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"Due to a separation/divorce in 2014 I was literally ditched with a mortgage I couldn't pay, kids school fees, bills, two kids to feed and an ex who is a narcissistic tyrant who has, for the last three years caused me even more grief.

He has made so many threats, has called child protection and the police accusing me of child abuse, continually tries to control me any which way he can and has brainwashed the children against me.

I'm emotionally and psychologically worn thin, I have lived in fear and now suffer greatly from the stress of it all.

My children and I have to see a therapist through Connections/Anglicare due to his actions in calling the police.

All these things require time and attention for continual appointments.

To add to my stresses are Centrelink job requirements and endless appointments and pressures. Centrelink doesn't consider the situation I am in and how I cannot cope with all the necessary things I already have to attend to for the sake of my children and myself.

Living on bare basics, going to the food bank, eating out of date, bug ridden pasta and rice, and once in a while a friend would help with some spare fruit or veg so the kids can eat. It leaves me feeling so ashamed and embarrassed to be in the position that I'm in.

I have missed many many meals so the kids can have meat on their bones.

Just today I received a Centrelink appointment regarding change of payments. Knowing my youngest who is turning 8 in a few months will mean there will be big cuts to the payments I'm getting. I don't know where that will leave me and my children. If I can barely survive now how will we survive come February? How do I pay the rent, food, school, bills, therapy sessions, etc?? WILL THE KIDS AND I BE LIVING IN THE CAR???

I'm seriously considering the thought that I may have to give up my children to their father. He at least has a home to live in, a mother who already looks after them when they have their time with them, a great income and can afford to make sure they don't go without.

I have no family in Australia, cannot relocate back home with the children for a better life because of the law here, I have no support what so ever! I am trapped! What choice do I have? PLUS no one can prevent the father from this constant psychological torment on me the way he has, not police, no one!!!
Where is the justice?

What's happening to the single parents being targeted like they are criminals or the scum of the earth is cruel, disgusting and unjustified. It's a disgrace to Australia! Many of us have suffered tremendously through relationships that didn't work leaving us in the position that we are in - totally out of our control and the only thing we can do is to fall to government assistance for the ONLY help we can get. But we are again controlled and persecuted. Allow us to raise the next generation for Australia, without suffering again. Many of us have had working lives and paid our due (taxes) which have gone to help the needy and the country AND the government pocket, we too deserve the returns we have worked hard for in the past.

We are NOT bludgers, as single parents our work NEVER STOPS!! It's 24/7 all year round but on welfare it's living on bare bones where we prioritise our children first over ourselves. It's an even bigger sacrifice no one can imagine unless you have or are living it. I have had two payment cuts for non attendance to job recruitment due to errors on Centrelink's behalf and have had to fight it! Twice trying to survive on $100-200 for the weeks it took to fight the errors! It's extremely stressful!!!!

Some single parents don't get child support!!!! At least I'm greatful for what I have, but the sacrifice I may have to make because of payment cuts will mean losing my children to a father and grandmother who are dysfunctional so that they don't suffer homelessness, hunger or the embarrassment that they haven't got a home to live in.

I don't know how badly that will affect the children or myself I can only imagine the incredible pain in our hearts should that have to happen. Everything in the best interests of the children so the law says, this is NOT IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILDREN! It's hypocritical!!!

Don't target us as the reason for the governments purse being empty!! Tax the corporations that pay $1 in tax or the ones that take the AUSSIE DOLLAR overseas!!!!!

Create jobs we can do during school hours, so we can still provide and tend to our kids, have childcare affordable for ALL!! Don't cut the payments so much if we work, raise that threshold a little more so we can breath some sigh of relief so eventually we can be confident that we can get back on our feet again. Being told I'm better off 200$ a month on min wage 15 hours a week without considering after school care for two kids or holiday care for 10 days, extra costs for petrol to travel to and from work plus the added extras DOES NOT ADD UP AT ALL!

The Centrelink system is a nasty, inefficient, cold and impersonal agency who see everything in black and white only. Everyone's situation is different look at it individually and show some compassion. The main branches are horrible, the attending customer service people at the front are intimidating and give the impression they are superior. AND forget about the phone lines!!!

What can I say here...forever waiting 2-3 hours until the phone dies and I have to start over. Lack of knowledge about what they are assisting with, being transferred. The list is endless.

Oh my god! Just help us not hinder is more. I feel like I should just dig my grave already!!!"
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The latest Anti-Poverty Network South Australia Quarterly has come out this month.

Analysis, news and stories from Anti-Poverty Network SA, a grassroots community group fighting for the rights and dignity of those on income support payments and other low income people.

antipovertynetworksa.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Anti-Poverty-Network-SA-Newsletter-November-2...
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"I am writing about the Centrelink payment of Parenting Payment Single, dropping down to Newstart after your child turns 8. Now I have been married before, for 8 years, and have full care of my now 16 year old daughter, who has been in my full-time care for 12 years. I have always worked casually or part-time while raising her.

