Saturday, 9 June 2018

The plight of pensioners - whilst the gov claims "economy booming" in Australia

BTW that's our fridge in the above photo. Now that the Turnbull gov has cut the fruit and vege charity that we used ($12 for a big box) to fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme, it's hard to find the money to replace all that at the shops now. Looking on the bright side, it's a good opportunity to give the fridge a clean :s

We're in the midst of a "five dayer". A five dayer is being just about flat broke for 5 days in a row. On this occasion Friday was the first day and we don't get paid again until Wednesday. 

Actually it's not as bad as it looks. All we really need is some frozen veges. We've bought various cuts of meat/chicken/sausages all around $5 or so each packet in the fortnightly shop and frozen them, and we have half a big bag of potatoes in the cupboard, so some frozen veges is about all you need for a square meal. We're both very good shoppers, spending around $150 a fortnight between us to get by. Having a local Aldi is a huge help, so so much cheaper. Plus we're both good cooks and can make something nice out of very little.. And no we never eat out except on rare circumstances.

All the bills are paid well ahead from our Super money when it comes, including even our Opal travel cards. Dunno how we'd get by without the financial hardship payments we can get once a year each from our Superannuation. Yet there's people in Australia trying to do just that. We're on the Housing waiting list for four years now, our biggest fear is that our Super will run out before we get a place. Presently between us we pay about 60% of our income in rent, and it's been that way, or near that way, for the last 4 years.We have no assets other than what we have in the house to live.

We both went and saw Matt Thistlethwaite recently (our local Labor federal member of parliament) after I sent him an angry letter about the Turnbull gov cutting our charity and our housing bla) who invited us to discuss these issues. He has in turn written to the relevant state ministers and I've posted the letter below he sent in doing so. However I'm not holding my breath. All it will be is another review getting nowhere because of the rules. But anyway very nice of him to give it a go.

We're certainly not alone in this. There's thousands of us across the country. The New Daily has done an enlightening report on it. Economy booming the gov tells us. For who?

Patricia Andrew has no savings, no super and no assets.

 She’s survived months without spending money on groceries.

 She’s forgone necessities like heating and healthy food just to keep up with rent and pay for utilities.

But despite all that, 69-year-old Patricia – who receives the maximum rate of age pension – is on the brink of homelessness.

 There are no longer any affordable rentals for single pensioners in Australia, forcing many elderly into homelessness or onto public housing waiting lists, Crystal McDonald from Housing for the Aged Action Group (HAAG) says.

The average cost of a one-bedroom, private rental for a Melbourne-based pensioner who receives the full age pension is 79 per cent of their income, she says.

 “It is near impossible to find stable, affordable housing as a pensioner with no assets.” The New Daily

Interactive at the link

Letter back from MP Matt Thistlethwaite