Just wondering if anyone else has had a chance to go over the Federal Budget for 2015, and some of the ways it may impact single parent households?
The main area I've been looking at is the abolishment of the childcare benefit and JET. I will miss JET the most. It was a good initiative that helped sole parents entering the workforce a little bit of a head start with those initial extra expenses.
The new scheme seems to be encouraging for low income parents, which most of us are, but once you earn over $60, 000 there is no assistance. That's not a very high threshold to meet for many, and hardly what would be considered high income when you have children to support.
It was recently rejected by the SSAT that my sons education would come to $100 per week (I have receipts, it easily does, even in government schooling, which he's not in due to his special needs and need for extra attention (which education has received funding finally so that children can get the extra attention the need in government schools). I'm not sure how these out of touch lawyers in the SSAT are going to wrap their heads around the reality that childcare on average costs over $100 which is more than most of us earn. Once we earn more the the $30 threshold, 40cents out of every dollar goes back to centrelink- that's half our income gone right there, then we have living expenses and childcare and education to meet. It seems to be designed to keep single parents and their children trapped in poverty. I don't see how we could ever get ahead.
And then, if you're blessed enough to have parents like mine that will help you meet some expenses, csa and ssat will raise your income by 10's of thousands too, while ignoring the father getting over $300k from his family and his wealth which by far exceeds the modest income they claim.
Personally, I would rather not have to burden taxpayers or my parents, though I truly believe the majority assist us with their heart and do care, they're the reason I'm so proud to call my children Australians because they've stepped in and have helped me raise them. I think, just like the female lawyers that have been spoken about that have been using the paid maternity scheme to "double-dip", which has been referred to as fraud, the same scrutiny should be applied to non-custodial parents claiming a low income when their lifestyle and property and savings a clearly show that's not the case. They should be adequately contributing to the childcare and education fees. I have no idea how my daughters fathers self-support amount could work out as so much higher than mine with two children in my 100% care, and the best they could do is to force me to work when I clearly can't afford to given the expenses and deductions involved. It's basic social policy knowledge and common sense.
Then there's the fact that you must work at least 24 hours over two weeks to get any assistance. So what does that mean for mothers looking for work? What does that mean if you lose your job or have a sick child that you need to be there for?
These are some of the questions the Budget isn't clear on in the new childcare initiative. It looks good on the surface, as all parties know how to spin their policies to make them seem, but once you scratch the surface we have yet another web of poverty and dependency on taxpayers and the community.
My greatest struggle has been even getting a place in childcare for my daughter. They talk about inclusiveness and single parents are meant to be a priority, but we aren't in many childcare's. I actually spoke a while ago with a phD candidate on inclusiveness that told me siblings, then two working parents, then single mothers are the priority. Hope she fails miserably in her thesis. Clearly there are some things, even as simple as the concept of inclusiveness, that you just can't teach at uni.
One possible good thing for single parents could be that their getting tougher on multi-national corporations avoiding tax. Perhaps they'll stop blaming the poor so much and trying to meet the deficit of our backs and other sections of the most vulnerable like the elderly and people with disability, and start looking at those that are economically destroying this beautiful country by avoiding their responsibilities. It's a good thing for the government and our country.
I'm very pleased they're finally throwing more funding into education for children that need extra attention. We've fought for a long time for it, so I hope it's one promise they come through on. That's the most meaningful part of the Budget for me, even though I had to change my sons school because he wasn't getting that attention.
Any other views on the Budget?