Thursday, March 02, 2006

DH Carer's Pension cancelled.

If it wasn't enough that DH is facing eviction proceedings, she has now had her carer's pension cancelled. Why? Because she cannot make ends meet unless she works more than 15 hours a week. To qualify for Carers Pension you need to work less than 25 hours a week. And then just when you think you can somehow do it a stretch, you discover almost by accident that in fact its less than that because Centrelink wants to know exactly how many hours you take to travel to work so that they can delete that from your allowable hours. With the traffic snarls in Sydney, it takes DH 1 hour each way, or 10 hrs a week in Sydney buses. Once again, Centrelink and DOH act in tandem to pincer Carers.

Take a look at DH's CV to the left of this column. She is hardly a welfare bludger and gives back a hell of a lot more than she gets both in her underpaid job, and as a volunteer. Over the years she has saved taxpayers a fortune in services for carers that they didnt have to provide because she did it all herself while managing to work fulltime, acquire an honours degree, be a volunteer and a community activist.

Let us be perfectly blunt. If society is not prepared to foot the additional bill for disabled children, mandatory abortion of suspect foetuses would be far more efficient and less hypocritical.

Yet the system manages to wrongfoot and almost criminalise her about a bill for approximately $2000. While DH has to endure verbal abuse from a low-ranking and dysfunctional public servant who has the power to treat her as if her only aim in life was to cheat the Department of Housing of 2 weeks rent, Kerry Packer just got a state funeral for not paying any tax on his billions, and for his services to that neediest of social groups, wealthy obese old rogue males. (who else needs those ambulances with their expensive defibrillating gizmos?)

To be fair, some of this is simply because the system does not recognise or understand the hidden costs of Autistic Spectrum Disorders and how they affect a life trajectory in work and welfare.

Fortunately, DH is an incurable change-agent, and she feels a PhD coming on.

Who needs money and secure housing anyway, as long as you have an interesting life?

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