INDEPENDENT Senator Jacqui Lambie cried in Parliament today as she described trying to make ends meet as a single mother.
She said she was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy while on the disability support pension. She described how her son was a great footballer, athlete and basketballer but couldn’t represent Tasmania on occasions because she couldn’t afford the costs associated with it. He also wore football boots too small from the previous winter.
Senator Lambie made her emotional plea to convince fellow senators not to support the Turnbull Government’s plan to make cuts to welfare.
Late on Wednesday, Senator Lambie told fellow senators “there were times when I would sit in a corner and cry, I was so ashamed”.
“This is what it is like. It is not a choice for many of us to be on welfare. It is shameful and it is embarrassing, and it is bloody tough,” she said.
“I want you to know that’s what it’s like to be at the bottom of the crap pile, through no fault of our own, for many of us.”
Senator Lambie also referred to the time when her fridge broke and for three weeks she had no choice but to live out of an Esky.
“And I put the Esky under the house so the ice would last longer. That was what my life was like,” she said.
She said the Senate was wasting time arguing over the “crumbs” of vulnerable families.
One Nation and the Nick Xenophon Team have been accused of selling out Aussie battlers after they agreed to support the federal government’s trimmed down package of welfare cuts.
The government had combined a $1.6 billion boost to childcare and $5.6 billion in welfare cuts in a single omnibus savings bill, but on Wednesday chose to split it and drop a number of cuts after acknowledging certain defeat. The upper house passed the new welfare bill without amendments 34 votes to 31, just after midnight on Thursday morning and it now goes to the House of Representatives. Family tax benefit rates will be frozen for at least two years to help pay for child care subsidies under the rejigged plan.
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann denied the government was “ripping money out of peoples’ pockets” saying no family will receive a lower level of payment under the changes.
Senator Lambie noted the Nick Xenophon Team hadn’t spoken in the debate and suggested the senators were “hiding in shame”.
Online Source: www.news.com.au