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June 24, 2024

Why jobseekers were abandoned

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The Echo loves your letters and is proud to provide a community forum on the issues that matter most to our readers and the people of the NSW north coast. So don’t be a passive reader, send us your epistles.

Many were left puzzled by the recent federal budget by Labor Treasurer, Jim Chalmers, with its projected surplus of $9.3 billion. 

Why were JobSeeker recipients left trying to exist on just $385 a week? It is $200 below the Henderson poverty line, which is a measurement of poverty developed by Professor Ronald Henderson.

They can barely manage to pay rent as well as buy food, let alone clothes or anything else.

There are around three quarters of a million Australians on this allowance. Some have been on it for ten years. 

The sad fact is very many people are simply incapable of working, whether through physical, mental or emotional disability. 

The term ‘jobseeker’ that everybody accepts as normal now, is a prejudicial term introduced by the Morrison government four years ago. 

It implies that every person on these benefits is actively seeking a job, when for a significant number of people that simply is not possible.

It goes back to the early days of the hard right Abbott Liberal-Nationals administration, when Treasurer Joe Hockey demonised people out of work. He said at the time: ‘The average working Australian, be they a cleaner, a plumber or teacher, is working one month full-time each year just to pay for the welfare of another Australian’. 

He added: ‘We must reward the lifters and discourage the leaners’. That brutal attitude led to the catastrophic Robodebt scheme and destruction of so many lives.

This cruel division of Australians into ‘us and them’ has effectively continued with this latest mean budget. The budget surplus alone would more than lift all the three quarters of a million people out of work above the poverty line, with a billion to spare. 

The unemployment rate is also rising, as engineered by the Reserve Bank, to keep inflation in check. 

Telstra has just announced plans to sack 2,800 employees, as the CEO, Vicki Brady, pockets $5.25m in pay and bonuses. 

As has been demonstrated by the former boss of QANTAS, Alan Joyce, employees of this once state-owned airline are now just dispensable pawns in the corporate game.

Profits vs wellbeing

Corporate profits always take precedence over the livelihood of employees.

Directors regard shareholders’ interests as paramount, even though this is not specifically stated in the Corporations Act 2001.

The Corporations Act 2001 is outdated, and needs urgent revision to give higher priority to employees, as well as responsibility of corporations towards the environment.

Currently, corporations virtually control governments of both political persuasions, assisted by multi-million dollar donations to the major parties.

Neither Labor nor Liberal will want to put that at risk, so reforms to the Corporations Act 2001 will in reality only happen if the government of the day has to rely on support of crossbenchers in both houses of parliament to get legislation passed.

The homeless also received no joy from this budget. 

There’s no urgent plan of any sort to house them, even in temporary housing – and winter is coming. The number of desperate homeless people is increasing in our shire.

As we likely head into recession and the jobless rate rises inexorably, the situation will get significantly worse.

Obviously, it takes time to build community housing with the income from the $10b social housing fund, set up by Labor, plus the extra two billion dollars added to gain Greens’ support, after much argy-bargy and name calling.

Tiny homes to the rescue 

There are other options in the meantime, and one is tiny homes. 

They are self-contained and far cheaper and quicker than building permanent dwellings.

There are manufacturers of moveable self-contained solar powered tiny houses, including in Byron Shire. They could do with a helping hand to produce these in numbers, at a fraction of the cost of building houses. 

Siting tiny homes would need to be addressed in consultation with local government and landholders.

Some countries are providing powered warm sleeping pods for up to two people to keep the homeless safe, especially in winter. These can be produced for around $1,000 each using recycled materials.

The $2.6b earmarked this year in the budget for the ridiculously wasteful AUKUS nuclear submarines would provide over 20,000 tiny homes to house a sixth of the homeless people in this country.

As well as the desperately poor, unemployed and homeless, Australia’s public health system is in tatters. It’s common for sick and injured people to wait for eight hours and more in hospital emergency waiting rooms all over Australia. 

This also needs urgent funding.

