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.