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Helping single parents into the workforce is essential

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THE HON DR SHARMAN STONE MP Federal Member for Murray

Monday 12 Nov 2012

Helping single parents into the workforce is essential

Federal Member for Murray, Dr Sharman Stone says supporting single parents into the workforce improves their financial stability and self esteem, and provides a positive role model for their children.

“As Minister for Workforce Participation in the Howard Government, I initiated the Welfare to Work reforms in 2006, which were aimed at getting welfare dependent recipients into the workforce.”, Dr Stone said.

“Single parents whose youngest child turned 8 were provided with a suite of support measures to get into paid part time work. Financial assistance was provided towards job searching, work experience, training, skill upgrades, improved education levels and child care.

“When the reforms were introduced, those on the Single Parent Payment on or before the 30 th of June 2006 were excluded from the change under a ‘grandfathering’ provision. They were not required to look for work until the day their youngest child turned 16.

“The Howard Government invested $3.6 billion in the reform package, with almost $400 million of that specifically directed into assisting single parents into work.

“In just 6 months, 35% of single parents were off welfare, and in the first year the number of single parents going into the workforce doubled.

“At the time Labor was very critical of the reforms. Now the Gillard Government is using this measure to make budgetary savings because of their waste and economic mismanagement. They can’t even afford to put the support measures in place to assist those affected to get the training or child care support they need”, Sharman Stone said.

Media enquiries, Graham Munson: 0417 148 110.