Saturday, August 27, 2016

'Living' on Newstart in 2016 at Age 61


My personal experiences with having to be dependent on Federal Government income support payments was having to access the Carer Payment as a carer for my mother following a CVA (Stroke) in 1999.  Prior to taking on this role I'd been employed for 30 years as a Remote Area Nurse, Nurse/Midwife, Clinical Nurse Consultant and Team Leader in many states of Australia and overseas.  All this time I paid my taxes.

The Carer Payment certainly helped but during 17 years as a carer but it was insufficient for all expenses so I had to access my Superannuation and used all these funds for living expenses and equipment to improve my mothers quality of life.

In April 2016 I ceased as my mothers carer as by this time I'd become physically and mentally incapable of continuing to provide adequate care.  I needed to get myself sorted. Luckily my younger sister was able to take on the role of carer.

Having notified Centrelink that I'd ceased to be a carer I entered the dehumanising and convoluted beaurocracy that is the Australian Government Department of Human Services.

They have no real right to apply the words 'human' or 'services' to anything they do or in reality avoid doing for Australian citizens applying for some form of assistance.

I am now attempting to survive on Newstart Allowance with virtually no chance of employment.  At 61 years of age I'm not entitled to the Aged Pension until November 2020.

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THE FEDERAL GOVERMENT, DESPITE ACROSS THE BOARD RECOMMENDATIONS FROM WELFARE GROUPS AND BUSINESS WILL NOT INCREASE PAYMENTS FOR NEWSTART OR AGED PENSIONS AND HAVE INFACT CUT RATES.

2016 Fereral Govt Response to Newstart - rate cut.

The design of the newstart Allowance as a short-term solution is badly flawed given the alarmingly high rate of long-term unemployed people in the system.



Long-term Newstart recipients are more likely to be older workers; have a partial disability or mental illness; face communication or language barriers or lack marketable skills; and have low levels of formal education.


AUSTRALIAN AGED PENSIONERS ARE NOT MUCH BETTER OFF AND GOVERNMENT IS PROGRESSIVELY UNDERMINING OLDER AUSTRALIANS RIGHT TO AN AGED PENSION.

Treasurer Scott Morrison says 'the age pension should not be regarded as an entitlement for all, but rather a "welfare payment for those who do not have the ability to save enough to fund their own retirement".


More than twenty years since compulsory superannuation was introduced the system is not yet efficient enough at meeting its objective to "supplement or replace" the age pension, he said.
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