Singles on Newstart receive $246.30. A single parent receives $266.50: an extra $20.20 for a child per week.
A child gets less than $3.00 a day. This is entrenching children in poverty.
At the start of this year, Labor shifted thousands of single parents from Single Parenting Payment ($331.85 p/w) to Newstart ($266.50): a loss of $65.35 per week, plus the loss of what they earned while working.
Some working single parents have lost up to $140 per week.
This move by Labor hurts children directly.
Children and single parents are already vulnerable and struggling to juggle family, work and costs of living. This is an unacceptable king-hit to some of Australia’s hardest working families.
Today I met with the Single Parent Action Group to discuss the effects of Labor forcing single parents and their children onto the dole.
Single parents are rallying next Tuesday: more details on the Single Parents Action Group page.
Here’s what some other single parents have told me:
This morning I went to my local Centrelink regarding payments etc. The lady that I seen was a very helpful, understanding lady. She explained to me that I’m not eligible for Newstart because I earn too much per f/night. [Melissa]
This is what makes me so angry when I hear over and over I lost $250 a fortnight because I won’t get off my backside and get a job. No, I lost $250 a fortnight because I voluntarily did everything that was asked of me. Newstart is a Job Seeker payment. I am not a Job Seeker (work 40+ hrs), I am a low income earner who has now lost the safety net that parenting payment provided when less work is available. I really am trapped and no one can tell me where I’m supposed to go from here. [Jenny]
We are suffering as it stands, please do not cut this payment and push us further into the poverty line. I have always worked hard to support myself financially. … Please do not punish hard working people like myself that do the right thing and struggle to provide the basics for myself and my son. [Name with-held]
Our 15 year old son goes without what most of his friends have simply because we can’t afford it - his computer is an old Pentium 4 that only runs Windows XP reliably, so he struggles with it running Windows 7 simply because that is the software he needs. We simply can’t afford to get him anything reasonable – even the “low income” computers through Centrelink cost $300 to $500. [Martin]
Dear Mr Bandt, I want to thank you for standing up for the single parent. … I was extremely upset to learn of the full impact these changes would have for my daughter and I. We will lose $95 a week in payments. I work 25 hours a week and cannot increase my hours. Centrelink told me that I will need to cut back on spending, and increase my hours at work… We may not be able to afford the private rental that keeps increasing, not to mention the bills, Mr Bandt, my daughter and I have no lights on at night to save on costs as it is now! My daughter plays basketball, this will be going as I won't be able to afford it. There will be no school camp for her either. I cannot believe that the Opposition voted for this as well. I really worry about the cascade effect of this new bill. [Amanda]
At the end of Thursday, money left $13.22 - $5.26 (food) - $3.50 (PT) = $4.46