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The dole aka Newstart

#41 User is offline   Roderick 

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 05:07 PM

View Postprevailing, on 05 December 2012 - 08:01 AM, said:

Most of the unemployed are innocent decent victims of workplace violence and sexual abuse who are heavily traumatized.
This abuse, like the stolen generation, the clerical and military institutional abuse is deliberately cover. . . . .


You have proof? Have you gone to the police?

If not, why not?
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#42 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 05:27 PM

View Postlongweekend58, on 04 December 2012 - 06:54 PM, said:

so??? the dole isnt supposed to be a living wage and you just showed that it isnt. your point?

Surely it's obvious: that it's not enough to live on while looking for work.

Perhaps you should try living on $492.60 a fortnight for a while to see what it's really like.
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#43 User is offline   GeorgeParsons 

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 10:05 AM

Given the slowing of the economy it would make sense to raise the dole immediately in order to stimulate the economy. The poor and the unemployed have no hope of saving and have to spend whatever little they have. ( Those who call themselves capitalists should see the sense of this. They don't even have to be kind, concerned or generous. They don't even have to believe in the welfare state!).
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#44 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:00 PM

View Postlongweekend58, on 02 December 2012 - 03:05 PM, said:

You do need to understand that it costs big money. $15B isnt a small amount. And with the possibilty of a moderate increase in the unemployment rate it is even more than that.

Yes, it will cost money. What's your point?

Quote

By world standards our dole is a dream that doesnt end like in other places.

False. The rate of payment of Newstart is about the lowest in the OECD despite our housing costs being amongst the highest.

Quote

A lot of students WORK part-time to pay their way thru university.

Because Austudy and Youth Allowance pay even less than the dole.

Quote

The dole is never meant to be a living wage as doing so is patently unaffordable and countrer productive to seeking employment. It has to be a buffer against poverty but not an alternative to work. its a hard line to walk.

What is counter-productive to the goal of seeking employment is when the support payments are so low that it makes seeking work difficult to afford. It's hard to find work when one has to ration the making of telephone calls to prospective employers, ration transport costs to meet with prospective employers, and is unable to afford presentable clothing to make a decent impression at the interview.

It is a rubbish argument to deny half a million people or more a badly-needed increase in the Newstart payment just because there's a small risk that some might consider the dole to be a viable alternative to work. Why seek to punish the many for the perceived sins of a few? It looks like the 70's-era dole bludger myth again.

It doesn't help that JSA is fundamentally flawed. I have even heard of employers sacking people who have been employed for nearly six month so they don't have to pay the kickback to the job services provider when the former unemployed person has been working for 26 weeks. Such payments should come from the Government's consolidated revenue, not individual employers.
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#45 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:05 PM

Here's an article that's worth a look.

Why unemployment benefits need to be increased

Quote

Since 1996 Newstart for a single person has fallen from around 54 per cent to 45 per cent of the after-tax minimum wage, writes Peter Whiteford. It isn't enough to live on.
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#46 User is offline   Trogdor 

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 10:40 AM

Personally, I’d set the dole at a much higher rate but require all recipients to work for the government on a part time basis (say 25 hours per week on semi-flexible hours).

Gives people enough to live on, gives them a reference and work experience, and ends the “bludger’ stigma.

Then the government can set about mopping up some of the people who moved to the disability pension because the rate was higher, to the point where an insane 1 in 20 people receive it (more than get the dole)
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#47 User is offline   Beowulf 

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 01:36 PM

View Postlongweekend58, on 03 December 2012 - 12:46 PM, said:

This is getting pathetic Bam. Everytime I post you jump on it and claim some rule break or some other imagined problem. It is not an ad hominem attack (which is the corner the weak jump to firt anyhow) when I referred to YOU in a GENERIC sense. It is not 'something bad' just because you cannot understand or accept what I said. I repeat that the majority of argument made is a self-absorbed one, based entirely on how it affects 'me'. I dont resile from that and it is my right to express it. And if you were half as clever as you think you are, you would see that that is EXACTLY how this thread is being discussed - not from a national perspective but about a personal one.

