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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Older Australians an economic burden

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s much-reported speech, where he referred to my cohort (the over-65s) as ‘an economic time bomb’, should not be seen as random. The speech to the conservative think tank, the Committee for the Economic Development of Australia (CEDA), was deeply calculated. Frydenberg’s thesis is that older Australians should work longer and take up re-training to help facilitate a return to the work force, thus easing the country’s social security burden. Frydenberg was immediately…

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People without lists are listless

Someone (possibly one of my lecturers), once said: ‘People without lists are listless’ – perhaps an observation on my then lack of motivation. Decades later, I went in search of the origins of this quote and came up empty, although there are many other pithy quotes about the universal ‘to-do’ list. Author Mary Roach, who has many opinions about lists, says that by making a list of things to be done, she loses “that vague,…

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Australia’s hardship index

There’s an Aussie saying – ‘they’re doing it tough’, which can mean any variation on the theme of hardship, be it financial, emotional, physical or all three at once. When the word ‘hardship’ is employed, it typically means financial struggle: in other words, privation, destitution, poverty, austerity, penury, impecuniousness and so on. If you search the word ‘hardship’ online you will find a range of links purporting to explain (if you are doing it tough),…

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