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Raising Newstart Allowance
and means testing the Childcare Rebate to pay for it


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#1 Guest_bottle~rocket_*

Posted 18 December 2012 - 12:29 PM


This article talks about the need to increase the rate of the Newstart Allowance (or the dole, if you prefer).  I agree that the rate of Newstart is paltry and urgently needs to be increased.   This writer suggests means testing the childcare rebate to help pay for it, and I think she makes a good case:

http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/...1214-2bfdo.html

#2 ekbaby

Posted 18 December 2012 - 12:38 PM

I definitely think Newstart needs to be raised, especially now that they are expecting single parents with children over 8 to live on it. $246 week is just not do-able.

#3 lozoodle

Posted 18 December 2012 - 12:46 PM

What a joke.

#4 liveworkplay

Posted 18 December 2012 - 12:46 PM

QUOTE (ekbaby @ 18/12/2012, 01:38 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I definitely think Newstart needs to be raised, especially now that they are expecting single parents with children over 8 to live on it. $246 week is just not do-able.


Actually according to the online estimator you with one 9 year old, $0 income, $300 a week rent, no child support and $100 in the bank you would be getting nearly $950 a fortnight in government benifits. Not great but significantly more then what you quoted.

Edited by liveworkplay, 18 December 2012 - 12:47 PM.


#5 JRA

Posted 18 December 2012 - 12:46 PM

QUOTE
I definitely think Newstart needs to be raised, especially now that they are expecting single parents with children over 8 to live on it. $246 week is just not do-able.


Err  since when? Someone with low income and children would also get FTB-A and FTB-B. But heh, that doesn't make a good story!

Edited by JRA, 18 December 2012 - 12:47 PM.


#6 Tigerdog

Posted 18 December 2012 - 12:47 PM

I wouldn't agree with an increase in the dole per se, however I would approve of an increase in rent assistance to come into line with rates in the private market and other such incentives rather than handing out cash to be used on anything.  Don't forget, people on certain unemployment streams (including those long-term unemployed) can access a lot of financial and other support via their job network agency.  If in very dire need and on, say, Stream 4 they can go onto the Personal Support Program, or PSP, where the agency pays for courses, clothing for interviews, mobile phones, emergency relief vouchers and even in some cases, short-term motel accommodation for the homeless.  There's a huge amount of funding allocated to these services (not mentioned in this article, obviously!) but people need to be meeting their Centrelink mutual obligation requirements to get access to the help.

Edited by Tigerdog, 18 December 2012 - 12:53 PM.


#7 Peridot

Posted 18 December 2012 - 12:53 PM

Or maybe keep the dole as it is, and give fortnightly vouchers for food (not alcohol and cigarettes), power, petrol, public transport, clothes etc..

#8 Feraldasherie

Posted 18 December 2012 - 12:56 PM

QUOTE (liveworkplay @ 18/12/2012, 01:46 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Actually according to the online estimator you with one 9 year old, $0 income, $300 a week rent, no child support and $100 in the bank you would be getting nearly $950 a fortnight in government benifits. Not great but significantly more then what you quoted.




And having $175 a week for everything else is living the life of Reilly.


------

#9 Guest_bottle~rocket_*

Posted 18 December 2012 - 01:03 PM

QUOTE (JRA @ 18/12/2012, 01:46 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Err  since when? Someone with low income and children would also get FTB-A and FTB-B. But heh, that doesn't make a good story!


The $246 per week quoted is the max rate of Newstart for a single person without dependent children. Are they not worth caring about?

Edited by bottle~rocket, 18 December 2012 - 01:04 PM.


#10 niksia

Posted 18 December 2012 - 01:04 PM

Peridot - we really need a like button in here.

My understanding of Newstart is that it is not to "live" off, it is to "survive" off temporarily until you can find another job.

In saying this I do not think that the single parents, disability etc should be bundled into this or similar categories. Instead of giving big cash amounts put the money were it is needed. Instead of CCR put funding into childcare to help reduce fees. Instead of the education bonus thing, give it to schools based on a per capita rate etc etc. At least then the money is going were it is meant.

