JobSeeker and the $50 ‘bonus’

You know how it goes. You’ve finished ferrying 16 items down the checkout conveyor and the assistant says: $142.99 – cash or card? “How do the poor people get by?” I ask of no-one in particular. Later, I went to the butcher ($47) and the organic fruit and vegetable shop ($56), all up $245. She Who Pays the Bills said: “But we only needed a few things”. Now if we were on unemployment benefit, such profligacy…

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How deep is the financial hardship well?

It is probably no comfort to anyone to reflect on the year when investors could get 14.95% on a bank term deposit. It was January 1991, the recession Paul Keating said we had to have. People with personal loans and credit card debt watched horrified as repayment rates went to 20% and beyond. The average variable mortgage rate rose to 17.5% at the same time. The gap between the haves and have-nots in that era…

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