There’s no valid reason or excuse to leave jobseekers well below the poverty line, and not to look after the most vulnerable in our society as a top priority. 

There’s no actual need to have a budget surplus to try to prove the government’s economic credentials to the conservative media. 

The decision to do so is a political decision, not an economic one.

♦ Richard Jones is a former NSW MLC and is now a ceramicist.

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  1. I also was sorry to see no increase in jobseeker, Richard. However this once again tells a partial story and gives zero credit to what has been done:

    Jobkeeper was increased in real terms last time.
    As well the rate for over 55s (after 9 months on the benefit) is $816.90. This cohort covers much of the group you refer to – long-term unemployed and other barriers to work.
    Eligibility for the single parent payment also restored the previous increase in age for the youngest single child.
    Rent assistance has been increased in real terms for two consecutive budgets
    Other cost of living measures assist all allowance recipients as well: reduced prescription costs, more bulk billing, Medicare urgent care clinics, energy bill relief etc.

    Hospital ERs have long waiting times because of a lack of bulk billing clinics and a lack of GPs – reason: they’re not paid enough. Progress has been made here but do you expect to turn around ten years of neglect in just two? So many of our GPs, and other medicos, come from OS – what will we do when the Coaltion cuts their numbers?

    Before you pronounce that “ Australia’s public health system is in tatters” perhaps you should experience the wonderful care you will receive as a public patient on Medicare – or talk to people who have. Let’s not be too ungrateful here!

    Telling us what the surplus would pay for just gives me insight into the frustrations governments, who occupy the treasury benches, must endure negotiating with the limited fiscal knowledge/concerns of cross benchers. You do know don’t you, that a surplus or a deficit is determined by calculation of the difference between government expenditure and government revenue FOR ONE FINANCIAL YEAR!

    Sure 9.1 billion might let you bring jobseeker to the average wage – FOR ONE YEAR! What do you do the following year if, as predicted there is a deficit? Keep adding 9.1 bil to the national debt annually?

    Now when it became apparent that there was going to be a healthy surplus last financial year, Labor added another 2 billion to the HAFF. Sure, that might have been to convince the Greens to stop holding up desperately needed housing, but it was done outside negotiations with the Greens and minus any undertakings from them. But let’s keep just putting it down to the Greens as accepted fact now.

    That injection of extra funding is the sort of thing you can do with a surplus – one off investments to provide ongoing dividends as opposed to signing up for payments in perpetuity in a boom year. It’s called financial management and someone’s got to do it.

    Let’s also just take as accepted fact that AUKUS (or by implication any defence spending) is money wasted – without giving any justification for the assumption.

    Let’s not talk about workers’ rights without acknowledging that the only party that has truly looked after the interest of employees, both in the past and in the last two years, has been Labor. Who was it who initially wouldn’t pass Tony Burke’s Labor reform bill? Not the Greens – ✅ to them – but other crossbenchers.

    Mate, there’s no equivalence between the nasty content, rhetoric and intent of the 2014 budget and the last two from Labor – that had to deal with a post Covid economy and juggle expenditure with inflationary pressure. So how about leaving off trying your damndest to get the other lot back in!

    • Well of course I’m aware that using the surplus covers just the one year. Tax revenues need adjusting as Bill Shorten was attempting to do. Capital gains tax was wrecked by John Howard for example and needs repairing. The entire tax system needs an overhaul to counter the ever increasing inequality.
      We waited in Emergency at Lismore Hospital for eight and a half hours and finally left after 11pm. Others just left untreated because they were tired of waiting. Of course the staff, nurses and doctors were absolutely wonderful when they finally were able to see us.
      I’ve been told an eight hour wait in emergency is normal across Australia.
      Successive Coalition governments have tried to decimate Medicare and Fraser even abolished Medibank. Bob Hawke brought it back of course.
      AUKUS was Morrison’s wet dream that still lives on with the Albanese government.
      Surely you don’t support it? We won’t even have guaranteed control of the subs if in fact they are ever built. They are not defence subs, they are offensive- in every way.
      If the US military-industrial complex starts a war with China, we will automatically be drawn in. The Australian people will have no say in the matter.
      No one can deny jobseekers are living $200 a week below the poverty line – under a Labor government. You’d expect it from a Coalition government.
      Of course Labor is far better than the Coalition at looking after disadvantaged Australians but nowhere near good enough for the current emergencies, especially with the unemployment rate creeping up.
      I don’t want the “other lot” back and have never indicated that. I do want an authentic Labor government and not merely Liberal Lite.

