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Anger over Carer Bonus cut -

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PETER CAVE: The dumping of the carer bonus won't just hit the hip pockets of the 400,000 or so
people who've relied on it over the past four years. According to one carer, it's also a crushing
psychological blow. For the past 38 years she's given constant care to her husband, suffering with
coeliac disease, diabetes, leukaemia and heart problems.

Margaret is speaking to Ashley Hall.

MARGARET: This payment is the one payment the Government was making to people who actually
sacrifice their lives to fulfil society's desire to feel good about itself. To some people it's a
lot of money, and it's the difference between eating and not eating. But when you receive it's
like, well, they're giving me something. You know, they're acknowledging that I'm doing something.

ASHLEY HALL: Is there something that you particularly did with the carer bonus that you'll no
longer be able to do?

MARGARET: Well, we actually use it on medication. Isn't that interesting, you know? We have spent,
for many, many years thousands upon thousands of dollars on medication per year, un-reimbursed, not
tax-deductible, and now that Rudd is coming along and he's saying, "Well, you don't need that
anymore." Well, let me tell you Mr Rudd, you do.

I guess where I'm coming from is, to me, it's how dare you. You know, how dare you when people are
relying on it. I mean, we sold our home to buy an insulin infusion pump many years ago. That's the
sort of situation you get yourself into.

So the bonus and that sort of money is going to go towards that sort of thing for people who are in
that situation. Things like school uniforms, food for kids, you know, that's where people are at.
This is what people don't understand and you know what? It is so scary. It's so very scary because
not only are you dealing with life and death, but you've got this financial thing too.

And not only do you live on the edge, but you're actually hiding it. You know, no-one wants to
know. You know, In the last four months I've had an ambulance here every month, right? Now, I have
to have private health insurance because if I didn't I can't get treatment for John, so our
ambulances are covered, but what about if I didn't have private health cover? Then I'd have to
think twice about ringing it.

So when John's fitting and blue on the floor, I'd be like, "Oh God, can I afford this bloody
ambulance?" you know. Wouldn't I?

PETER CAVE: Margaret, a Sydney carer, who asked us not to use her family name. She was speaking to
Ashley Hall.