You claim the right to complain if you think its inadequate. I have the converse right which you need to learn to understand. This is not a forum of "I love Gillard and agree with Bam". if you want more than the 6 posters that currently post here maybe you shoudl experiment with free speech and tolerance. And by that Imean with people you dont like or agree with.


Well I don't love Gillard but I agree with Bam. Someones lost the plot and it isn't us. I'm a swinging voter, I vote policy not personality. Fact is you cannot live on Newstart, it is unsustainable. Newstart is just a badly working handbrake on the downwards spiral to the gutter. Every bill, every month and quarter is pressure and despair... where is the money coming from just to buy and pay for essentials. If you can't find some casual work you're doomed, even if you do you still can't get ahead or even stay afloat.
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#48 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:58 PM

View PostTrogdor, on 10 December 2012 - 10:40 AM, said:

Personally, I’d set the dole at a much higher rate but require all recipients to work for the government on a part time basis (say 25 hours per week on semi-flexible hours).

Gives people enough to live on, gives them a reference and work experience, and ends the “bludger’ stigma.

Worth considering. We do have work for the dole and I can see the benefits of that. I know people who have benefited from work for the dole due to the work experience that it brings. It would be a more successful program if we could reduce the stigma of being unemployed so employers would be more inclined to hire the unemployed. It's time to end the dole bludger myth once and for all.

We also need to consider that some people are unemployed because their skills are out of date and they need to undertake some kind of training or education. This is my situation. However, the path to training and education is a path littered with cracks and banana peels.

For example, if you hold a qualification of a particular level, you cannot access subsidised training for any lower qualification, no matter how long ago you got your qualification or even if jobs in that industry exist any more in Australia. This prevents people from retraining for a career change if their old occupation is in a shrinking market and so causes unnecessary hardship.

Another issue that causes hardship is the interaction between the welfare system and the superannuation system. If you have been unemployed for six months, you can access your superannuation on hardship grounds to pay your mortgage. But if you undertake full-time study and so need to claim Austudy instead, you can't do this any more because Austudy is not a payment that qualifies for hardship relief. This nasty little loophole - or, since it operates in reverse it's more like a knot - means that I have come very close to losing my house this year. It would have been so much better if I could have accessed my superannuation to keep a roof over my head. However, if the dole was actually the same as the pension I wouldn't have to resort to this. I would still be chronically short of money but at least the mortgage would be paid.

I'll also mention that people with mortgages cannot access any additional income support because rent assistance is for renters only. Instead of rent assistance, we should rename it to housing assistance and have it cover rent, mortgage repayments, council rates and essential maintenance on the home.

Quote

Then the government can set about mopping up some of the people who moved to the disability pension because the rate was higher, to the point where an insane 1 in 20 people receive it (more than get the dole)

I think Swan had the right idea by tightening the eligibility criteria for the disability support pension (DSP). Where I think he may have erred is not applying the same criteria to existing recipients, instead these recipients have been grandfathered to the old rules.

A lot of people on the DSP can work but have a reduced capacity for work. I see no problem with them being encouraged to find suitable work.
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#49 User is offline   Senexx 

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 01:01 PM

View Postlongweekend58, on 04 December 2012 - 06:50 PM, said:

Im betting if the dole were $50Kpa there would be plenty who would consider it preferable to a job.



View Postlongweekend58, on 04 December 2012 - 06:52 PM, said:

the logical extention of this ridiculous argument is to TRIPLE the dole and it will pay for itself.

a bit like how the $42B giveaway in cash resulted in less than 30% going to retailers and the rest going to reducing debt ie NOT sales.


Reductio Ad Absurdum

And on the stimulus going to deleveraging - duh - that's what happens when things crash after an asset bubble brought on by lax credit standards

Take the debt out of the 'equation' and then what happens - where does it go - Sales.
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#50 User is offline   Senexx 

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 01:04 PM

Or to put it another way with our current 5.4% unemployment rate.

There are 5-6 jobseekers for every job opening. It is clearly not possible for them all to be employed and you've been shown evidence that it is impossible to have a satisfactory living standard given 4-5 of these people are definitely going to miss out every time.

So are you arguing that people should be deliberately kept in poverty and develop all the negative side effects that go with this like social exclusion, mental illness, etc?

