Can we please clarify that not all single parent families were moved from PPS to Newstart - only those who were grandfathered by the Howard government when they brought in the changes many moons ago. It was Howard and his cronies that singled out and privileged a group of single parents, allowing them to recevie more than anyone in similar circumstances who didn't benefit from the grandfathering, or never received PPS in the first place (Not everyone's marriage ends before their youngest child turns eight).
While I don't believe that Newstart is sufficient to live on and raise children easily I am very much against this focus that has been placed and what is in reality a small group of people. How about fighting to put everyone on PPS or to increase Newstart rather than just a few. - Carz
Well spoken, Vanessay. I cringe when I hear people go on about single mothers. As if it's only the mothers who deserve the social stigmatization and the husbands, boyfriends, partners don't.
And as if the two parent family is so perfect. As if no two parent family lives off the taxpayer or eats junk food.
But more important than the social stigma that attaches itself to their children is the poverty that disadvantages them and how it can be transmitted to the next generation.
Many single mothers are close to the bread line and that's not good enough. Do we want them on the street? How would that look?
It's no better than kicking someone when they're down. Un-Australian. - Rhoda
I was just going to comment on the same thing! I worked on my first Apple computer in 1989, aged 20 - and they have the hide to say over 40 is too old to learn? We've "grown up" with computers too - they just can't do the maths. - HellB
We give aid to overseas countries to strengthen the education of women and female children so that future generations in those countries are not raised in poverty. The single most important factor contributing to low birth rate is education, yet we defund single mums in our own country so that their education and that of their children remains at a low level thereby perpetuating the poverty/ young mother cycle.
Three stories from my life. Mother A became a single Mum when her husband was killed crossing the road at work to get his lunch. Mother B became a single M um when her husband was stung by numerous large ants while at work (anaphylactic shock) and Mother C's husband said "goodbye, I love you, I'll see you tonight" and got on a plane, flew interstate and texted her to tell her he'd had enough. That Mum has 5 kids, one with a disability.
Furthermore, the waiting rooms of the oncology and specialties dealing with kids with disabilities like autism at the Children's Hospitals are full of single Mums whose partners have "had enough".
There are also women and children who will lose their lives because they are too afraid to leave abusive situations because of the this constant putting down of women who access benefits and fear that they will not be able to survive on the benefit if they are able to muster the courage to leave.
These are the mums these government decisions are hurting, not the VERY few Mums who think they can keep having kids to keep getting benefits. People who are determined not to work will always find a way not to work.
The whole thing is demeaning to single parents and to women in our "advanced" country. - vanessay
Great article. Regarding Newstart and the $35 a day question - I have experience of living on this and came across this equally relevant blogpost regarding the topic -
http://50shadesofunemployment.blogspot.com.au/2013/01/australia-on-35-day.html - Antonio
Jack, sorry had to laugh. Now where do I start. Are you saying the UN should take on China, India and the rest and play policeman? How? With guns or a rolling pin?
No man is an island. The earth has to be shared. People migrate or flee their country of birth for any number of reasons and have been doing so since they discovered the world wasn't flat. Before that even.
Tightening border security correspondingly attracts criminals into people smuggling. Because they can make money out of it.
Economic migrants needs a legal channel to enter this country and the quota needs to be the number that deters illegal entry. We are lucky that geography prevents immigration en masse. There are only so many planes that can land immigrants in one year and so many boats that can land on our beaches. And it's a long walk across desert from the Kimberleys to Sydney and Melbourne if they did.
You're safe Jack. - Rhoda
Mmmm. When I turned fifty, I received in the mail: Depend samples, a Lifeline keyring, and of course that bowel cancer detection kit.
From telemarketers, how I love those calls asking me to consider the purchase of a funeral plan. When I pick up the phone I live in hope it's a job interview request. But no - more often it's the funeral plan.
On TV, there they are again. Those lovely ads starring "us oldies" promoting: dentures, more funeral plans, more incontinence pads - it goes on.
What we need is a federal politician (non-gender-specific) to make a long and tearful speech about age-discrimination. The higher profile of the politician, the better. That way it could go viral, just like that popular speech about misogyny.
Ad campaign sorted.
I wait in hope. - Hilary
Fussy! Ruth, I am 50 and applying for any job - from the bottom up. Is being a Lollipop Lady fussy?
I have qualifications, skills, experience. I only just got my degree last year (I'm a slow learner, and it was merely a
bucket-listed thing - boring I know).
As a child of hard-yakka Italian migrant parents who've never needed to take any kind of pension in their lives, and know they never will - I find it tiring to hear the term "fussy" used in regard to the mature age jobseeker problem.
Fussy - is the term that best describes ageist recruiters,
and the younger employees who refuse to work alongside older recruits (and their "old daggy ways").
The related term "Job-Snob" has arisen lately as well. Easy terminology used across the media by myopic politicians (et al) needing to divert attention from actual causes of issues (like age discrimination). And they now have the factual research to prove its existence.
The media/political/community demonisation of older job seekers/welfare recipients, is the elephant in the room, that's allowed age-discrimination practices to proceed unchecked by the powers that be - in the first place!
What don't you understand about the Age Discrimination Act? It is easily reached online (via the Australian High Commission for Human Rights website).
Maria. - Maria
Sorry, forgot to say my father faced the age thing when he was 45 in 1982. The job went to a younger person who had the tickets but no real experience. Within the month they called my father back as the young person couldn't do the job.
When will we get it? As already stated, that it takes years to build up knowledge in a given field, let alone life experience. - Julie R
Your're right Rhoda. That's another big assumption - that anyone 50 plus (even 45 plus), has some kind of juicy nest egg to fall back on - or that we have a hubby, partner (whatever) to support us.
I'm 50 (and as a childless, career & carer spinster) have always supported myself. And, I would continue to do so - if I could get past age-biased recruitment triads and land a job - any job.
I guess our comfortably paid, and relatively "young" libster and labour pollies, with their short-sighted views, see the world from the rose-coloured lenses of the privileged few.
Our politicians (good, bad and even ugly ones) know that when they retire (ideally at around 50 plus) they'll be financially secure for life with more than adequate polly superannuation system.
This makes it all the more infuriating, when (in order to meet Centrelink's Mutual Obligation) we ("older" welfare recipients) have to attend weekly (day-long) JobSeeking activities classes (great for a chat & fee sandwich though) with other assorted "unemployables".
Actually, as the weeks go by, my Job Services Australia "unemployables club" is becoming more and more fascinating as an insight into the whole ridiculous situation.
Meanwhile, back at parliament - our politicans sit on their well paid bottoms, igoring the issue, until it's time for them to go home.
To use a labour catch-phrase - isn't "it time" our leaders confronted age-discrimination by first looking at the recruitment practices of their own government organisations.
However, It seems that if your 50 and in a job, you possibly are secure. The key problem is obviously at the job applicant end for new recruits (as the research and comments following this article indicate).
I agree, that an anti-age discrimination advertising campaign, targeted at employers, recruiters, and even the general community - is long overdue.
I also think that younger "20 & 30 something employees, need to be educated about respect for diversity of age. You only have to look at Roxy in Celebrity Apprentice to see why we are, where we are. - Dolly