We were greeted with the news this week that Centrelink staff have been ordered to make phone calls to more than 80,000 single parents to apologise after advising them to destroy their pensioner concession cards.
This is the latest disaster in Labor’s approach to welfare reform. The government announced last year that it would be moving long term single parents from the parenting payment to the unemployment benefit when their youngest child turned 12.
A few weeks later, in an effort to balance the budget, Mr Swan cut the age to eight.
Latest 2 of 172 commentsView all comments
It isn’t hard to find ways to mock Jenny Macklin for her extraordinary claim that she could live on the dole. But to be fair to her, she was only telling the truth. Of course if pushed we all could live on the dole.
In Africa they live on a dollar a day. People adapt. If $35 a day is what you have, then that’s what you have. Obviously if you are used to being on $900 a day as a cabinet minister then it’s going to be a bit more of a step-down for you than it would be for, say, a cleaner, but if you were happy to be the deputy leader of the Labor Party under leaders as diverse as Simon Crean, Mark Latham and Kim Beazley, then clearly flexibility is not a problem.
But that said, it still showed extraordinary political ineptitude. Let’s go to the transcript, the bit we got, not the embarrassing bit they failed to include.
Latest 2 of 81 commentsView all comments
Oh Jenny Macklin, it’s only the second day of the year and you’re in a deep mess, made messier by the clumsy efforts of your staff to clean up after you.
And now an argument over whether single mothers of children aged 8 and over should work has turned into an argument about the generosity, or not, of the dole. They are actually two different debates.
But now you’ve opened the door to Greens MP Adam Bandt to challenge you to join him in a week-long stunt that will not reveal anything of substance.
Latest 2 of 146 commentsView all comments
Peter Slipper is soon to be painted in an official portrait to commemorate being Speaker of the House. It’ll cost some $30,000.
Fitting, because Labor engineering Slipper into the Speaker’s chair was hailed as a masterstroke at the beginning. But it cost them a lot.
And it could just cost them more.
Latest 2 of 27 commentsView all comments
In the hours before the recent long weekend, when most people’s thoughts turned to families, holidays and grand finals, Labor’s political spin machine was still running on high rotation.
And it appears that even the bipartisan goal to close the gap on indigenous disadvantage by providing clean and safe housing for indigenous Australians is not immune to Labor’s political tactics.
On Friday, 28 September, Minister Jenny Macklin wrote to Queensland Housing Minister Bruce Flegg in response to Mr Flegg’s correspondence regarding the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Indigenous Housing; a seemingly routine matter.
Latest 2 of 32 commentsView all comments
“You’re not welcome on our land, Jenny Macklin.” The young female voice cut the air in Hobart’s Grand Chancellor ballroom at Friday night’s NAIDOC dinner as the Minister departed the stage to the sound of her own footsteps.
Back in 1997, John Howard got the same treatment. At the Melbourne Reconciliation Conference, parts of the indigenous audience silently stood mid-speech and turned their back. The images were flashed worldwide.
But this was different. The voice was Nala Mansell-McKenna, the startlingly young State Secretary of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre. She spoke with authority; having just officially welcomed the 600 guests to her people’s country. Third, apart from the ABC online, the incident went unreported by the Hobart Mercury and other mainland dailies.
Latest 2 of 103 commentsView all comments
The fate of the Labor Government rests in significant part on the performance of one woman, and yesterday she held a press conference in Canberra with Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
She is Family and Community Services Minister Jenny Macklin, the left-winger who has developed a close working relationship with the right-wing Treasurer Wayne Swan.
One senior public servant has likened their unity ticket to the productive collaboration between former Deputy Prime Minister Brian Howe (Ms Macklin’s previous boss) and then-Treasurer Paul Keating – a meeting of left social concerns and economic conservatism.
Latest 2 of 186 commentsView all comments
ATM fees have long been a sticky topic. For many people, paying an ATM transaction fee is an unwelcome but accepted fact of life.
For Indigenous Australians in remote communities however, ATM fees can have a significant impact on their life, swiftly eroding their humble bank balance.
This is the finding of a report released late last year by the feisty Australian Financial Counselling and Credit Reform Association (AFCCRA), titled “ATM Fees in Indigenous Communities”, which focussed on excessive ATM fees in remote communities.
Latest 2 of 22 commentsView all comments
When it comes to waste and mismanagement, Julia Gillard’s Building the Education Revolution debacle is recognised as the gold standard, but it has a new challenger in the form of the Labor government’s Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program (SIHIP).
However, federal Labor – like its state Labor counterparts who gave themselves glowing reports for their management of the BER – has insulted our intelligence by their boasts in early January that it has exceeded its 2010 targets for building houses in remote Indigenous communities.
The reality is the government has blown the same amount of taxpayers’ money on administration costs and inflated salaries for consultants under SIHIP as the disastrous schools halls project, in relative terms.
Latest 2 of 182 commentsView all comments
Read all about it
Up to the minute Twitter chatter
The latest and greatest
Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…
I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…
In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…