Should people be able to live on the dole ?

by fulltimestudent 24 Replies latest social current

  • fulltimestudent

    A petite row is brewing in the Australian teacup. Jenny Macklin, a rather grandiosely titled, Minister for Families, asked by a journalist, whether she could live on the $35 dollars-a-day social services payment for job-seekers, replied that she could! But her staff cut that comment out of the official transcript.

    The row is a bit more complicated than that- but that's the gist.

    The full story is at:

    I've got no idea what special pioneers get in Aust. these days*, but it is likely less than that.

    So is anyone here living on A$35/day or its equivalent?

    * In truth, I must admit that one benefit of all the wasted years serving Yahweh and Jesus, was that I learned to live cheap. So as a poverty stricken student I get along quite well, excepting my list of books I want to buy, grows longer and longer, and the Aussie bookshops charge about double the international price.

  • finally awake
    finally awake

    I think the basic issue is whether or not the dole should provide more than just enough to survive on. IMO, welfare is a safety net to keep people from starvation. I don't see any reason for basic welfare benefits to provide more than subsistence level benefits. I don't know what the exchage rate is, or the relative costs of living, but $12,000 where I live (small town US Midwest) is enought to squeak by on, as long as you don't have medical issues.

  • jgnat

    I've been on social assistance. My son, a natural miser, lives on a pittance. It can be done, but at what cost? Middle wage income earners, because of readier access to transportation and some disposable income, can take advantage of sales. People on the lower rungs, have to buy their subsistence fare as soon as the cheque comes in, usually at a higher rate. Big box stores are on the outskirts, not readily accessible by transit. So these people on subsistence take their groceries home by cab. Not very economical.

    To do an end-run around the system, they make use of soup kitchens, food banks, and charities. There's a community kitchen started here, that helps single parents fill up their larders.

    A single parent friend of mine with four children, stocked up the closets with second-hand clothing in a variety of sizes. When a child outgrew an item, all they had to do is go to the communal closet and pick something else out.

    I've seen my son grocery shopping, and it was an eye-opener. A bag of frozen peas. A family size package of hamburger, and a bag of potatoes. He headed for the till.

    During those hard days I always made sure I had eggs, flour, and powdered milk on hand to the end of the month. It's amazing what can be put together with very little.

    I think it would be great if more Ministers of Families gave a try at living on subsistence for a month or so. On the condition that they first empty their larders.

  • moshe
    So is anyone here living on A$35/day or its equivalent?

    Yes, you can, but you have to get creative on your housing. There is a lot of unused space on business roofs. What works in Florida may not work in your climate. (the police broke up that campsite in a month)

  • dreamgolfer

    HECK NO! if you dont have a house, work on getting one! I dont care where you live, but if times got you down, just ask for some help, but DONT EXPECT THE GOVERNMENT to keep a roof over your heads, (that was your parents responsibility for having, raising and teaching you to be industrious)

  • Broken Promises
    Broken Promises

    It's possible to survive in Australia on $35 a day, but don't expect to be able to buy fresh fruit and vegetables, run and maintain a car properly, have holidays and don't you dare get sick or have an injury!!!

    As a(nother) full-time student, that's what I'm living on. I survive, but I live from fortnight to fortnight.

    And Australian prices for food and other retail goods are much higher than American prices, due to our fresh food not being subsidised like the US govt does, plus a standard Goods and Services Tax (10%) that's added to everything.

  • brinjen

    I'm currently on unemployment. Nope, not easy at all... don't expect it to be but the gap between unemployment and the pension nowadays is ridiculous. $100 a week difference. It used to be around $25. You still have rent to pay, bills etc. Rent takes up half of that... big part of the reason why I left Darwin. Can't pay rent and eat at the same time on the dole there.

    I realise it's not to be regarded as a long term income... but what else do you do when you are looking for work?

  • St George of England
    St George of England

    The situation is the UK has become so bad that for many unemployed people, especially if they have children, it is uneconomical for them to go to work. We have all seen high profile TV programmes where individuals deliberately keep having children because it pays well. They have limited or no real skills and so could never earn what they receive in benefits.

    I saw a programme about Spain recently; apparently benefit there stops after two years.


  • bigmac

    the simple fact is--in the UK there are very few proper jobs available for most young people---its a pointless wild goose chase for many. so--they start young families--get state benefits including housing costs paid--and often get more than they could hope to earn --IF they could get a job.

    so--what else are they supposed to do?

  • Lady Lee
    Lady Lee

    wow quick calculation - I am on disabilty and getting a whopping $27 a day

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