      • Well if you know what a surplus is Richard, why do you tell us what it would fund, as though it will be available every year – as though surpluses of this size are commonplace and not due to identifiable current extraordinary factors?

        You didn’t answer my question about adding 9 billion to the national debt each year if the surpluses don’t keep rolling in.

        A bit of obfuscation? – like omitting the details I included in my rather long reply about the assistance that NOW exists in addition to the base jobseeker rate.

        Now I know A&Es the country over are under huge pressure (for a range of reasons) but it’s a bit lacking in robust data to pronounce, “Australia’s public health system is in tatters” on the basis of YOUR visit to Lismore hospital one night recently plus what you’ve heard on the grapevine about the rest of the country.

        The Australian public health system is so much broader than emergency care and anyone I’ve heard remark on their experience of it is blown away by how lucky we are to have it.

        But you expect Labor to transform the situation in every A&E in the country in two years. IF we could build more facilities fast enough and IF we could magically conjure up all the extra qualifies staff necessary, how much do you calculate this would cost? And would this be in addition to the 9 bil spent lifting every government allowance?

        You don’t have to “indicate” you don’t want the return of the Coalition, presenting the most selective information in the worst possible light is enough. As is pretending that all we need is a whole lot of Greens or independents for whom it’s so easy to tell people what they want to hear.

        • You must have missed the bit about tax reform. Quite obviously if there is increased expenditure to lift unemployed and unemployable people up to the poverty line, there needs to be increased income to pay for it.
          There’s plenty of scope for that without hurting the economy and people’s living standards.
          I’ve run a multi million dollar corporation and know how this works!
          You play down the crisis in health care. You need to talk to the average person in the street and your eyes will be opened.
          Rusted on Labor supporters will defend their party no matter what as will rusted on Coalition supporters. Their parties can do no wrong. Trump supporters will support him to the end as well.

          • I certainly did miss the bit about tax reform, Richard, – but that, I think, is because it isn’t there. Are you back-peddling now on your extravagant claims about everything that can be done with a $9 billion surplus.

            You must be feeling chastened to get confused like this Richard, but also to flick the switch to personal attack. Comparing us with Trump supporters – wow that’s below the belt!

            Guess what, negative critique of your writing does not automatically equate to a blind, ignorant, uninformed and blind adherence to an alternative view.

            Saying there are many positives to our health system is not to deny there are problems (it’s you making the broad sweeping statements after two years of a change of government)

            You’re the commentator here and I was responding to your offerings. If my purpose or remit was to write a column giving a broad analysis of the budget you might be in a better position to make your charges.

            Have another look at the general tone and slant of your writing here Richard, and ask yourself (with your both eyes open) how balanced, fair and objective it is.

            I’ll continue to call out the quality of balance and political analysis in this paper. It doesn’t mean I’m a fool!

          • Btw, I am the average person in the street and so are so are my family and personal network. Specialists tend to charge way too much and GPS are well overdue for boosts to their Medibank rebates, but anyone I know is thankful for the universal health cover, championed by Labor governments and wound back at every opportunity by the Coalition.

            What is the relevance of the multi million dollar corporation and what has it taught you about how “this”? What?

          • And just one more – tax reform. The last attempt at tax reform, commentators like to tell us, was the one your old party went a long way towards giving us – the GST.

            How much of that meagre $325 each week goes in that 10% surcharge on just about everything: energy bills, clothing, shoes, soap, shampoo, toilet paper, fuel and a range of pre-prepared convenience food that can be the staple of the elderly and the homeless.

            Was that a good idea?

