Because we’re a classless society, right?

There’s been a lot of stuff floating around in the media the last few months, and it just reminds me how absolutely ludicrous the claim that Australia is a classless society is.

In 2012 ACOSS released their report into poverty in Australia, and found that 1 in 8 people were living below the poverty line. That’s a poverty line calculated at 50% (and then recalculated for 60%, the standard European Union calculation) of median income. Obviously it’s not going to compare to many developing countries, but it gives us a nice idea of where we are in terms of the western developed world. ACOSS’ poverty line was calculated at $358 per week. My Centrelink payments as a student living away from home works out at $240 a week, including rent assistance. And I’m not as bad off as some other people I know. Go figure.

As on January this year, single parents were informed that as soon as their youngest child turns eight, they aren’t eligible for single parent payments anymore. Because obviously, if your kids are eight, they don’t need parenting anymore. Those parents will now get put on Newstart allowance and will be expected to find work, but the waiting period for employment seeking help has also been doubled. Because it’s so easy to find work when you have kids in school, right? There are so many jobs that only allow you to work 9-3pm. Pension cards for those single parents also got cut.

That issue spurred another whole debate around Newstart and whether one can actually survive on it. MP Jenny Macklin thinks she can. Of course, it’s easy to say that when you’re paid more than $6000 a week. Down to $35 a week? Yeah, she’ll just rely on friends for the time being, and free parliamentary lunches, and just delay paying her rent until she’s finished her week’s challenge. Over at Hoyden About Town there’s an excellent takedown of the whole thing.

There seems to be a pattern of the well-off and powerful telling the poor that they’re all just lazy bastards as well, going from Andrew Laming’s inflammatory tweets about Logan residents last week.

Mobs tearing up Logan tonight. Did any of them do a day’s work today, or was it business as usual and welfare on tap?

Um, I think we’ve already established that living on welfare isn’t exactly as wonderful as everyone rich seems to think it is. The whole debacle seems symptomatic of Gina Rinehart’s way of thinking – if only those stupid poor people on welfare would get their acts together, am I right? They have it so, so easy, not knowing how to pay their next bill, barely getting by from day to day. God forbid the car has to be fixed or something, that’s just not going to work at all.

And on top of everything, the gender pay gap is ever increasing.

And they say we live in a classless society that doesn’t need feminism or social justice anymore. Pull the other one.


2 thoughts on “Because we’re a classless society, right?

  1. I agree with your comments: however – the pension cards were not cut after all… centrelink assumed (or wasn’t told that they wouldn’t be cut) and told all parents going on to Newstart that pension cards would no longer be given out, or useable and then have had to let parents know that pension cards are still applicable.

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