Never let it be said that Twitter can’t convey a message, a life experience or information within the limitation of the 140 character construct.
Earlier today in the midst of all the kerfuffle about changes to the Sole Parent’s Pension and Jenny Macklin’s response about being able to live on New Start payment of $35 per day, L. K. Giesen, with the twitter handle of @theriverfed, tweeted eleven rules for existing on the Sole Parent’s Pension. These individual tweets of her’s said more about what is being faced by single parents who are faced with this desperate struggle than anything else written or stated in the media today.
I felt moved to put her contributions on one page so others might read them. I hope she doesn’t mind but I found it compelling reading.
L.K. Giesen (@theriverfed)
How to live on the sole parents pension.
1. Live somewhere really cheap & socially isolating w crap public transport. Abt 75% income = rent.
2. Use your $15 petrol/pt money getting to half a doz different shops to get cheapest food possible, non-bulk.
3. Never, ever go anywhere for social purposes. Even if you don’t need to buy a coffee, you can’t afford to get there.
4. Be really grateful that your sister pays for you to have a telephone and your mother buys your child food, if you are lucky.
5. In winter, when the park is out of the question, act like going to the play area at Bunnings is a really fun treat. Add a $2 snag? Luxury
6. Forget about replacing stuff that breaks. Never going to happen. Even if it was a necessary thing.
7. Learn to live w paying bills late.
8. Get really, really stingy. Like counting squares of toilet paper stingy.
9. Get over the shame of buying stuff with 5 & 10 cent pieces
10. Learn to cut hair, make your own bread, and just eat whatever your child leaves on his plate.
11. Finally, try really, really hard to avoid depression. Chances are you won’t succeed and all access to support has disappeared.
Hooray for cuts to sole parent payment
Damn. On #4 it should have been ‘mother buys your child shoes” not food. Budget priorities… Rent, then food for kids, then utilities.
L.K. Giesen, @theriverfed, begins a job soon. I do wish her well.