Angela’s Story

Why we need to lift income support

Angela’s experience of the last 12 months

My three daughters and I were put in a difficult situation when we left a violent home during the start of a global pandemic.  A difficult situation was made manageable only because the Coronavirus Supplement was in place. This was July 2020.

Since April 2021, when all supplements were removed and we have been forced to get by on an inadequate income, life is just getting harder. The few choices I had left are now completely gone. Apparently, the choice I face now is rent or food for my kids. That is not a choice.

I have done, and do, all the system tells us to do. I returned to tertiary studies. I could study full time from home and be there for my children, as we take the time we need to recover from the years of coercive control. I want a humble career and a life that is stable, secure, safe and happy. I thought I could create this simple life for us.  But the safety net has not kept us safe, it has abused us, made our home insecure, and our fridge empty.

I woke one morning unable to pay my rent.  Without notice, CentreLink cut my payments by $380. This happened because I was owed over $21,000 in child support payments. Owed. I have not received this money. Honestly, I probably never will. But this is the system. I get penalised because the other parent of my children is not holding up their end.

I have had to give up my studies and the dream of a future stable life. Instead, I have insecure casual work and continue on the hamster wheel of poverty.