Thursday, July 17, 2008

Our lives on Kafkalink's lawn

DH has been peremptorily summonsed to an interview with Kafkalink for a "random sample survey" being conducted on her Newstart Allowance.

She will have to rustle up in short order:

  • proof of birth
  • original documents to the value of 50 points that will help confirm your identity
  • proof of Australian residence, if you were born outside Australia (for example, your passport or
  • details of any employment undertaken in the last 12 months (for example, payslips)
  • all current bank, building society or credit union statements or passbooks
  • details of any income you receive from any other sources (for example, real estate, boarders,
  • details of any assets with proof of income (if any) you get from these assets
  • details of what you have done to find work in the past 4 weeks (if you have a Job Seeker Diary

There is nothing "random" about it. Centrelinks's internal administration is so hopeless that their left hands don't know what their right hands are doing. DH is, as befits her advancing years, on quarterly reporting, rather than fortnightly reporting. So when she reported her last job, a contract for 4 weeks beginning in May, she was told not to worry, just report it on the 1st of July. Idiot she is, she trusted them and didn't insist on a written copy of the determination. Meanwhile, data matching apparently shook her out in the interim, thus it was that the system once again went into fibrillation with all the alarm bells going hysterical

Now you would think that with so many people on quarterly reporting, Kafkalink would have figured out a process for handling intermediate income without dragooning its "customers" through this tiresome process that we have all gone through so many times already.

Monday, July 07, 2008

HCF toothache agony

DH has paid a fortune to HCF over the years for very little benefit.

She is in it basically for 3 reasons

  1. Howard's stick - join now or burn in public hospital limboland for every

  2. Howard's destruction of dental hospitals. She never wanted to be in a position to have to walk around with a big black hole in her smile.

  3. She is able to bundle her mother, now 80, with herself and child, and so it seemed like a necessary investmant

Currently the rate is about $55 a week. Thank Goodness, none of them have been in hospital. Well her mother has, but she was advised that she would get a better deal in a public ward, so never used it.

Now finally, when DH is getting to the age when her investment in Health Insurance might reasonably be expected to have paid off (God Forbid!), current economic realities are forcing her to lose her grasp on the payments.

She needs to have an infected tooth removed, but she is getting up to nearly $500 in arrears. What to do? Borrow money to catch up with the payments, and hope her job-seeking efforts pay off soon? Drop the insurance and just pay the dentist? How agonising would that be after having sunk so much money into this outfit over the years?

You would think that a wealthy country like Australia, with a fortune coming in in mineral sales, and hardly any population to speak of compared to the rest of the world, could organise to have its population's toothaches cured, without having recourse to visiting Thai Budhhist monks coming here as an act of charity to fix the teeth of the poor, (as reported in the Daily Telegraph. See Wake up and smell the bad breath. Something rotten in the state of Howard's Australia.)

Friday, July 04, 2008

The Chrismas Island Hilton: A Holiday Camp for Housos?

One of the most depressing things about being caught in a poverty trap is that you never get to have a real holiday, no matter how hard you work.

DH and daughter have not been out of Sydney for more than 3 days at a time in 21 years, except for the few times they wore out their ever-dwindling welcome with their Qld friends*.

So it was with a growing sense of excitement that she read today's news that Christmas Island had been refurbished to Hilton standards

She has always longed for a Pacific Island holiday! Why not send all up in relays, for a well deserved break?

As long as it's not a one way ticket...

The Brits thought of it first in 18th century to deal with their excess populations of ill-housed wretches.

The Krauts refined the concept.

Excuse DH, but being a post-war baby, the idea of "Concentration Camps To Go" in remote locations is a bit of a worry. Course it cd never happen here.