22 December 2012

The ups and downs of Parliament 43

I was looking at the stats for this blog and was intrigued to see that the most popular post so far was one of my 4 Parliament efforts, looking at single parents.  For this blog, popular usually just means someone other than me looked at it, but that post actually does stand out.

While I like the 4 Parliament comparisons, one of the problems with them is that they become dated.  Being written at different times doesn't help either, as that can make it hard to compare the various households I've covered, particularly the results from Parliament 43 (the current period).  With that in mind I thought I'd update just the Parliament 43 results for all the households I've covered so far, plus a few extras.  That will make comparisons between household types easier and also allow gossip about which ones are in and out of favour.

09 December 2012

Being partnered is not much of a bonus

[Warning: A commenter has suggested this post is boring enough to provoke actual self-harm]

Considering the amount of attention paid to the findings of the recent Senate enquiry into Newstart allowance (and similar) payment rates, it's perhaps surprising that the introduction next year (from 20 March) of an income support bonus has received little coverage.  The bonus provides up to $175 a year to a member of a couple and up to $210 a year to a single person.  This is in addition to the usual CPI based rate increases.

It's not a straightforward increase in rates, however, and the chosen approach seems to me to be particularly unfair to some couples.