If not, what's your solution?
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#51 User is offline   smokey 

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 09:32 AM

View PostRoderick, on 03 December 2012 - 05:53 PM, said:

Depends on where one lives and one's lifestyle.

I could live comfortably on the dole in 2012, probably couldn't save much, but I'd still give it a go.

I assume your rent there is much lower than the nearly $400 a week we pay here then.

But actually I'm on the DSP, well sort of, only part payment until the date that Centrelink decided that my redundancy payout will run out.

I was on the sickness allowance last year for two months, which is the same as the dole. At the time I was living alone and the rent was $360 a week. The sickness allowance was at that time (this is with full rent assistance) $300 a week. Um, needless to say I spent two months simply going into more debt, to eat. It was ridiculous. Later on that debt affected my health from the stress of it all as I just couldn't pay it back, not even the minimum payment.

Felt like I was being punished for being sick. As I guess do those who get the dole feel like they're being punished for being unemployed. I'd say there must be a lot of mental health issues arise out of being forced into abject poverty by the state.
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#52 User is offline   Roderick 

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 11:24 AM

View Postsmokey, on 17 December 2012 - 09:32 AM, said:

I assume your rent there is much lower than the nearly $400 a week we pay here then.

But actually I'm on the DSP, well sort of, only part payment until the date that Centrelink decided that my redundancy payout will run out.

I was on the sickness allowance last year for two months, which is the same as the dole. At the time I was living alone and the rent was $360 a week. The sickness allowance was at that time (this is with full rent assistance) $300 a week. Um, needless to say I spent two months simply going into more debt, to eat. It was ridiculous. Later on that debt affected my health from the stress of it all as I just couldn't pay it back, not even the minimum payment.

Felt like I was being punished for being sick. As I guess do those who get the dole feel like they're being punished for being unemployed. I'd say there must be a lot of mental health issues arise out of being forced into abject poverty by the state.


Of course my rent would be much lower, zero in monetary terms, as I'd trade a day's work for a place to pitch my tent if I needed to camp on someone's property.
Fish, yabbies and rabbits are there for the taking and there are vegetables and fruit in the bush.

I realize that not everyone could do that and it needs rather a lot of dedicated training to become semi-proficient at living rough in the bush.

The dole and benefits in general are way too low and are, frankly, a national disgrace.
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#53 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 07:45 PM

Today, Families Minister Jenny Macklin stated that she could live on the dole. This is in the context of single parents being forced onto the dole.

I would like to know what her underlying assumptions are. Housing costs must be considered. Even with rent assistance, rent will still be a major expense against the dole payment.

These days, it is almost impossible to find a habitable 2-bedroom property within reasonable commuting distance of any mainland city that has a price of less than $200 a week. I will assume that the single parent has one child and is renting a modest unit for $230 per week.

Fortunately, more rent assistance is available for families. Unfortunately, even with rent assistance, there is not much left after rent is taken out.

All figures are per fortnight.

Calculating Rent Assistance
First, here is how rent assistance is calculated. I think this is correct but the actual method of payment is not shown on the website.

Maximum rent assistance (MaxA) = $141.82 -- this is the maximum that is payable
Minimum rent (MinRent) = $141.40 -- If rent is lower than this then no rent assistance is paid
Maximum rent (MaxRent) = $330.50 -- Rent assistance is capped so that rent greater than this does not attract additional rent assistance
We can also define the Minimum Rent Assistance as being equal to zero.
Multiplier (Mult) = MaxA / (MaxRent - MinRent) = 141.82/(330.50 - 141.40) = 0.75 (approx) -- this is the amount by which the rent is multiplied to determine the amount of rent assistance.

We and then derive the formula for rent assistance as follows:

RA = MIN(MaxA, 0.75 × MAX($0.00, RENT - MinRent))
RA = MIN($141.82, 0.75 × MAX($0.00, RENT - $141.40))

(Here, the MIN function returns the smaller of two numbers and the MAX function returns the larger of two numbers.)

CAVEAT: This rent assistance rate is specifically for singles or couples with one or two children. Different living circumstances attract different rates of rent assistance.

Calculation
Now we can calculate the amount of money that a single parent has to live on after paying rent of $230 per week.

