As public servants and avid Crikey readers, we often marvel about how we manage to make ourselves look like bloody idiots when we write to members of the public. However, we have never reached the heights of stupidity that the authors of this letter have reached.

Case in point. We thought that we wouldn’t be eligible for the Child Care Benefit any more because of our combined incomes (we have really hit the high life now as two EL1’s in the Commonwealth Public Service), but were stunned to find in the letter we received today, that our “family has been assessed as being eligible for Child Care Benefit. Your rate of Child Care Benefit, or how much you can be paid, is zero!”

I kid you not:

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Now at 50, I plan to go back to school to learn maths. I was never aware before that zero was worth more than nothing. Zero zilch. I am going to apply for a job with the Family Assistance Office now — because if they can make our being eligible for zero an actual entitlement, not a loss, they can also do marvellous things for my mortgage, my super, my children’s HECS and everything else.

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Australia has spoken. We want more from the people in power and deserve a media that keeps them on their toes. And thank you, because it’s been made abundantly clear that at Crikey we’re on the right track.

We’ve pushed our journalism as far as we could go. And that’s only been possible with reader support. Thank you. And if you haven’t yet subscribed, this is your time to join tens of thousands of Crikey members to take the plunge.

Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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