Very moving. Everyone I know who had done this has been touched by it. - Jo
Wonderful. I always ask myself will someone die if I fuck up? Will it matter in 3 months? And who fucking cares?
Works for me. The swearing part is important apparently. ;-)
x - Michaela C
Our focus on women and children and their difficulties ignores the elephant in the room. Where is the father/partner in this equation? Where is the support, financial responsibilty, active participation and general parental sharing by partners/fathers? Where are they all? Why has the focus on women and children left them invisible and unaccountable? Is it because we don't expect men to take care of their responsibilities, or is it too hard any issue to deal with? I fully acknowledge that there are many exceptions, including death of a partner, abuse and violence, and other diverse reasons, but is there no way we can broaden the debate to include the responsibilities of partners/fathers? Just a thought. - Nel Matheson
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