76 upfront for an appointment for follow-up  so I’m going on Friday, pension day!

I’ll leave you with the darling Catherine Caine, brains behind Nobody Deserves Poverty, and her budget reaction from last night.

Love yas. xo

Superhuman

Laying in the back of your carI’ve been thinking ’bout the ways that I took it too farIn pursuit of perfection, I lost my directionAnd now I gotta reckon with the shame of tomorrowSee I always wanted more from the world, more from myselfPiling on the good times, high from the top shelf, yeah yeah
I heard that everybody’s got a limit, manI think I hit, cuz I’mCuz I’m onlyGuess I’m only
HumanDon’t know what we’re doin’Fight because we’re stupidLife we just abuse itCrying in confusionI know I just ruinEverything I worked for now I’m sitting all aloneGuess that makes me superhumanGuess that makes me superhumanGuess that makes me superGuess that makes me super
Sitting at the top of LALooking out at all the billboards and highwaysGuess I answered the question, I’m not the exceptionAnd now I gotta reckon with nobody to blameSee I thought that I could fly to the sun, never get burnedPride is a, pride is a motherfucker
I know that everybody’s got a limitAnd one day, you’re gonna hit it, cuz you’reCuz you’re onlyYea we’re only
HumanDon’t know what we’re doin’Fight because we’re stupidLife we just abuse itCrying in confusionI know I just ruinEverything I worked for now I’m sitting all aloneGuess that makes me superhuman
a storiis screenshot of a bottle of pills for Katherine Falrety
Always have to come down from an event from a gig. At least I didn’t get strep throat like K.Flay, at least my (out of date) RATs I’ve been doing since the show in Sydney have been negative. At least all my aches and pains and stuff don’t deem to be the Covid I’d resigned myself getting after sweating it out in from of the stage. I seem to have dodged that bullet, still a chance I’ve got it of course. Or something else, but I’m back to being concerned about the bloods and ECG I had last Tuesday and the results aren’t on my health record, but at least the Medicare bulk billing’s been done for them as of yesterday.
I must be highly suggestible, or I don’t notice things that might be wrong until they’re suggested to me? I’m been listening to my heart more, paranoid it’s out of sorts because it was suggested it might be. And maybe the irregular number of beats I was hearing when I was deaf from ear wax for three weeks is something to be concerned about. But then maybe it’s nothing, maybe any of my dizziness or shaking can come down to blood sugar and general blood pressure issues and I’ll just go in for my next lot of scripts and the new GP will say it’s all fine and dandy. I’m still hoping to bring down my antidepressant levels if I can, but I still feel like routine will help me more than that. But it’s hard to get routine when things keep breaking – one car’s going in for transmission work tomorrow, Bruce needs one for work, there’s been little things breaking on the Corolla too, the door handle, the speedo, the windscreen repairs not actually repairing but making the crack worse. Just feels like we’re chasing tails. And spending a lot of time and money buying part on eBay.
Not that keeping the AU would have been much better. I hope it’s working okay for the guy that bought it, and he enjoys it before the rust becomes too fatal. We keep hearing people doing skids nearby, but it’s never been him.
Nine days til the promised NBN install. Another reason not to get covid is I really don’t want to have to cancel that time, because it’d prolly be ANOTHER six weeks after that to get a tech booked in :/ Making my little plans. I really wanna do some streaming, both because I miss my little online games (GTA, Red Dead) and I do feel like that’s something I could get into properly if I even got sorted with a few things. So add me on Twitch so you can find out when I do go live and try o help me figure all that out again. I’ve been playing with my overlays and alerts ready to go too.
So I’m doing a lot of not much, not enough of what I want to be doing, but not sure what all that it. But I’ve probably going enough lines up for once I DO get proper internet, and if I start putting up for more it’s gonna be too much.
So day by day. It’s raining again.

Three Years Sober

Three years ago I have a week or so gap in my photo backups from when I was on ward after a 6 or so week relapse and trying to take myself out with meds. So yeah, haven’t had a drink since about this time 3 years ago. Been back on antabuse all that time, and not drinking and yeah, go me and all that.

It’s been a weird week, went to Sydney for Kflay on wednesday. Been waiting and anticipating for so long it was perfect and sweaty and I was up front, smooshed behind the people at the front. I wonder if I’ll regret smooshing and not wearing a mask but it was a great gig and like every gig I go to I crash hard afterward from the physical and mental exertion, the late night , the travel and the adrenalin. Let’s see if I brought home covid and I get to suffer through that. I’ll do my out of date tests every couple of days and see (I mean if I get it I’ll likely know without that) I wish you could still get drive through covid tests free. Or at least RATs in date.

Caught up with a friend, an ex, which was awkward and yeah, I don’t know, it’s hard to catch up with people.

Did the Antipoverty centre meeting, officially co-secretary and am pumped for the year ahead.

Waiting on blood test results from the tests my new GP ordered. I don’t really have reason to worry but I always worry. And want to get off to a good start with the new doc lol. There’s thing I wanna be able to bring up with her. Again nothing urgent but things I should.

