“Hanel Akbari is seven months pregnant and has been sleeping on the carpeted concrete floor of the dilapidated rental property in Melbourne’s south-east that she and her husband, Luhru, moved into in February.
With little more than a blanket to keep them warm at night, basic items such as a bed, table and chairs are luxuries the Iranian couple cannot afford on the combined $54 a day they receive from the federal government. Out of this, $35 goes on rent, about $12 on food and about $7 towards bills – leaving them without a cent to spare. Their stipend equates to 89 per cent of the nation’s lowest dole payment. They are not allowed to work”