  2. Richard, I see you are having another whack at Jim Chalmers budget, it seems you are not impressed by whatever the Labor Govt does to lessen the cost of living pressures affecting Aussie households, I could assume that you hold an economics degree and your past experience in politics makes you an expert in all things fiscal. As for the Jobseeker payment, the Labor Govt has increased it since they came to office, and as for people who are incapable of working they shouldn’t be on Jobseeker they should be on a disability pension. And as for people being on it for 10 years “trying to exist on $380 a week”, maybe they should lower their standards and get of their collective arses and get a job. Is there actually anything that Jim Chalmers handed down that does get some credit from you?

    • You sound so much like a Coalition supporter! “Get off their collective arses and get a job”.
      That could be Joe Hockey speaking.
      The poorest in our society should receive the highest priority. Taxes on the super wealthy need to be increased but Labor is not doing that.
      There are good things in the Budget but it’s woefully deficient in looking after those many thousands of people living rough and mothers living in cars with children.
      You have very little compassion.

      • Mr Jones, if you think that there were “good things” in the budget, then instead of continually carping on against it and following the Greens narrative of mindless negativity, why don’t you actually step up and say so? As for that blowhard Hockey, that statement about getting a job, just might have been the most honest thing that he ever said. Mr Jones, as I said, you are a long way short of being an expert on all things fiscal. Any Govt cannot fix everything in society, yes some people do need help, but it’s a two way street, people do need to do more to help themselves and stop relying on Govt’s for everything, and people like you need to stop telling them that it’s ok to just keep doing it.

        • Keith really, RJ say something positive about the budget – or Labor‼️In the Echo⁉️

          Why even in David Lowe’s dissertation on Australian racism he used, as his very first example: “When the ALP was formed in 1891, its very first federal objective was the ‘cultivation of an Australian sentiment based upon the maintenance of racial purity.’ Accidental 🤔

          What contemporaneous institutions were any different? How many way worse? And no mention of the background here of the Labor movement’s fight in the 19th century against a semi slave trade of South Sea Islanders brought in to work in the cotton and sugar fields to undercut local wages.

          No mention of Labor’s 20th pioneering of anti discrimination legislation, Mabo the establishment of the Human Rights Commission. Of course not! And which party advanced the Uluṟu statement to a referendum (as requested by First Nations leaders) and has been its only unwavering political support base? Yeah, nah – no mention of that either.

          Labor Keith, is the enemy!

        • Keith, people receiving PovertyKeeper receive if for a reason and it is one of those payments that has tight eligibility requirements, unlike that $300 Budget free for all including wasting it on Billionaires, eh.
          But great words, NOT, from you about people lowering their standards and getting off their arses. So many lay abouts just choosing to live below the poverty line, yeah.
          Perhaps you need a spell of living below the poverty line, it might just learn you up, get your mind right and stop punching down on those less fortunate in our society.

    • They certainly do not have the same values. Labor is relying on those living below the poverty line to vote Labor knowing they’d never vote for the Coalition. Fortunately there’s more of a choice these days.

  3. Albo and Jimbo prioritised the likes of Gina, Clive, Dick and Twiggy getting their desperately needed $300 energy bill cost of living helpers over those on PovertyKeeper.
    These are choices that the government deliberately makes.

    • So you think boomers like me (the main cohort doing the spending right now) should get $500 like last year, while low/average/middle income earners (those under most mortgage/rent stress) should completely miss out. Yep, this is the choice that the government clearly didn’t make this time 🥳

      • Mr Lizardbreath I’m at a loss, what did Gina, Clive, Dick and Twiggy do to our old mate Joachim?, he is certainly in a state of complete paranoia and all over $1200, (300 multiplied by 4, maths are not Joachim’s strong point). I’m sure Gina, Clive, Dick and Twiggy are very happy and will put the money to good use, maybe they might use it to campaign against the Greens ideological hatred of all things mining at the next election.

