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Teenage mums and the Maternity Payment.

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Australian Democrats Press Releases

Senator Natasha Stott Despoja Democrats Senator for South Australia Australian Democrats spokesperson for Status of Women Australian Democrats spokesperson for Work and Family

Dated: 13 November 2006 Press Release Number: xqvfbhlt Portfolio: Status of Women Related: Work and Family

Teenage mums and the Maternity Payment

The Australian Democrats have accused the Government of a double standard in their treatment of teenage mums, following the announcement of a change to the way under 18 year olds can access the Maternity Payment.

"Is the Government suggesting these young women are old enough to have babies yet too young to be trusted to manage money?" Democrats' Work and Family Spokesperson Senator Natasha Stott Despoja asked.

"Of course, there will always be those in every age bracket - and income bracket - who struggle to manage money, but to suggest this is limited to teenage parents is patronising.

"The Democrats have long-called for national system of paid maternity leave, which can be paid fortnightly and tied to the minimum wage thus, assisting workforce attachment for women who take time out to have and raise a baby - but singling out teenage women for a fortnightly payment is concerning," Senator Stott Despoja said.