Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Nothing honourable about the Budget:

Kerry Arch is an advocate for sole parents. This is her open letter to politicians after last week's Federal Budget.
By Kerry Arch
Date: May 23 2014
Editor Rating:
mum-and-daughter

I want to share my disgust about the Federal Budget handed down by the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, and the Treasurer, Joe Hockey. Their titles are 'Honourable' but there was no honour in this budget. 

I am a single parent of two beautiful teenage boys 13 and 16. I have worked all my life. However, as of last year I was told I was to be made redundant mid this year. I started desperately looking for another job. I applied for job after job after job. I can now see how those on the 'dole' become life long dole recipients.

The flow of returned emails stating, "You were not considered for the role at this present time, but hey don't give up trying", are disheartening. The nil response is probably easier to deal with.

Finally you get an interview and you lose to someone else with more experience in the field you are applying for. I am a payroll officer. I have worked for the YMCA for the last seven years and they taught me everything I now know. Before that, I was a data entry operator who was promoted to assistant supervisor at the National Australia Bank for nine years. I went for interview after interview. Even the recruitment agents stop ringing as they put forward other more 'experienced' applicants instead. They don't see you as sell-able.

Well, how are you supposed to gain experience if you can't get a job? Finally after eight months of trying, I landed myself a position where they are happy to train me in their particular field. They saw that my experience with particular national awards couldn't be much different to their retail award. Finally I found someone willing to give me a go. 

Now my position was secured, I gathered up the courage to ask why I was chosen. They stated that another two were actually better qualified but they weren't in a position to start when they needed. Another man had applied; he been out of work for 12 months due to illness. He did a payroll refresher course to try to ensure his position. He wore an ill-fitting suit and had greasy hair. The recruitment officer told me she couldn't sleep for three nights thinking about him. However, this time I had one-up on someone and I now had the extra experience, but I felt so sad for this man.

Those that need it the most, end up the ones left behind. I am saddened this is the society we live in today. 

The Federal Government is much the same. They look after those who are capable and successful and they leave the rest behind. For a Prime Minister and his Cabinet all celebrating mass I would think these men would have Christian values, these being, “to love your neighbour”.  

In my opinion, Tony Abbott has forgotten how it is to love his neighbour and he is turning our nation against each other in a class war. I reject the policies that are to tear apart families with financial stress.

  • Please reinstate Parenting Payment for Sole Parents and leave their Family Tax Benefits and Support Bonus' alone.
  • Don't touch our Low Income Super Contribution which will ensure a lower rate at retirement.
  • Please support the youth of this country, especially at a time when they need the support the most with the sky rocketing youth unemployment.
  • Stop fraud from ex-partners trying to avoid child support for their children.
  • Please don't add charges to doctor visits. That's why we pay the medicare levy in our tax each year.
  • Stop the incorrect usage of the 457 visas which are forcing our citizens to work for even less than the minimum wages.
  • Be more vigilant of businesses doing the wrong thing, ie. paying cash in hand.
  • Please don't increase the price of petrol, with that all the cost of living will rise. 

Many in our country are working very hard yards to get by. Please don't entrench them into a life of poverty. Please don't allow our sole parents and their children to fall further behind or even worse still return back to relationships that are rife with abuse. How many more women and children are to die at the hands of their abusers? 

I hope you can see that cuts now might save a Budget now, but in the future it will only cause more harm and create more need for services that could have been avoided if the right supports were in place now.

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