Of topic slightly and I am sure I will get flamed but I would have no problem allowing for free contraception programs. Not just condoms but the pill, depo, whatever to reduce the accidents from just taking the chance (I know no contraception is 100% but not using any has an even higher fail rate). This is purely to try to stop the cycle of poverty. If this is available it is not well publicised - I recently had a conversation with a 17yo with intellectual delays who was having unprotected sex because she could not afford contraception  ohmy.gif

#11 Bluenomi

Posted 18 December 2012 - 01:04 PM

Great, so I can go to work, pay a stack of taxes to help pay for Newstart and now I can pay them more and loose the only benefit I get from the government?

How about they use that big fat surplus they insist on needing.

#12 Oriental lily

Posted 18 December 2012 - 01:11 PM

I agree vouchers for food, housing assistant and greater rebates for utilities is far better than a cash increase.

#13 Guest_bottle~rocket_*

Posted 18 December 2012 - 01:13 PM

QUOTE (Oriental lily @ 18/12/2012, 02:11 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I agree vouchers for food, housing assistant and greater rebates for utilities is far better than a cash increase.


Why?
The have already brought in vouchers with the income management program and that seems to have lots of issues.

#14 Oriental lily

Posted 18 December 2012 - 01:25 PM

Because the reason that the new start needs to be increased is directly due to utilities, food and housing increasing.

So any increase should be used to cover these costs.

They still can get the the 246 a week, but vouchers for food  and a bigger percentage of a your utilities being covered would be a extra boost.



#15 Guest_bottle~rocket_*

Posted 18 December 2012 - 01:30 PM

I would suspect it is more cost effective to increase the rate of Newstart than introduce vouchers with the associated administrative costs.  

But doing things the most cost effective way isn't really what it's about, is it?  The whole mentality behind vouchers is that people receiving Newstart can't be trusted to spend the money wisely.....


#16 belsy

Posted 18 December 2012 - 01:33 PM

The figures would never add up.

There is approximately 750 000 on Newstart Allowance at $50 per week that is $37.5 million dollars.  Multiply that by 52 you end up with nearly $2 billion a year.

Making the assumption that the 133 000 families that only receive CCR wouldnt be eligible in the future (very unlikely), that makes just under $1 billion saving.

Where is the other billion or so coming from?

#17 HRH Countrymel

Posted 18 December 2012 - 01:34 PM

QUOTE (niksia @ 18/12/2012, 02:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Of topic slightly and I am sure I will get flamed but I would have no problem allowing for free contraception programs. Not just condoms but the pill, depo, whatever to reduce the accidents from just taking the chance (I know no contraception is 100% but not using any has an even higher fail rate). This is purely to try to stop the cycle of poverty. If this is available it is not well publicised - I recently had a conversation with a 17yo with intellectual delays who was having unprotected sex because she could not afford contraception  ohmy.gif


I am under the impression (from my students) that these things are free - or near to - if you have a health care card then your prescriptions are capped at some low rate, your Dr's visit is bulk billed, and condoms are freely available from most youth services, family planning, HIV services, student associations et. al.

Where are these prohibitive costs?

#18 Guest_bottle~rocket_*

Posted 18 December 2012 - 01:34 PM

QUOTE (niksia @ 18/12/2012, 02:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Peridot - we really need a like button in here.

My understanding of Newstart is that it is not to "live" off, it is to "survive" off temporarily until you can find another job.


That is how it is supposed to be but the reality for many people is that they cannot get another job and they are forced to rely on Newstart long term.

QUOTE
While Newstart was envisaged as temporary support, more than 60 per cent of recipients have been unemployed for more than a year. As one welfare group put it, Newstart is a pathway to poverty - not a job.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/...l#ixzz2FN3JZtz1



#19 liveworkplay

Posted 18 December 2012 - 01:34 PM

QUOTE
And having $175 a week for everything else is living the life of Reilly.


I didn't say that, but its better then the $246 a week needed rent and the rest to come out of.

