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$1k a week in welfare ‘not enough’ for family of seven

A Melbourne family has been on welfare for four generations. Picture: A Current Affair/Channel 9
A Melbourne family has been on welfare for four generations. Picture: A Current Affair/Channel 9

THEY pocket more than $1000 a week from Centrelink but this family of seven say they are struggling to make ends meet.

The Bramstead family say the money, barely covers the cost of food and rent on their housing commission home in Melbourne's western outskirts, the Nine Network reported.

Welfare has become a way of life for the family, which has relied on Centrelink for financial support across four generations.

Dianne Bramstead, 63, lives with her 34-year-old daughter Alana Perry, and five of her six grandchildren.

"It isn't a lot of money, because by the time you buy your food, your fares, your power, it doesn't go very far," Dianne told A Current Affair.

Her 34-year-old daughter, Alana, also pockets $700 in disability payments, as well as $650 in the single-parent pension.

Dianne Bramstead (pictured) said her family struggles on the money. Picture: A Current Affair/Channel 9
Dianne Bramstead (pictured) said her family struggles on the money. Picture: A Current Affair/Channel 9

Alana's eldest daughter receives benefits as well, because she is unable to find work.

"The 16-year-old's left school. She just can't get a job anywhere. She lives out with the boyfriend," Dianne she told the show.

The family are not alone when it comes to intergenerational welfare. Startling research from Universities of Sydney and Melbourne, found 58 per cent of young people who grew up with parents on benefits were also on some sort of welfare by their early 20s.

And, Aussie welfare spending is rocketing. Recently released data shows it increased by $40 billion in the past decade, growing to 9.5 per cent of gross domestic product.

Dianne's mother was also on welfare, but back then, it was only $2 a month.

"But you could buy a lot with two dollars a month," Dianne told A Current Affair.

The pensioner wants her grandchildren to break free of the welfare cycle.

Research shows intergenerational welfare is a big problem in Australia. Picture: A Current Affair/Channel 9
Research shows intergenerational welfare is a big problem in Australia. Picture: A Current Affair/Channel 9

"I don't want all the grandkids to have to go through that same cycle of being on benefits," she said.

Both Alana and Dianne said they felt trapped in the welfare cycle, and claimed they have been desperately trying to get jobs, but with no luck.

"I've completed my Certificate II, but a lot want Certificate III and IV," Alana told the show.

"They just expect too much from people that are starting out."

It comes as the Turnbull government looks to change the direction on welfare to embrace a philosophy that is based on ­"improving lives".

There is also a growing push for cashless welfare cards across the country, with the Queensland cities of Bundaberg and Hervey Bay taking up the scheme from early next year.

About 6700 people living in the electorate of Hinkler in the state's Wide Bay region will be forced onto the federal government scheme, which is designed to stop welfare-dependent people from gambling, and/or buying drugs and alcohol.

The regional Queensland area was announced on Thursday as the fourth location for the rollout, after WA's Goldfields and East Kimberley regions, and Ceduna in SA.

Topics:  editors picks family large family welfare



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