Out of touch

It can be hazardous for politicians to offer opinions about incomes. But Tony Abbott boldly went there on Sunday when he said a family income of $185,000 "isn't especially high" in a city like Sydney.

"Certainly it's not going to give you a particularly lavish life by any means," he said while defending a key income threshold in the government's new childcare policy.

As the article says, really, Mr Abbott? It took months and months of job applications and clawing my way up before I managed to get a job with a higher paying salary which is still less than 30% of the stated $185K.

Not just out of touch with ‘average earnings’, but out of touch with reality. Maybe it wouldn’t make a big difference for you, Mr Abbott, but at $130K more a year, funds could stretch much further for some families where that is double/triple their current earnings.

But let’s not forget also this article, referenced by Ruben:

[T]he workforce is also becoming increasingly casualised.

From 1992 to 2009, the number of part-time employees with paid leave more than doubled, the number of full-time casual employees doubled and the number of part-time casual employees rose by more than half, the report says.

By contrast, the numbers of self-employed and full-time employees with paid leave grew by less than 30 per cent, Bureau of Statistics data shows.

I’ve been there myself. A casual full-time job does not pay very much, even with the concession that casual workers usually have higher hourly wages. In addition the knowledge that you really have no rights, e.g. if you can’t work for whatever reason such as sickness there will be no income coming in, is the worst.