        • As night follows day here comes old chum Keithy with another of his untruthful Greens distract and divert scribbles. Keith it ain’t hard to stay on piste, unless of course you can’t defend the indefensible, yeah. Ouch!, we feeling your pain old son.
          Keithy, we feeling you perfectly well, your ALP mob wasting money is okay with you.
          Your $1,2000 thing, you now trying to trivialise the waste, that $1200 somehow doesn’t matter. Add on all the other billionaires ( like Gerry, Mike, Sol, on it goes ) and multi millionaires – have your contacts at ALP HQ dig up the numbers and get back to us – collecting their $300 helpers that they don’t need it and shouldn’t be anywhere receiving and the $’swasted add up.
          The principle of protecting the public purse, NOT wasting one dollar, our Keithy and his ALP mob not having any of it. No Siree. All those $’swasted that should be directed to helping the most vulnerable in our society. Or maybe not, just stick those $’s into the Budget Surplus and then crow long and loud what great managers the ALP are.
          Poor fellow the ALP and our man Keithy.

          • My God, what a conglomeration of idealistic nonsense, why do you Greens hate every successful Australian who contributes to the success of this great country? After reading your hate riddled rant, it just makes me so thankful that on the Sunday after the next Federal election there will definitely not be a dangerous Greens Govt, or even a Greens coalition Govt in power working to destroy this great country where its aspirational citizens can reap the benefits of hard work. What a poor, sad excuse the Greens are for a political party and more so is our man Joachim.

          • Liazrdbreath, as I have written in other spaces, look up the eligibility that was in place for Budget23 $500 helpers. None of your or Keithy’s Billionaires and Multi Millionaire buddies on the $’collect list there – Aussies most in need, getting the help, something that is seemingly impossible for you to grasp.

          • Just a little clue from servicesaustralia.gov.au:

            “Income limits for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card
            To meet the income test, you must earn less than the following:
            $95,400 a year if you’re single
            $152,640 a year for couples
            $190,800 a year for couples separated by illness, respite care or prison.
            Add $639.60 to these amounts for each child in your care.
            There is no assets test.”

            From the same source, the limits for a part pension: “From 20 March 2024, part pensions cancel when your assets are over the cut off point for your situation. If you’re a member of a couple, the limit is for both your and your partner’s assets combined, not each of you.

            Single- homeowner $674,000 single non home owner $916,000
            A couple, combined homeowner $1,012,500 non homeowner $1,254,500.

            No one should take my word for it – look it up!

            Many older Australians, as the Greens keep telling us when it suits the campaigning, own their homes outright or have – after years of paying them off – low mortgages.

            Are you sure all these people represent “Aussies most in need” right now? More in need than many a non homeowner on an average wage? You don’t think broadening the eligibility beyond last time was a good idea?

            If your answer is yes, you have to deal with the minor details of establishing cut-off points, subjecting people to filling out 30 pages of application for $30O and dealing with the admin of verifying all the application – and still getting out relief in some sort of reasonable time frame.

            Leave off the 🦜 cries of “Aaaaaaak, Gina, aaaaaaaak Twiggy” for a minute and think about it. To deny everybody – which is the likely alternative – is the extreme of minute mindedness.

            Even your mate Adam Bandt “called the measure a “bandaid” measure, arguing the government should have gone further!” abc.net.au

          • Lizardbreath, deary me.
            Here you come with an attempted takedown of Leader Adam with, “Even your mate Adam Bandt called the measure a “bandaid” measure, arguing the government should have gone further!” abc.net.au”.
            Is this really you, or is it old mate Keithy copying his lines received direct from ALP HQ to you to run with.
            No doubt it was a feel good for you selective piece of the cherry pickings.
            But hey Lizardbreath, what was the full attribution to Leader Adam on abc,net.au under the headline and report –
            ‘Treasurer says $300 energy bill relief could not have been means tested’
            By political reporter Tom Crowley Posted Wed 15 May 2024, updated Wed 15 May 2024 at 1:54pm
            Well here it is –
            “Greens leader Adam Bandt also called the measure a “bandaid” measure, arguing the government should have gone further.
            “We would like to see electricity treated as an essential service. There’s a lot more that could be done to bring down the cost of electricity… [the] budget is a betrayal of people who are doing it tough.”
            Lizardbreath, if ya gunna quote, then please do it properly.

