January 11, 2013

Australia on $35 a Day?

Jenny ($900 a day) Macklin didn't think twice earlier this week, when asked if she could live on $35 a day. What a question - of course she could! And of course we would all like to see that! Actually - it's not so silly?!   I can see a Channel 9 ratings winner (and Gold Logie nomination) if some unemployed TV industry "dole bludgers" and disgruntled ex-Channel 10 journos would get off their bottoms and follow Jennifer around with a movie camera (A  Current Affair Paxton style).  Where's The Chaser when we need them??!!!  

If they're any good at dodging her minders, they could produce, for the enjoyment of television viewers (comatosed by cooking shows & ego driven chefs) an exciting, NEW, unprecedented reality show: "Jenny Mack Does Jagajaga on $35 a day"!!! It would be like Brynne's Bedazzled Life without the dazzle.

A competitive edge could be injected into the program (along the lines of Race Around the World) by including Bill (Mr Pies) Shorten. Who wouldn't enjoy watching Bill living in Maribyrnong on $35 a day? Other colleagues could be involved. Wayne Swan's federal seat of Lilley, with its picturesque ocean views, looks like a nice place to watch someone living on $35 a day. 

On his official website we see him standing on the Lilley Pier, glowing with a big smile. Perhaps he has just caught a fish? As if?!! However, if he does obtain his food that way, at least his bills (and the federal budget) could be reduced.

Of course, a drawback of the show,  would be the viewer boredom induced from watching our politicians at the supermarket choosing between sausages or no sausages for dinner. I would however, love to see Jenny, Bill and Wayne combing the sales racks at Big W and Target, to find something suitable to wear on Q&A.

Or, better still, would be an episode showing fashionistas Trinny and Susannah trailing Jenny Macklin as she searches through the clothing racks at  a local St. Vinnies op shop.


Image aside, the true test of our pollies budgeting abilities could be revealed by a series of "pressure tests", to observe how they plan to pay their household power bills - all now skyrocketing  in cost, following the introduction of time-based pricing systems. This being an aspect our government politicians conveniently overlook, when factoring in the current and actual cost of living in 2012 to 2013 - in contrast to past years.


Of course their government cars would have to be  temporarily confiscated and re-purposed. Who wouldn't like to see the cars and drivers, outsourced to a rehabilitation or other community facility?

And with this in mind, other pressure tests would involve watching Jenny, Bill and Wayne squirm as they receive car and license renewal statements, and juggle these alongside unexpected bills arising from urgent and expensive car repairs.

Forking out their own petrol expenses could become problematic when they discover that $35 (their entire daily allowance) only half-fills the standard tank with petrol.  Inevitably, the odd domestic malfunction would also add to their expenses log.

Key viewing, would be observing Jenny, Wayne and Bill  attending a Centrelink funded financial counselling session to sort out how they can make ends meet. 

Not surprisingly, first on the list to go, would be expensive hair cuts and treatments. Easy peasy! At least they can all line up at The Lodge for a free snip and blow-dry (don't give up your day job Tim Mathieson). But enough about Jenny and Wayne and Bill.

Earlier this week, Adam (it isn't easy being green) Bandt, launched an outright challenge to Jenny Macklin, to prove that $35 dollars a day isn't enough. He has offered to slum it on this amount for a week. A week??!! Doesn't this reflect - just a little -  the myopic thinking of our political leaders, which leads to the development of inappropriate policy, in the first place?

Unfortunately, unless residential utilities bills are fast-tracked to Adam within that seven day time-frame, he wouldn't experience just what it actually is like (on that $35 a day) to discover a steep upward trend in the price of his water and energy utilities, even when his actual consumption of such resources -  indicates a downward plunge.  

Maybe, however, Adam has avoided the Australian epidemic of "bill shock", by installing the solar panels, which enable him to live off the fat of the peasants who don't have the means to implement cost effective, energy saving devices? Perhaps this could be a "light-bulb" moment of discovery for all our pollies?


$250K Is Struggle-Street For Some Australian Families: Please Explain?!


"Living on Newstart: already impossible" says Australian Greens MP Adam Bandt

"Bill Shorten is doing it tough on $330,000"

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