Tag Archives: ndis

I hate the surplus

Nineteen Billion Dollars

Nineteen Billion dollars isn’t much, they say. It’s also not the amount. The fact that there was any budget surplus while people are struggling to afford food and housing, whether they have a job or not, is a failure. It’s even more insulting that it’s brought to us by the supposed party of the workers, Labor. The party that talked the talk all through opposition that JobSeeker was inadequate and promised that nobody would be left behind. That Labor.

It’s a completely different Labor labour party than the one people voted for or gave their preferences to. We saw early last year, Labor walking back enthusiasm for raising the rate of any welfare payments and then being negotiated into a little panel of selected yes men headed by Jenny Macklin who told them that raising Jobseeker significantly was essential, but they chose to ignore that in favour of almost bringing back single payment eligibility back to where they left it with Gillard, and giving Jobseeker and Youth Allowance recipients a full $20 a week extra (from September 20, none of this is in yet….) Oh and a 15% increase to rent assistance, which for me brings it to $171 to service $820 a fortnight rent.

Rent that I’m just waiting to go up. If I’m lucky, I’ll get a new lease with a substantial rent increase. If I’m unlucky they’ll decide to redevelop this land and imma back back in the rental market, crowdfunding for a houseboat. We muse about our options often, hoping to get this place for another year, while Bruce’s ex has to be our of her place by the end of the month and my stepkids baby is due August 5 (yes I’ll be a grandmother!) Hopefully the stepkids, their partner and the baby will get some emergency social housing, which they said they probably will based on the noises from the not for profits social worker… And we might get our stepson here since he doesn’t have a place yet, but works in town. I’ve adapted to the idea of him moving in. Better than another couple and a baby and cats. No, there are no cats moving in here.

Where was I?

Oh that’s right, thinking about the surplus (did you hear it was $19 BILLION?!?) And how Labor and their Stan’s feign embarrassment while saying they’ve been responsible with the budget and we must think of future expenses (like the stage three tax cuts and submarines) and do our bit by continuing to live on sub poverty welfare payments, minimum wage that won’t get you a rental let alone a home to own, and Coles and Woolies posting mega returns while aski g us to donate to Foodbank and Ozharvest at the checkout on pension day when we only queue for food every other week.

I suppose you want me to do my own budget and write solutions for the government. To say that pleading with them to raise the rate of income support above the poverty line and to build public housing NOW and not say they ought fund affordable housing (whatever the fuck that is) if their little investment pays out. Meanwhile saying the Greens are all talk even tho they are the ones with money to burn but not sharing it where it’s desperately needed

So I wait and see if I’ll be pleasantly surprised.. not by Labor, that ship sank long ago. But by a new lease on this place. For the tent increase to not be too excessive. For my stepkid to have housing of some sort before their baby is born. For them to continue to have hosuk g while they raise the kid. That the threats to exclude more people from the NDIS don’t happen. That my sister and her kids can keep their rental for as long as she wants it and they can access the NDIS supports she needs for them with less off a fight that the previous plans. That the government doesn’t make things worse for everyone. Which they are on track to buy simply fiddling around edges and trying to appease the landlord class.

Nineteen Billion dollars.

My Election Wishlist

scene from animal crossing

Welfare payments above the poverty line – I think we were all more than a little distressed to say the least when Labor revealed they had no plans to promise any rise in JobSeeker or other Centrelink-administered payments this election. It’s even worse seeing them fall back on the small raise the libs granted us when the covid supplement was removed and try to take some sort of credit for it. I did some maths, including the rent assistance, I’ll be getting $63 a day on the Disability Support Pension when it switches over (yes, my partner finally did his paperwork for it to show he’s not my financial keeper) when my application finally gets properly approved. Living it up. I mean it’s better than the $42 a day ($52/day or $733.70 fn, including $137.40 rent assistance for the $790 rent we pay) I’m getting currently, and there won’t be mutual obligations, but this is the pension that acknowledges that I’m not really capable of regular paid employment and it kinds should be at a rate that at least lets us scrape by, and not continuously fall behind?

Some actual steps towards slowing climate change. Like not opening new coal and gas projects or subsidising the old ones. Putting money into renewable tech and jobs and batteries. Something about realising that the extreme weather events are caused by our love of destroying the planet, and perhaps we should do something about it? I mean it’s not too late, despite how depressing it gets. But we do have to act soon. And stop making things worse :/

Something to be done about the huge out of pocket costs that stop people from accessing the healthcare they need. It’s all well and good to say there’s Medicare rebates for healthcare, but what’s the point if the waitlists are excessively long or you can’t afford the upfront amount? The rebates need to be more too, because even if we do find a way to get the upfront payments for out of pocket up front costs, there’s only so long that can be sustained for.

To be more specific – You can currently access 20 rebateable psychology (or mental health OT/social work) through the “Better Access” program. That might go back to ten soon, it might not. But it’s so hard to firstly find a clinician to see you, and they you’re up for $200+ per session before the rebate that’s about half that. We’re currently trying to find someone for my niece to see, but it’s even harder to find someone for kids, especially outside the NDIS. Before I went into the current public program I’m doing DBT through, I was seeing a mental health Occupational Therapist under the scheme after finding most psychologists to have at least a 6 month wait. And this is in Newcastle, good luck if you’re in a smaller centre.

Access to free assessments in order to access NDIS and DSP and any other gatekept government program. It’s wrong that you have to be able to afford the assessments in order to get into these programs that should be available to all who need them. Also, a return to needs-based rather than diagnosis based access. Back to looking at a person’s needs and goals and working to support them with that. Disabled people have goals you know, and don’t just want to subsist.

Housing. The rental market is fucked in this country. We need a huge spend on PUBLIC housing, that’s owned by the government and leased to anyone who needs it. Guess what, that provides jobs too! Rental assistance is bullshit, and the quality of housing is slipping towards being unsafe for tenants as it’s not safe to complain or ask for repairs as there’s someone else waiting if they kick you out. I don’t know the answers. But housing is a mess.

I’m tired, and there’s still a month to go.

What’s on your Wishlist this election?