POLL: Macklin has no idea, says charity boss

Families Minister Jenny Macklin.
Families Minister Jenny Macklin.

KidzWish boss Chris Beaven has criticised Families Minister Jenny Macklin, saying her "unforgivable remark" about being able to live on $35 a day proved she was out of touch with disadvantaged Illawarra families.

Mrs Beaven said the minister's assertion that she could live on the Newstart benefit was laughable.

"Not only should we insist that Jenny Macklin lives on $35 a day, but she should also manage two small children and a disabled child and make her own way on a bus to Parliament House every day, that's if one of the children are not sick and she has to stay with them."

Mrs Beaven joined a chorus of advocacy groups and parents outraged over Ms Macklin's claim this week that she could survive on the Newstart allowance which came into effect on January 1.

The charity founder - and 2012 Illawarra Person of the Year - said the very people KidzWish supported were those hardest hit by the changes.

"Many of the single parents that KidzWish assists have been forced into this situation having given birth to a disabled child which is too much of a challenge for one of the parents, so they leave the family," Mrs Beaven said.

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"Medication and equipment to assist these special children is far beyond their access and in many cases, even a family where both are working can't afford such important items."

They then turn to charities like KidzWish.

"And how much has this federal government supported KidzWish with funds?" Mrs Beaven asked. "Nothing, promises but nothing.

"Like Jenny Macklin, they [federal bureaucrats] have no idea what the real world for many of our special families have as a challenge every day.

"The KidzWish Foundation is the local charity that provides for sick, disabled and disadvantaged children who live in the Illawarra.

"We look after our own. Funds we raise stay here in the Illawarra.

"We do this with the help of the community, business, sponsors and our telemarketing team, not one dollar of assistance from the federal government."

Mrs Beaven challenged the minister to help KidzWish with "a million or two dollars each year" for Illawarra families most affected.


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