I then had a second relationship with a man and we have a son together, he is now 5. But that man left us when baby was 9 months old, because he found it all too hard being a family and supporting us on his $85 000 a year job.

So then I was in complete surprise and devastation that I was a mother of 2 children full-time, on maternity leave. I had by then lost my sister to breast cancer and my dad had a fatal heart attack. I was so broken I was going to counselling to keep myself together to raise my kids the best way I could.

After another year of being a full-time mum I did a teacher's aide course, which I didn't finish as the pressure was a lot. But now after 12 months I have been working in a casual job of 8 hours a week, 2 days in retail. I love working and it helps to pay the bills!

After doing this casual job for 12 months, I went looking for more hours in a second job. I was offered a retail job in a another shop 12 hours per week, and I was going to do both jobs, but now the first retail job I've had for 12 months has stopped all of my shifts, finishing me up there now. So trying to get ahead by working more hours and being more financial, and I lose the first job.

I have an account of how much it costs in society to live. I am very good with my budget, I don't buy alcohol, cigarettes or drugs.
Rent 3-bedroom $420 per week, mobile phone and internet connection $65 water $12.50, electricity $30.00, fuel $50.00 Car insurance/rego/service $40.00, groceries,meat and fruit & veg, medicine $150.00 = $827.00. Now this amount is with out school stationary $120 per year, School shoes $100 per year, clothes for growing children $150 per year for my 5 year old boy.

There is not enough job opportunities for mums, I am qualified and am only getting casual work. There is not enough money on Newstart to pay the rent and all of these expenses. The cost of accommodation is ridiculous!!

Please don't reduce any more payments in Family Tax Benefit A and B!!

Make more job opportunities, please!!

There are so many single parent families, we are all struggling!!"
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Anti-Poverty Network SA added an event. ... See MoreSee Less

Campaigns Working Bee/Meeting

December 12, 2016, 11:00am - December 12, 2016, 1:00pm

This is the first meeting of our new, Campaigns Working Group, which would concentrate on building our struggles around 'bigger picture', policy/system issues, i.e., fighting for higher welfare payments, for justice for the unemployed, fighting Income Management. All welcome. Info: Ph: 0411 587 663 E: antipovertynetwork.sa@gmail.com

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A TRIP TO THE JOB AGENCY

'Today's trip to the Job Agency yields these vignettes of the gross indignity and punitive measures handed out to unemployed workers.

An Aboriginal family, three kids in prams, are outside the door. The two men enter with me and put a couple of forms on the desk. The receptionist picks them up and points at them. "You remember what happens if you don't turn up to these appointments...we'll get your payments stopped." They don't answer her, just quietly turn and leave.

The woman beside me sits and waits for her case-manager to call her name. "I'm 64", she says. "I had longtime casual employment at TAFE teaching ESL to new migrants. They scrapped all the funding for casuals, I lost my job, and the full-time teachers now have to cover the work we used to do."

She starts to cry as she tells me the Job Agency has made her do some mickey-mouse Cert 3, that at first she thought might be useful, but now can't bear the thought of returning to. "I'm more qualified to deliver it than those teaching me", she says. "Good luck", I offer pathetically as she heads off to argue her case.
My turn: the child-woman they have assigned to me (the 3rd case-manager I've had in so many months) tells me "You haven't been looking for work outside of what you want to do, we're increasing the amount of jobs you have to apply for. You'll be reaching your Work for the Dole phase soon." "But I'm 54." "Doesn't matter, your requirements will change."

"I have a child at primary school." "You've already had a reduction in requirements for that." "I haven't had a payment for eight fortnights...I thought it was supposed to be a mutual obligation."

"You don't seem to understand the meaning of mutual." "You're less than half my age." She blushes.

My "case-manager" heads off to retrieve my new "Job Plan" and I overhear the conversation in the booth next door. As my unemployed compadre gets quieter his case-manager gets louder.

"Surely I have a say in it. I really don't like the way you're talking to me", says the unfortunate interviewee. "You're unemployed, I've told you before, you have to do what we say...and I don't believe for a second you're looking for work."

It goes on like this for sometime till the manager goes away to get the interminable Job Plan. I poke my head around and say, "You're a 'client', that's the cover they use for this ritual humiliation. Tell him you're a client and you want him to do his job." "Are you a client?" "Apparently." "Did you hear the way he talked to me?" "I did, brother, I heard every word."'
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End-Of-Year Picnic

December 17, 2016, 3:00pm - December 17, 2016, 6:00pm

There will be food and drinks provided, but feel free to bring your own snacks to share, if you like. In the event of poor weather, we will be moving the event to our nearby HQ, 75 Whitmore Square. Info: Ph: 0411 587 663 E: antipovertynetwork.sa@gmail.com

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