Commission of audit report nothing but trouble for struggling Canberra families

Commission of audit report nothing but trouble for struggling Canberra families
Recent public service job cuts have made life hard for the Akter family, and with the release of the commission of audit report they’re bracing for it to get worse.
Monzila Akter, 33, has been looking for a job in the public service for more than two years while she works at Woolworths on the check-out counter and supports her two children, Prinon, 7, and Penelope, 11 months.
Her husband recently lost his government job as a financial officer and has been driving a taxi while he too searches for a new job
“I’m thinking about studying again but meanwhile I’m looking for a job, perhaps at Medicare or a bank,” Mrs Akter said. “Both my husband and I are qualified to be accountants.”
Mrs Akter said the public service cuts had made finding a job very difficult in the ACT and the additional cuts recommended in the audit report would make things worse.
“It is really hard to find a job. It was easy before, I was on [a job site] and there were a lot, like 100 jobs, but now there’s 35 or 46 and none are related to my degree,” she said.
“If I find five or six that are related, everyone applies for them.”
She said if more jobs were cut in the territory or if services such as doctors became more expensive she’d have to cut her own household budget further.
“We will have to cut food, we will have to cut clothes, we will have to cut holidays. We will have to reduce that,” she said.
She said she didn’t support the audit’s suggested $15 GP appointment fee because it would make taking her children to the doctor too expensive.
“At the moment children’s costs and dentist costs are free. And because there’s four people in the house, every time someone gets sick, everyone gets sick,” she said.
Mrs Akter said some of her friends have already moved to Sydney and Melbourne due to the poor job market and high cost of living in Canberra and now her husband wants to leave as well.
But she said she doesn’t want to go, as Canberra has a good education system for her children.
“We don’t have enough money, or a good house, or a good car but we’re living the good life,” she said.

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