Dole: $492.60 per fortnight
Rent assistance: MIN ($141.82, 0.75 × MAX ($0.00, $460.00 - $141.40)) = $141.82 (see above)
Total with rent assistance: $634.42
Rent: $460.00 per fortnight
Dole after paying rent: $174.42 per fortnight

Out of that $174.42 per fortnight, all other expenses must be paid: food, water, clothing, electricity, gas (if applicable), telephone, internet (not a luxury if you are looking for work), transport and other basics.

I think Minister Macklin was put on the spot a bit here and has probably made an erroneous reply. $35 a day, after paying what in today's market is a modest amount of rent, dwindles to about $12.45 a day.

EDIT
: I have reworked the example because the rent figures on the website were fortnightly rents, not weekly rents. The correction added 67 cents a day to the amount of money that the hypothetical single parent has to live on.
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This post has been edited by Bam: 01 January 2013 - 07:54 PM
Reason for edit: correct an error in the calculation

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#54 User is offline   scotto 

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 08:00 PM

Another dumb thing politicians feel they have to say.
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#55 User is offline   RightSaidFred 

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 05:17 AM

View PostBam, on 01 January 2013 - 07:45 PM, said:

Today, Families Minister Jenny Macklin stated that she could live on the dole. This is in the context of single parents being forced onto the dole.

I would like to know what her underlying assumptions are. Housing costs must be considered. Even with rent assistance, rent will still be a major expense against the dole payment.

These days, it is almost impossible to find a habitable 2-bedroom property within reasonable commuting distance of any mainland city that has a price of less than $200 a week. I will assume that the single parent has one child and is renting a modest unit for $230 per week.

Fortunately, more rent assistance is available for families. Unfortunately, even with rent assistance, there is not much left after rent is taken out.

All figures are per fortnight.

Calculating Rent Assistance
First, here is how rent assistance is calculated. I think this is correct but the actual method of payment is not shown on the website.

Maximum rent assistance (MaxA) = $141.82 -- this is the maximum that is payable
Minimum rent (MinRent) = $141.40 -- If rent is lower than this then no rent assistance is paid
Maximum rent (MaxRent) = $330.50 -- Rent assistance is capped so that rent greater than this does not attract additional rent assistance
We can also define the Minimum Rent Assistance as being equal to zero.
Multiplier (Mult) = MaxA / (MaxRent - MinRent) = 141.82/(330.50 - 141.40) = 0.75 (approx) -- this is the amount by which the rent is multiplied to determine the amount of rent assistance.

We and then derive the formula for rent assistance as follows:

RA = MIN(MaxA, 0.75 × MAX($0.00, RENT - MinRent))
RA = MIN($141.82, 0.75 × MAX($0.00, RENT - $141.40))

(Here, the MIN function returns the smaller of two numbers and the MAX function returns the larger of two numbers.)

CAVEAT: This rent assistance rate is specifically for singles or couples with one or two children. Different living circumstances attract different rates of rent assistance.

Calculation
Now we can calculate the amount of money that a single parent has to live on after paying rent of $230 per week.

Dole: $492.60 per fortnight
Rent assistance: MIN ($141.82, 0.75 × MAX ($0.00, $460.00 - $141.40)) = $141.82 (see above)
Total with rent assistance: $634.42
Rent: $460.00 per fortnight
Dole after paying rent: $174.42 per fortnight

Out of that $174.42 per fortnight, all other expenses must be paid: food, water, clothing, electricity, gas (if applicable), telephone, internet (not a luxury if you are looking for work), transport and other basics.

I think Minister Macklin was put on the spot a bit here and has probably made an erroneous reply. $35 a day, after paying what in today's market is a modest amount of rent, dwindles to about $12.45 a day.

EDIT
: I have reworked the example because the rent figures on the website were fortnightly rents, not weekly rents. The correction added 67 cents a day to the amount of money that the hypothetical single parent has to live on.


Bam

Many live on the dole, so she could be right.

My personal view is that I doubt it, you kind of get use to earning a wage over a long period. Once it goes many do struggle, I heard of a guy who committed suicide after being out of work for a while. I suspect being on the dole from the start may prepare you better to live on welfare as opposed to working a while then not being able to find a job.

