Snappy soundbite could cost minister

IN A world where politicians strive to produce the snappy sound bite for the media cycle, the Families Minister Jenny Macklin took a step she will regret in response to a question at the doorstop interview: "could she live on the dole"?

Yes the Minister said; she could live on the $35 or so dollars a day, dole recipients receive.

Adding fuel to the fire was the release of the incomplete transcript of the interview omitting Ms Macklin's claim of surviving on the dole.

As a cabinet minister, Minister Macklin earns $6321 a week, 25 times the rate of the Newstart allowance.

There are few of us in the community earning that kind of money.

Certainly on the streets of Dubbo the Daily Liberal's reader poll uncovered a great deal of passion about the restrictions of living on welfare payments.

In many ways Australians are fortunate to have some form of social welfare support.

There are many countries not too far from here who do not have pensions or unemployment benefits.

An Australian pensioner has just had his payments returned after he successfully argued he could live in Asia on his pension far more comfortably than in his own country.

The question, however, preceding discussion as to lift the rate of payments is what section of our economy must be cut to fund the increase?

Do we pay more taxes? Or do we cut funding for schools, health, roads or transport? Or the wages of our public servants and politicians?

When we can answer these questions maturely, then we can have the next conversation.


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