            And further still in that same article we had Senator David Pocock with –
            “Senator Pocock told the ABC it was “ridiculous” to make the measure universal.
            I think maybe politicians are just out of touch. We’ve got three million Australians living in poverty in this country, and you’re going to give me and other politicians on six figure salaries $300,” he said.
            “It doesn’t make sense to me.”

            And further still in that same article –
            “Grattan Institute CEO Aruna Sathanapally agreed the measure was not “well-targeted”, suggesting this was not the optimal way to design cost-of-living relief.”

            So yeah, I’m not alone in pointing out the senseless waste of money that is going to Billionaires and Multi Millionaires, the Gina, Twiggy, Clive, Dick, Sol, Twiggy, Gerry, Mike…on it goes.
            Its just the ALP wastefully spending $’staxpayer, not that the ALP cares that much as we see with $’s40millions Stage 3 Taxidermy ad campaign, $’s620,000 for Bill’s speech writer.

          • Mr Joachim seriously, it is beyond belief that you and your big city Green ideologs are wasting so much political capital pursuing this fanatical and trivial line of attack on Labors energy bill relief. You big city radical Greens are fast becoming nothing more than opportunistic, dangerous, anti-everything extremists, even that moron Dutton is making more sense than you irresponsible clowns. It’s so, so great that you crazy mob are NEVER going to be in any sort of Govt.

    • What is povertykeeper Joachim ? Oh you mean
      Welfare ? Government’s don’t have any money
      Only what Taxpayer’s provides them with ..
      PovertyKeeper is more than what they will receive
      In the majority of countries in the world..
      How good is Australia !

    • They are not prioritising Gina, Clive etc so much as ordinary Aussies struggling to pay rent/mortgages. You refuse to engage with the issue. There are not that many billionaires in this country so a few lots of 300 bucks is a trivial consideration in a multi trillion dollars economy.

      It might make for good propaganda to toss off these names but it’s rather difficult to write legislation that says “give $300 to every electricity account holder except Gina, Clive, Dick and Twiggy”.

      And btw, those on “poverty keeper” will get the $300 off their electricity bill too! You did know that didn’t you?

      • Lizardbreath, I feeling that Gina, Clive, Dick, Twiggy, Mike, all getting their $300 helpers is still stinging you.
        It’s just all too hard for the ALP to stop Billionaires collecting S’s that they don’t need or deserve rather than direct those precious $’staxpayer to those they are deliberately being kept below the poverty line. Those on PovertyKeeper watch on in awe, Not.
        Hundreds of bureaucrats in ALP’s employ but its beyond them all, eh. ALP happy to giveaway $’s to Billionaires. This is a waste that the ALP should be ashamed of but somehow its all okay because its just, “a few lots of 300 bucks is a trivial consideration in a multi trillion dollars economy.” Got it now, 100%, the ALP must get the free pass.

        As this plays out we have Billy Shorten / NDIS going the other way, trying to protect $’staxpayer.
        Why is $’sNDIS worth protecting but $’senergy bill helpers isn’t? The principle applies equally, those that shouldn’t get $’staxpayer are not to receive $’staxpayer.

        • It’s not stinging me Joachim – but you’ve got a case of broken record syndrome. I just find it astounding that you just can’t (or won’t) get it.

          You’d rather spend more in administration than a few handouts to a few billionaires will cost. Or you’d rather see millions of electricity consumers miss out on assistance ‘cause Gina will get $300 (which she’ll probably give to the Olympic swim team anyway!)


          you know you’ve made a complete dill of yourself with your total Green-like inability to grasp administration and practicality. Which one is it? AND-

          You didn’t answer me yet about whether you’re happier to see a large chunk of the assistance go in $500 handouts to retirees like me than see wage earners get $300 of their electricity bill.