I find the ALP hypocrisy on this laughable, the Howard government was under heavy criticism from the ALP for a similar move.

My only personal experience is that I lived on about half the dole when I was at Uni full time Aus-Study, but I did not have the burden of rent and cash in hand jobs were common back then for me.

I am amazed how politically dumb (especially Macklin) the ALP are, they say all sorts of dumb stuff that end up biting them. Without Rudd they would have never got into power. Without him they pretty much had a draw with an unpopular Abbott, the next election looks like a slaughter to a massacre.... against Abbott ????
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#56 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 09:03 AM

View PostRightSaidFred, on 02 January 2013 - 05:17 AM, said:

Bam

Many live on the dole, so she could be right.

She isn't. An empirical analysis will show this, as I have shown above. Read my example again and see how well you can live on $12 a day after paying rent with the example that I gave. I would be interested to see your budget for $174.42 a fortnight for food, water, clothing, electricity, gas, telephone, transport and other basic expenses.

Here's something for you to think about. How many properties are available for rent within 40 kilometres of our five major capital cities suitable for a single person with two children or a couple with two children for an amount equal to the maximum cutoff for rent assistance ($165.25 per week)? I'll give you a clue. It's much less than the 80,000 single parents who are being forced onto the dole.

If you think that you can save money on rent by moving away from capital cities where rent is cheaper, forget it. Doing that is likely to incur a very heavy financial penalty: a waiting period of an additional 26 weeks because you've moved to an area where there are fewer jobs.

Quote

My personal view is that I doubt it, you kind of get use to earning a wage over a long period. Once it goes many do struggle, I heard of a guy who committed suicide after being out of work for a while.

Being out of work is a major trigger for suicide. Considering that I have contemplated suicide myself more than once last year, it's not an isolated example. So when I say that it is a very brutal existence to be out of work, know well that I fully mean it.

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I suspect being on the dole from the start may prepare you better to live on welfare as opposed to working a while then not being able to find a job.

You are incorrect here. If you've been working for a while you have financial reserves. A few thousand dollars in the bank. A few thousand dollars' worth of shares. Some redraw on your mortgage. A car that you can sell. Household effects that you can pawn. If things get really desperate you can access your superannuation on hardship or compassionate grounds. When you lose your job, if you're lucky you have leave entitlements that you receive on termination, and if you're really, really lucky you may even get a redundancy on retrenchment. These kinds of financial reserves are in short supply or nonexistent if you've never had a job.

Quote

I find the ALP hypocrisy on this laughable, the Howard government was under heavy criticism from the ALP for a similar move.

I hope you're aware that both sides indulge in hypocrisy whenever it suits them.

Quote

My only personal experience is that I lived on about half the dole when I was at Uni full time Aus-Study, but I did not have the burden of rent and cash in hand jobs were common back then for me.

Yes, Austudy still exists but it pays even less than the dole and has other issues. I have lived on Austudy myself. Many young adults in university would receive Youth Allowance now, but end up paying it back several times over thanks to HECS.
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This post has been edited by Bam: 02 January 2013 - 09:11 AM

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#57 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 09:09 AM

Macklin has been challenged by the Greens to try living on the dole for a week

Quote

Families Minister Jenny Macklin has come under fire for claiming she could live on the dole of about $35 a day - with the Greens challenging her to try it for a week.

Quote

When asked yesterday if she would be able to survive on the dole, Ms Macklin replied: "I could".

But acting Greens leader Adam Bandt believes Ms Macklin - who is currently paid more than a $6,000 per week, or around $850 per day - would find it a challenge.
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#58 User is offline   RightSaidFred 

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 12:18 PM

View PostBam, on 02 January 2013 - 09:03 AM, said:

She isn't. An empirical analysis will show this, as I have shown above. Read my example again and see how well you can live on $12 a day after paying rent with the example that I gave. I would be interested to see your budget for $174.42 a fortnight for food, water, clothing, electricity, gas, telephone, transport and other basic expenses.

Here's something for you to think about. How many properties are available for rent within 40 kilometres of our five major capital cities suitable for a single person with two children or a couple with two children for an amount equal to the maximum cutoff for rent assistance ($165.25 per week)? I'll give you a clue. It's much less than the 80,000 single parents who are being forced onto the dole.

