Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Xenophon's Energy Assistant Payment - Carers don't get it (the fine print)

What a bloody con job this whole Energy Assistant Payment (EAP) has been. Either Xenophon was in cahoots with the gov to provide some sort of token gesture in exchange for a $50 billion tax cut for businesses that don't need it (because he agreed with trickle down), or he was really stupid and the gov did a full on con job on him.

So to explain, David and I are both on pensions. I'm on the Disability Support Pension, and David is on the Carer Payment for me. His pension is exactly the same amount as mine.

It was reported that Xenophon negotiated this deal that and Energy Assistance Payment would be paid to pensioners. Naturally one would think that that would be all those on a pension, whatever type of pension it's called. Of course after I got the $62.50 half payment for the $125 couple thing, we assumed David's payment would be following shortly after.

It never arrived. I got an email today letting me know MyGov had a letter in my inbox with them. The letter was a short explainatory note about me getting the EAP, and provided a link to more explanatory stuff about the one off EAP here. Of course with this gov the details haven't been widely explained at all, and if not for the link (which I had to manually type in BTW as it wasn't a hyperlink) I'd have had to wade endlessly through layers of the very user unfriendly Centrelink site to find it. Believe me I've done that many times with other issues.

And then I saw it; the eligibility criteria for getting this EAP for pensioners:

Yes folks, as David's pension is called "Carer Payment" he's not eligible for the EAP

What's more, however you look at it, we're a couple both on pensions. However in the end all we've gotten was my $62.50 for both of us. Less than what a single person would get, but for both of us. What a fuckin con job!

This would affect thousands of carers across Australia, as indeed I expect they're just finding out now.

Xenophon, you are a dead set fuckwit.