A couple of posts ago I wrote about the Minister for Families stating she could live on the Newstart allowance. Personally I think she was talking rubbish that she may yet come to regret down the track. I also mentioned the cost of a few things in remote Australia.
This remote allowance works out – for a single person – at an extra $474.50 a year.
What would the public servants receive when they visit remote areas? The Public Servants Association has a list of the current allowances.
It’s hard to tell what is paid when they come past gazetted towns and onto Aboriginal lands. But their allowance for visiting Alice Springs is a lazy $224.30 a day. Now that covers accommodation and meals (apparently you can’t buy food for yourself when travelling).
But here’s what a public servant would get extra for living remote.
A person on Newstart with no dependants living in remote Australia receives an extra $474. If he/she was a public servant they would receive $1260. It is nice it is recognised it costs more to live remote. But are the costs greater for those with a job?
But the discrepancy is even worse if you have children and live remote. If you are on Newstart you receive an extra $7.30 per extra child a fortnight. But if you are a public servant with kids out bush you get an extra $10.50 a week. Apparently kids of public servants cost more to look after than Newstart kids.
And that’s for the lowest employee class in the table.
Out bush things cost a little bit more. Some of our groceries cost around 50% higher than cities. ATM fees are $2.50 when you try to access your money and fuel around where I am is $2.30/litre for diesel.
The cuts in the single parenting allowance – ostensibly to encourage single parents to seek work when their child turns eight – that commenced today will hurt those more in remote areas where costs are high and jobs are thin on the ground in small communities.
The media has been reporting on this transfer of single parents from the single parenting allowance to the Newstart (dole) allowance. This is a cut of up to $110 a week for single parents.
It is also reporting that the Families Minister Jenny Macklin says she could live off the dole payment of $35 a day (she earns about 37 bucks an hour every hour of the year).
She did. Watch the video.
Her office’s transcript of the press conference does not mention it at all. It states (inaudible) in a number of places including the question in parts and her response.
Added 2nd Jan: It seems journos don’t believe the response from Macklin’s office. They have asked for copies of their recording which the Minister’s office has refused to release.
Some journos have picked up on this and queried it with her office. Apparently the office recorded it on an iphone.
With a large number of media recording it – I’m sure they saw the press conference on the tv – couldn’t they have corrected these “inaudible” bits and given an accurate account of what Minister Macklin said?
Who knew the World Health Organisation puts out a new year’s message?
This short video summarises some of the work and achievements of WHO through 2012. Of interest to me was 100 million meningitis vaccines administered in Africa and India not having one case of polio in 2012.