        • Joachim, telling me I didn’t quote the whole article then filling up space with doing so yourself does NOT address the challenge I have put to you. Nice try though.

          I’ll try to simplify it. There are 4.2 million retirees in Australia.

          According to the Age/SMH: “ The latest data shows that only 31.8 per cent. 17.6 per cent are partly self-funded, still drawing a part-pension. 37.1 per cent are fully self funded, a growing cohort. (Look at the figures above to see what that means financially)

          MANY retirees are multi millionaires (one of your favourite terms). Many part pensioners are not far behind. They are driving most of the spending in our otherwise current sluggish economy.

          Now come on Joachim, you Greens love to bash property investing “boomers” when it suits you. Can you REALLY tell me you think confining the energy bill rebate to allowance recipients (as in last time) – a group that has its fair share of multi millionaires – while giving no COL relief to low and middle income earners is good “targeting”.

          Just answer me that one or don’t bother getting back.

          • That should have included: “ 31.8 per cent of Australians are completely dependent on the age pension in retirement”

  4. Lizardbreath, you had that ABC News item ‘in full’ but your quoting of Leader Adam from that ABC News item ‘wasn’t in full’.
    There’s no filling up space by me, nice try by yourself though, your accurate quoting is what was missing , which I have highlighted and is understandably so uncomfortable for you to see happen and be reading.

    You seem to be making the case with me, targeting those $300 helpers to those deemed most in need like the eligible for Budget23 $500 helpers –
    Pensioner Concession Card
    Health Care Card
    Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) Gold Card holders marked with any of the following: ‘War Widow’, ‘War Widower Pension’, ‘Totally and Permanently Incapacitated’ (TPI) or ‘Disability Pension’ (EDA).
    Commonwealth Seniors Health Card
    Family Tax Benefit A and/or B
    People using certain energy-intensive life support equipment at home

    Please let us know who and where the Multi Millionaires are in the above.
    I’m guessing Gina, Clive, Twiggy, Dick, Mike, Gerry, Sol….on it goes, aren’t in the eligibility groups.

  5. Joachim old son, is this infantile repetitive attack on the ALP Govt’s energy bill relief the only issue you inner-city Greens can conjure up since the budget? it’s becoming very tiresome to us regional people. I thought you fanatical city mob were pretty busy lately supporting the violent attacks by equally fanatical pro-Palestinian protestors on ALP offices, “leader Adam” once again, seems unable to control his rabble of a party, unless of course he himself may be complicit?

    • Wow Mr Duncan, you must have chosen the right day to hit that “Post Comment” button.

      Don’t worry about Joachim, I’m personally finding all the dodging and weaving of my question amusing.

    • Our Keithy, the distraction and diversion champion busy once again.
      Best stay on topic and not put your foot in your mouth, tread carefully about insinuations, your handler at ALP HQ, Attorney-General Dreyfus can school you on the danger.

      • Handler – how preposterous!

        But it takes a brave person to take on the AG in a law suit. I think Mark knows a thing or two about the law.

  6. “I’m guessing Gina, Clive, Twiggy, Dick, Mike, Gerry, Sol….on it goes, aren’t in the eligibility groups.”

    Probably not, but you’d deprive many a low and middle income earner of the $300 to keep them out.

    Read again – S L O W L Y

    “From 20 March 2024, part pensions cancel out when your assets are over the cut off point for your situation …

    Single- homeowner $674,000 single non home owner $916,000
    A couple, combined homeowner $1,012,500 non homeowner $1,254,500.

    “Income limits for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card
    To meet the income test, you must earn less than the following:
    $95,400 a year if you’re single
    $152,640 a year for couples
    $190,800 a year for couples separated by illness, respite care or prison.
    Add $639.60 to these amounts for each child in your care.


    I think there might be some multi millionaires in that lot Joachim. So I’ll repeat:

    Can you REALLY tell me you think confining the energy bill rebate to allowance recipients (as in last time) – a group that has its fair share of multi millionaires – while giving no COL relief to low and middle income earners is good “targeting”?

    Just answer me that one or don’t bother getting back.


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