http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/-/latest/150 ... yment-cut/
Two weeks ago I was approached by a government agent while I was in fixing up some payments and forms for Morgan for her secondary studies. I was a bit teary at the time and she came over to ask after me and the girls. H was with us and we got talking about my concerns for H in the coming year and her safety after school as she wont be eligible for "child care" or after school care at her age. The government got out of billions of dollars of child care costs a few years ago by decreeing that all children over 12 are perfectly capable of looking after themselves by themselves at home if their parent/parents are working.
H is a good kid, but I wouldnt leave her alone for any length of time, let alone all day during the school holidays with her condition. I have tried letting her come home alone on her bike (count the minutes on that one), I have tried letting her let herself inside and then lock the doors. . . and half an hour later come home to find her with all the doors open. I have tried "being a stranger" and she opens the door every damn time.
So this agent told me I should apply to be her "carer" and not a "single parent". Its not as easy as it sounds. Proving she is not capable of being alone requires X amount of points, reports from four or five specialists (I have ONE) all of which cost the earth to get... and then going through hoops and jumps to prove it. Then interviews with her. As you all know she can be a VERY rational expressive young lady at times.... then two minutes later she will climb the rail on the back deck and balance three stories up. I know parents of severely brain injured children who have to work the required hours under the "single parent" agreement and leave their teens alone. Thankfully I have managed to meet requirements with a part time job until now and with the aid of after school care, and a boss who gives me the jobs that fit in with her times, have managed to be with her when she is home.
I like working. Life is easier when I work more than a part-time job. There is more money. But I cant do 9 hours a day and travel AND weekend rosters.
This new legislation means that those part-time hours are now invalid. "Newstart" (job finding) means you can be forced to take any job offered to you regardless of the hours. And frankly I am quite highly qualified when it comes to job hunting. Alot of jobs now though require you to work weekends or Thursday nights.
So not only am I going to be up against a brick wall NOW trying to justify being her "carer" (because you can bet all the other mothers of handicapped kids in my boat will be also looking to re-qualify), there will be a huge percentage of people who just dont want to work wanting to slip the system too. It also means that hundreds of thousands of other sole parents will also be desperately looking for exactly the same jobs as I need JUST to make up the lost income.
Totally apart from my own situation.... there are some parents who are not going to manage on these cuts. My heart breaks for them and their children. I mean WHY
would they even think of cutting the educational assistance to students who are parents???? A parent who is studying full time is now required to also look for work AND raise a family AND take a hit financially???
Just keep swimming... just keep swimming.. just keep swimming....