If you think that you can save money on rent by moving away from capital cities where rent is cheaper, forget it. Doing that is likely to incur a very heavy financial penalty: a waiting period of an additional 26 weeks because you've moved to an area where there are fewer jobs.


Being out of work is a major trigger for suicide. Considering that I have contemplated suicide myself more than once last year, it's not an isolated example. So when I say that it is a very brutal existence to be out of work, know well that I fully mean it.


You are incorrect here. If you've been working for a while you have financial reserves. A few thousand dollars in the bank. A few thousand dollars' worth of shares. Some redraw on your mortgage. A car that you can sell. Household effects that you can pawn. If things get really desperate you can access your superannuation on hardship or compassionate grounds. When you lose your job, if you're lucky you have leave entitlements that you receive on termination, and if you're really, really lucky you may even get a redundancy on retrenchment. These kinds of financial reserves are in short supply or nonexistent if you've never had a job.


I hope you're aware that both sides indulge in hypocrisy whenever it suits them.


Yes, Austudy still exists but it pays even less than the dole and has other issues. I have lived on Austudy myself. Many young adults in university would receive Youth Allowance now, but end up paying it back several times over thanks to HECS.


People do seem to survive on the dole, yes it is challenging, more challenging for some one use to life's excesses ...... reserves don't last long when you have many thousands per month in mortgage payments. Some people find it hard to down size.

On this issue what Hypocrisy has the coalition practised ?
The ALP were very savage on this particular issue when in opposition.

I said its possible to live on the dole as many do, are you saying they don't ?

WRT to living near a capital city, CBD areas are struggling to find people to fill low paid jobs as the travel time and costs make a lower paid local job more attractive (or even the dole), the only solution is a US style rent control system, its not just people on the dole finding rent too expensive.
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#59 User is offline   icey 

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 12:57 PM

View PostBam, on 01 January 2013 - 07:45 PM, said:



Quote

After Ms Macklin stated that she could live on the dole - which is about $35 a day - her office issued a transcript to the media which left out the journalist's question and the relevant part of the minister's answer.


Macklin won't release 'inaudible' recording! :emot-doh:
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#60 User is offline   Bam 

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 01:21 PM

View PostRightSaidFred, on 02 January 2013 - 12:18 PM, said:

People do seem to survive on the dole, yes it is challenging, more challenging for some one use to life's excesses ...... reserves don't last long when you have many thousands per month in mortgage payments. Some people find it hard to down size.

You're not offering anything to support how people "seem" to do it. Of course, you're essentially admitting that you don't actually have any idea. You haven't answered the question on how you would survive on $12 a day and keep a roof over your head.

One Australian in 200 is homeless. Any idea why that is? Would you accept being homeless as a necessary condition for surviving on the dole?

Quote

On this issue what Hypocrisy has the coalition practised ?
The ALP were very savage on this particular issue when in opposition.

I never said anything about the Coalition's hypocrisy on any specific issue here, but was making a more general observation.

Quote

I said its possible to live on the dole as many do, are you saying they don't ?

Well, if you give up luxuries like food and housing costs, you can probably survive sleeping rough outside somewhere. If we are

Quote

WRT to living near a capital city, CBD areas are struggling to find people to fill low paid jobs as the travel time and costs make a lower paid local job more attractive (or even the dole), the only solution is a US style rent control system, its not just people on the dole finding rent too expensive.

Another solution is for employers to offer more attractive jobs such as providing better job security with permanent work instead of temporary or casual roles. Employers in a CBD location who are only offering casual roles with 4-hour shifts or shorter should not be surprised if there are few takers. Employers who want to fill a CBD role should offer something better than casual part-time work or should be willing to negotiate.

Even for permanent roles, travel time is a factor that many people take into consideration. Given a choice of roles where one is within 15 minutes of home and another requires an hour-long commute, the farther role must stand out significantly if it is to be considered. Even 20% more pay may not be enough to entice some people because some people may factor the length of the commute into the pay equation. Who wants to devote 47.5 hours a week (37.5 + 10) to a job if an equivalent role only requires 40 hours (37.5 + 2.5)?
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