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Single parents struggling as payment cuts loom in the Senate



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MEDIA RELEASE │ AUSTRALIAN GREENS SENATOR RACHEL SIEWERT 21 August 2012

Single parents struggling as payment cuts loom in the Senate

The Australian Greens say Foodbank’s End Hunger Report for 2012 is further evidence that the proposed changes to the income support of around 100,000 single parents will significantly impact their families if it is passed by the Senate.

A Senate Inquiry into the Fair Incentives to Work Bill is due to be released tomorrow, with the legislation also scheduled for debate.

Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Families and Community Services said today that the Foodbank report drives home the challenges facing single parent families.

“Far and away, the three main groups being provided with food assistance are low income families, unemployed people and single parent families. Cutting income to single parent families will send them further into poverty and increase demand for support services such as Foodbank.

“It is heartbreaking to see that people are struggling to afford the daily essentials for themselves and their kids. They’re going to Foodbank for milk and bread, breakfast cereal, fruit and vegetables.

“Our income support system is inadequate and is failing to meet the needs of people in our community.

“This unfair budget measure would move around 100,000 single parents onto Newstart Allowance by removing a grandfathering provision protecting people from the Howard Government’s welfare to work regime. This will see them losing at least $60 per week. The single rate of Newstart Allowance itself is $130 per week below the poverty line.

“Single parent families cannot afford to be targeted in this way.

“The Greens are working hard in campaigning for an increase to the rate of Newstart Allowance for unemployed Australians and we will continue to stand up for those people being overlooked by the Government in their punitive budget saving efforts,” Senator Siewert concluded.

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