Apparently our Minister of Social Services is under pressure to reveal what she was paid as a DPB recipient who accessed the Training Incentive Allowance herself when she was at university.
I don't care what she got. She was entitled to it, she accessed it, and how much it was actually doesn't matter a jot. Harping on this theme is simply continuing the broader attack on those who are on benefits, particularly the DPB.
So let's get back to the actual issue here, which is not what anyone gets in the way of actual dollar figures when they are on a benefit that they are perfectly entitled to access.
Originally this was actually about the Government cutting the Training Incentive Allowance. That's a matter of public policy that is worthy of debate. Should we as a society support solo parents in tertiary education? I say yes, others, including Ms Bennett, clearly say no. We could actually debate that through the democratic institutions we have; in particular in the media. That's what the two solo mums who raised their concerns were trying to do.
But instead the discussion was shifted to the dollar amounts they've received from the Government, not through some kind of generous largesse, but as an actual entitlement. Just like the pension, or the invalids' benefit, or Working for Families, or subsidised doctors' fees. Accessing a benefit you are entitled to is not rorting the system, it is using the system as it is meant to be used. So who cares how much they got?
This has backfired a bit on Bennett though, as in amongst the predictable bashing of beneficiaries, particularly solo mums on the DPB, serious concerns have been raised by people with credibility about her abuse of power. So now we're talking about that instead. Which is well worthy of discussion, and frankly I think she should resign, but I do hope we don't forget what this was all about in the first place; yet another example of a Government cut that is extremely counter-productive, actually saves little money in the bigger scheme of things, and is driven more by ideology than practical reality.