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Greens Support Rally against cuts to single parent payments

Greens Support Rally against cuts to single parent payments
Jan Barham and Dawn Walker

Single parents and local families gathered in Brunswick Heads this rainy morning to tell their stories and call for a more caring, equitable approach by their political representatives. The Federal Government changed the rules around Parenting Payment last year and forced thousands of single parents onto the much lower Newstart Allowance. Today was the National Day of Action, with protests held around Australia. Greens MP Jan Barham and Greens Federal candidate Dawn Walker addressed the people present.Thanks to everyone who made it! I will keep working to redress these cuts said Dawn Walker.

"When the Federal Labor Government decided that from January 1 this year all single parents would move from the Parenting Payment onto Newstart as soon as their youngest child turns 8, they created negative impacts for those parents and their children. This move resulted in cuts of $60 to $120 per week for those important but already disadvantaged members of our community and it is unacceptable," said Jan Barham MLC.

Not only has this decision impacted financially on single parents but it puts at risk the health and wellbeing of children.

Newstart 40% below Poverty line

"The Newstart Allowance is almost 40% below the poverty line and now it seems that some single parents may be further disadvantaged by the loss of other assistance such as the Pensioner Education Supplement.

For single parents, education is an option to secure a more stable economic future for their families but without support it makes that option of transitioning back into the workforce only a dream.""It is unfair that single parents who are already struggling now need to take on additional part time work-if there are jobs available-or do without due to the Federal government's changes.

At previous rallies single parents have revealed that they do without food to ensure that there are lunches for their children and also find it difficult to explain why they can't provide new shoes, sport and dance classes to their kids. We live in a society where a focus on the health and wellbeing of children as the future of our country is seen as a priority, yet this current situation not only puts parents under pressure but puts children at risk" said Jan Barham.

Federal Greens Moving Legislation to increase Newstart

"The Greens at Federal level are proposing legislation to increase the Newstart funding. At state level, I have put a motion to the Parliament to seek support for an increase to Newstart Allowance and have initiated a petition to raise awareness within the whole community. The State Government is currently focused on Child Protection with a Discussion Paper released last year but this is an issue that will impact on the safety and wellbeing of children as it puts pressure on single parents to make ends meet."

Download Petition Here

"On the north coast there are thousands of single parent families who are impacted by this short sighted move,which was supported by both of the major parties. On Saturday a national day of action is planned in support of the single parents and children whose lives are affected by these changes.

As a community we need to stand up for those parents and children who are being treated unfairly and condemned to a life of poverty" said Jan Barham.

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