As PP have said, newsart is not an "income" to live off. It is a minimum amount to (barely) survive whilst finding a job.

I live in a very high unemployment  area. But there are jobs. Skilled and unskilled out there. If you really really want to work and are physically able there are jobs there. The trouble is (where I live) there are generations worth of long time unemployed  working the system. As someone who has come from a family who struggled financially but always worked no matter what the job, I have no sympathy for such people. My dad has (what would be now classed) as a pretty major learning disability yet he has always worked or gone out actively looking for any temporary work he could get. There is (99% of the time) no excuse.

#20 Overtherainbow

Posted 18 December 2012 - 01:39 PM

There is a post on the lack of viability for a families second income.  To means test CCR would mean some families will be out of pocket to gain a second income.  

I think there needs to be a look at why people are on newstart and help to get them back in employment.   I also think FTb - a should be reduced as children become older unless parents work, volunteer or study.  I have friends who are full time SAHP to older chn because they balance an income against benefits and decide it's not worth it.

#21 Oriental lily

Posted 18 December 2012 - 01:40 PM

Charities will not give out cash.
There is a reason for that.

My dad is on a disability pension and mum is his carer.

They would be thrilled with food vouchers or a higher percentage reduction in utility bills.

They would know it would result in more cash in there hand from their pensions that they could put in other areas.


A genuine person struggling on new start would not have a problem with it.

BUT there is a percentage that misuse goverment payments.
This is a reality.

By saying that does not mean the majority does.....

#22 JJ

Posted 18 December 2012 - 01:42 PM

QUOTE (liveworkplay @ 18/12/2012, 01:34 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As PP have said, newsart is not an "income" to live off. It is a minimum amount to (barely) survive whilst finding a job.



Yeah, but even minimum amounts need to be raised from time to time, especially when barely surviving isn't really possible anymore. I'm also not sure why it should be "barely". Surely you have a better chance of finding employment when you are properly fed, dressed and generally not stressed out of your brain about where your next tin of baked beans is going to come from.

I think it's a fine line between making a payment too high and thus too attractive to some, and not high enough forcing people into poverty.

I knew people on the dole who couldn't afford to rent a place over 10 years ago and were forced into shared accommodation (which isn't something every person can handle) - I have no idea how anyone would do it now, let alone how they eat and pay for everything else.

Edited by JJ, 18 December 2012 - 01:45 PM.


#23 JRA

Posted 18 December 2012 - 01:50 PM

QUOTE (bottle~rocket @ 18/12/2012, 01:03 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The $246 per week quoted is the max rate of Newstart for a single person without dependent children. Are they not worth caring about?

FFS I was responding to this comment

QUOTE (ekbaby @ 18/12/2012, 12:38 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I definitely think Newstart needs to be raised,
QUOTE
especially now that they are expecting single parents with children over 8 to live on it
. $246 week is just not do-able.


Which is WRONG, that is not the amount a single parent with a 9 yo is expected to live on

I think $246 for a single person is too low. But I wasn't commenting on that!!

#24 SeaPrincess

Posted 18 December 2012 - 01:52 PM

QUOTE (Overtherainbow @ 18/12/2012, 11:39 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
There is a post on the lack of viability for a families second income.  To means test CCR would mean some families will be out of pocket to gain a second income.

I suppose that might free up some jobs to get more people off Newstart?

#25 asdf89

Posted 18 December 2012 - 01:52 PM

QUOTE (countrymel @ 18/12/2012, 02:34 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I am under the impression (from my students) that these things are free - or near to - if you have a health care card then your prescriptions are capped at some low rate, your Dr's visit is bulk billed, and condoms are freely available from most youth services, family planning, HIV services, student associations et. al.

Where are these prohibitive costs?



on this side note - a health care card doesn't discount the price of the pill (or at least not the pill I was on). When I had a health care card as a student, things like antibiotics, cortisone cream were given at the discounted price ($5.80 I think) but I still paid full price for the pill.

I think the discounted prescriptions only applies to things on the PBS.




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