By Lurline Hanna
I’ve just received the fantastic news that Mr Turnbull is going to pay me a bonus of a massive $75 to help pay for my heating costs this winter.
When I received my first gas bill in this property, before using my one gas appliance – a heater – it was a bit under $17, for 10 days. Admittedly almost $10 of that was for them reading the metre when I moved in, and $6.70 was the supply charge: the charge for merely having access to gas at this property.
I thought how nice it was of the LNP government to pay my gas supply charge over Winter and – being pretty smart – thought that I was on a winner. But turns out it will cover the charge for 111 days. Nothing to help pay for the gas I use on these cold nights (currently in Autumn) that regularly have a “feels like” of under 0 degrees. Nothing towards electricity or its supply charge for the heater in the bedroom so Spencer D (assistance dog) and I can sleep at night.
I know I should be grateful for all the “free money” I receive from the government for having medical conditions that make it impossible for me to hold down a job. And believe me, I’m incredibly grateful my DSP was approved in 1999 before it was decided that mental illness isn’t really an illness, and that everyone who is on, or attempting to get on the DSP is scamming the government. I’m even more grateful I’m not under 35, because then my pension could be reviewed and I could be kicked off it if I’m judged capable of working at least 8 hours most weeks of the year.
However at this stage of my life – I turn 50 next month – after my rent, regular bills, and moving costs are repaid, I have $70 a fortnight to buy food, medications, fuel, clothes, haircuts, entertainment (ha ha), plus food, vet bills and medication for my assistance dog – a medical essential.
Admittedly, in two fortnights that will increase by $110 a fortnight. If it wasn’t for a very understanding family member I would be looking for help from the charities.
So thank you so much, Mr Turnbull, I’m incredibly grateful for your largesse. I just hope $180 a fortnight is enough to pay for my above costs plus the gas and electricity bills. I’m sure it will be, because of course I can afford to lose weight and my mental health and osteoarthritis, and insulin dependent diabetes don’t need me to try and keep on a healthy diet, and an in-water exercise regimen in a heated hydrotherapy pool (which doesn’t come free either).