JENNY Macklin’s assertion that she could live on $245 a week is simply absurd.
The Families Minister has shown she is outrageously out of touch with the people she is meant to serve when she declared she could live on $35 a day, while earning $6321 a week.
Newstart is meant to support people while they find a job and $35 a day is simply inadequate.
The allowance may be liveable for an 18-year-old fresh out of school, living at home and searching for their first job.
It could be sufficient for a university student who lives in town, has few transport costs and eats baked beans every day.
But for most people on Newstart, it is simply not enough to get by on, let alone to facilitate finding a job.
It’s even worse for families.
A mere $35 a day does not go anywhere near meeting the essentials like rent, bills, food, clothing and school expenses.
This does not even cover costs associated with gaining employment: transport, interview clothes and phone bills, to name a few.
It creates a vicious cycle where people are unable to get a job, destined to live so shockingly far under the poverty line it’s too absurd for most working people to fully understand – as Ms Macklin displayed.
Ms Macklin’s attitude shows an utter lack of empathy when it comes to those in need of support.