The federal budget was too much to bear for Wentworth Falls single mother of four teenage children, Katrina Rae.
“I’m crying, and so were many of my sole parent friends, we work hard, we work somewhere between one and four jobs just to keep our families going,” Ms Rae said.
The full-time insurance worker survives on an income of $39,000 but will be $10,000 worse off after losing Family Tax Benefit part A and B and the school kids bonus, she said.
“Tony Abbott said the $7 co-payment was equivalent to a couple of middies but I can’t even afford to buy myself a cup of coffee.”
“The GP co-payment is going to be the killer; the additional cost on medication. If the kids get jobs and I get a second job we may be able to keep this crappy roof over our head,” she said.
She said she can’t even afford the fuel to visit her mum in a Cessnock nursing home.
“The petrol I just put in was a gift from friends, we scrape the bottom of the barrel every week. We’re definitely below the poverty line now.”
Ms Rae said she would love to be able to eat better “but we simply can’t afford it”. Her daughter needed an Epipen last week but she would buy one “when I get paid next week”.
She lives on pasta and cheap $1 bread – “not that I want to eat it”. She rents and all her furniture was found on freecycle.org.
“I’m behind in rent, we struggle from week to week, we live in a house full of mould, the toilet constantly runs.”
Some of her children need medication.
“They’ve all got aspirations to go to university, and get out of poverty but I never will. My ex drank the house. I will never retire.”