Oh and I weighed less than I estimated at the pathologists. Cool. Now just to move more, I just want a routinnnnnnnnnnne

Anyway, send me presents and call me pretty:

Buymeacoffee.com/phonakins

Youpay.me/phonakins

http://throne.me/phonakins

paypal.me/phonakins

amazon.com.au/hz/wishlist/ls

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http://allmylinks.com/phonakins

 

 

Stares at a wall

Monday?

Taylor’s boyfriend looks scary.

Watchin Rafah, watching people ignore Gaza, wondering what that siren is in our street, apparently they’re looking for a man with face tattoos in Toronto.

Saw a new GP in the same practice. She seems good, sending me for tests, talking about my medication levels with me. Gotta get some bloods check my kidney and liver, an ECG for my heart to see if the mads are doing me more bad than good. See if my shakes have anything to do with that and a trippy heart.

Wasn’t bulk billed. $76 upfront, a woman apologising profusely for not being able to pay the other day, signs saying fees for late payment, and man yelling at the practice manager because they weren’t going to see him because he was owing money and shouldn’t have been rebooked in until it was settled. A growing line.

I did the grocery shopped and waited for my ride with the other pensioners outside woolies. More than a dollar a can for on special Diet Coke doesn’t sit right for me. But I’ll pay it. It’s my only real vice. But cadbury was $3 a block too so that was good.

Forgot bacon and mayo.

Oh well.

With MPs heading back to Canberra, what’s on your wishlist this cost-of-living crisis?

Saturday afternoon saw a flutter of tweets speculating about what might be served up to us plebs after Labor MPs return to Canberra early to solve the cost-of-living crisis and their slump in the important but not important at all polls.

I have my theories about what is possible and likely. And since I have a personal blog I get to write about them, with no qualifications other than I, too, am here in this country at this time, reading news and feeling the vibes.

Extending the energy rebates – This is an easy one as they’re only set for this financial year, so Labor will pop them into the May budget and probably even further expanded. I know they vary by state, but people already receiving concessions on their bills here in NSW got $125 a quarter off their bills automatically, and it was recently expanded to more families, but you have to apply. Not sure if they’ll up the value, or give it to more people. But it will be there for 24/25 and in place for the 2025 election.

Increasing the energy supplement in welfare payments – This famously hasn’t risen since its introduction in 2013 is it isn’t indexed. I get $10.60 a fortnight as a partnered disability pensioner. Could I see them doubling that supplement? Maybe? No, it’s not a huge amount extra, but it’d be extra targeted at the poorest on a hot item. It wouldn’t come in immediately though, might not even be til September if it’s a May Budget item.

Back to school payments – Yeah, it’s always a hot topic at this time of year, how expensive it is to send kids to public school, uniform and shoe costs, materials, backpacks, laptops and more. But it seems more pointed this year, perhaps it comes alongside the increasing stories of families living in tents, when they then have to find money for a laptop, let alone a place to reliably use it or charge it. It would be popular and really couldn’t be criticised. Cash payments to parents of school aged kids, non-means tested would be the fastest way and the most effective – but they do love their vouchers :/ It would take immediate heat off the government too, because they’ll need sometime that looks like it’s happening NOW, and feeding a clothing kids looks good.

Welfare Payments – I don’t see an increase to base rates happening this budget outside indexation, which is why I think the energy supplement may be a way to go about increasing the amount people are getting slightly, without angering the usual. I mean I WANT them to raise all payments above the poverty line, and I will push for that and ask for that and make arguments for it. But I don’t see it coming from this meeting, and not in the May budget. Would we believe them in they take it the the election though without any significant movement in the previous years? Yeah nah. That ship has sailed for Labor and unless they do blindside us in May with significant increases, particularly at the JobSeeker and Youth Allowance rates, noone’s going to believe their “good intentions” come 2025.

Rejig of Stage Three Greg Jericho and The Australia Institute have done the legwork for them, giving them a model that flattens out the cuts a bit more while not removing them completely. You need to remember Labor voted for the bill in the first place and have been extremely insistent on keeping that promise to the top end. It also leaves them with money to put towards those other payments. I mean, they COULD just bring back the Low and Middle Income Tax Offset that was so sorely missed last year, that hit a lot of people unexpectedly. It’s an option. They won’t scrap stage three though.

A picture of Lego Unikitty with a tie and glasses drawn on, speech bubble with the quote “Business, business, business. Numbers. Is this working?”

Business business business (is this working?) – I really don’t know or care what they do for businesses, I’m sure that there will be heaps. Yeah, my partner is self employed but we really don’t get any of the subsidies and such that are out there at this level *shrugs*

From the previous cost of living measures that haven’t excited me all that much, I don’t think this meeting will bring more rent assistance, and while personally more money is nice rent assistance is way too little too late and not given to enough people. They need to buy more public housing now, since building is going to take forever. Acquire vacant properties, put them in the public housing pool in a couple of months. Maybe they’ll extended the increased medicare bulk billing incentive? But to who and how? And is it too late with doctors dropping bulk billing as I type? They won’t do anything with medicines, that was already a big one. Unless they lower the safety nets? Personally I need less upfront costs for medical care and medicines, not rebates that kick in later. If I avoid the doctor cos the upfront cost is too high, I’ll never reach the safety net. And I’ll be more expensive down the track.

What do you think will come out of Wednesday’s meeting and the May budget and will it actually make a difference to you?