There are hundreds of thousands of Aussies on some form of welfare payment and many need the money to make ends meet.
Well, it seems like politician Barnaby Joyce is one of those people, admitting that he’s broke because he’s trying to support two families.
The former leader of the National Party and Deputy Prime Minister famously had to step down from his roles last year after revealing he was having an extra-martial affair with a staffer, who he eventually got pregnant.
Credit: Channel 7
As a result, the father of six has found it incredibly difficult to spread his $211,000 politician’s salary across all his needs.
Speaking to the Courier Mail, Mr Joyce said: “I’m not crying in my beer because there are thousands, thousands doing it much tougher than me.
“I’m just saying these circumstances have made me more vastly attuned … it’s just a great exercise in humility going from deputy prime minister to watching every dollar you get.
“A politician (renting a duplex without a dishwasher) for 415 bucks a week, he’s not living high on the hogg, is he?There is a reason for that and that’s basically what I can afford. You do become a lot more mindful.”
Mr Joyce admits he does everything he can to save cash, including turning the heating off in the house during the night (even though it gets down to -10C sometimes), having one cup of coffee a month, not going out for dinner, killing his own animals on his farm and repairing stuff himself.
Credit: Channel 7
While he’s doing it tough, he says it’s given him a good understanding about how people who don’t have a politician’s salary manage their finances.
He’s since gone on to clarify that he’s not skint and actually ‘far from it’, however it’s made him call for an increase in dole payments to give struggling Aussies a leg up.
“If there’s one thing that is incumbent on me now is to say, ‘No, that is not fair and that is not appropriate and we should do something about it,'” he said.
At the moment, people on Newstart are being paid around $550 a fortnight or around $40 a day. That’s virtually nothing when you have bills to pay and food to put into your mouth.
There has been a lot of back and forth about raising the Newstart allowance however politicians haven’t been able to agree on what is best.