Stop Cuts to Sole Parent Payments!
Single parent rallies to overturn devastating payment cuts!
April 15, 2013 - Single parents rallied across Australia on the weekend to bring attention to the cuts in payments of over 80,000 single parent families. The rallies were organised by the Single Parents Action Group and ACOSS national member the National Council of Single Mothers and their Children, who have been leading the fight against the devastating cuts.
UN asks Australian Government to explain violation of single parents rightsMarch 4, 2013 The Australian Council of Social Service today called on the Australian Government to detail its response to a United Nations request for it to explain the decision to cut the payments of over 80,000 single parent families.
The UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights and Chair-Rapporteur of the Working Group on the issue of discrimination against women in law and practice has written to the Australian Government about the slashing of about $100 a week from the payments of single parents, which took effect on 1 January. The letter is in response to an urgent complaint that ACOSS and other welfare groups and human rights experts made last year to the UN Special Rapporteur, following the Federal Government's refusal to follow the recommendation of its own Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights to delay the cuts.
The UN Special Rapporteur's letter to the Australian Government dated 19 October 2013:
For a real new start, stop miring people in poverty
By Cassandra Goldie Published in the SMH on Saturday January 5, 2013
While many of us celebrate the festive season, spare a thought for the thousands of single-parent families who have been served a cruel blow at what is supposed to be a happy time of year.
The federal government's decision to move all single parents off parenting payments when their youngest child turns eight has meant about 84,000 of Australia's poorest families saw their benefits cut by as much as $110 a week from January 1. Read Opinion Article
No happy New Year for people hit by benefit changes
January 1, 2013 - For many, 2013 will not be a happy New Year. A large number of people will be much worse off following changes to Centrelink benefits coming into effect today (January 1).
The Australian Council of Social Service and National Welfare Rights Network say changes to the Parenting Payment, Youth Allowance, Austudy and other benefits will have the greatest impact on people trying to survive on low-incomes.
"The changes impact more than 80,000 people," said ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie. "This includes 60,000 single parent families receiving Parenting Payment. Read Media Release.
Single parents and their children suffer as Senate passes cuts
October 9, 2012 - Leading welfare voices came together in Canberra on Tuesday to protest against the Federal Government's decision to press ahead with damaging cuts to the payments of more than 100,000 single parents in defiance of two separate Committee recommendations.
ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said, "This is not the right way to achieve a Budget surplus, on the back of sole parents and their children. It's cruel and unfair, especially for the children that will be severely affected!"
Regrettably the legislation passed in the Senate on Tuesday afternoon (October 9, 2012)
In the May 2012 Budget, the Federal Government announced that it planned to save $700 million by forcing well over 100 000 more single parents (over 90% are women) off the Parenting Payment onto the Newstart Allowance, which is now so low it is unbearable to live on.
There is a Parliamentary Inquiry right now investigating the adequacy of this payment, which hasn't been increased in real terms in almost 20 years.
The Bill to force more single parents onto the low Newstart payment has been dealt with by two parliamentary committees. Both these committees, with majority government members, expressed serious concern about their cut in income, which could be up to $60 per week, or even more than $100, depending on your circumstances.
Both committees recommended that the Bill be delayed until the completion of the Newstart Inquiry towards the end of this year. But now the government has decided to bring the legislation forward in the Senate next week.
This is simply unacceptable and we continue to urge a Government rethink on this damaging policy.
What can you do?
This petition is organised by the National Council for Single Mothers and their Children: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/parenting-payment-for-families-not-the-dole.html
NCMSC wants to hear from single mothers who will be impacted by the recent legislation (fair work incentive) which will force them onto Newstart when their youngest child turns 8 from Jan 2013. Tell your story to our national hotline about how your family will be affected by the changes and NCSMC will make sure your voice is heard.
The Campaign will be ongoing. Hotline 1800 760 237 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org Name is confidential.
3. Spread the word! Please send this out through your networks and social media (Facebook, Twitter etc.).
Welfare groups and human rights lawyers appeal to UN
October 5, 2012 - Leading Australian community welfare groups and human rights experts sent an urgent appeal to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights to prevent the Commonwealth Government from pressing ahead with damaging cuts to the parenting payments of over 100, 000 single parents and their children.
Parliamentary Inquiries ignored!
The Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights found that:
• If Newstart combined with other benefits is not sufficient to provide an adequate standard of living for affected individuals, the measures risk being a violation of human rights under article 9 of the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights.
• The Committee was not yet convinced that the affected single parents would be able to maintain access to appropriate levels of social security support if placed onto Newstart.
• As a result, it would be premature for the government to introduce these measures prior to the completion of the Newstart Inquiry.
• It recommended that the Bill be delayed.
This is an historic finding in Australia, which recognises the human right to social security and an adequate standard of living. It was also the Human Rights Committee's first ever recommendation.
Yet, as soon as the Human Rights Committee tabled its report, the Prime Minister rejected its recommendations. The Bill to cut these payments has now passed the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Senate Inquiry tables report into cuts to single parent payments
An earlier Inquiry by the Senate Standing Committees on Education, Employment and Workplace Relations - Social Security Legislation Amendment (Fair Incentives to Work) Bill 2012 also recommended a delay in the plan until the end of the Inquiry into the adequacy of income support payments is complete in late November 2012.
See ACOSS Submission: Sole parents won’t be helped to find employment by cutting their payments
Find out more about the Inquiry, including submissions, and final report here >>
If you have any questions or suggestions please contact email@example.com or call 02 9310 6209.
Labor MPs push for increase in dole payments - Australian Financial Review, Jan 2013
Dole boost gaining traction in Government ranks (radio) - Alexandra Kirk, ABC Radio National AM, Jan 9, 2013
Katter call to increase welfare for mothers - Patricia Karvelas, Pia Akerman, The Australian, Jan 7, 2013
Could PM do it? That's the $35-a-day question - David Barbeler, Patrick Caruana, National Times, Jan 6, 2013
For a real new start, stop miring people in poverty - Cassandra Goldie, National Times, Jan 5, 2013
PM hasn't spoken to Macklin about Newstart - AAP, The Daily Telegraph, Jan 5, 2013
Coalition puts increase in Newstart allowance on the table - Patricia Karvelas, The Australian, Jan 5, 2013
Greens claim $2b will fix Newstart poverty - Bianca Hall, Border-Mail, Jan 5, 2013
Top MPs dodge flak on benefits - Bianca Hall, National Times, Jan 4, 2013
How the poor are shunted into deeper poverty just for political capital - John Passant, National Times, Jan 4, 2013
Plan to boost singles' dole payments by $50 a week under consideration by Gillard Government - Sue Dunleavy, Daily Telegraph, Jan 4, 2013
Newstart far from a temporary payment - Patricia Karvelas, The Australian, Jan 4, 2013
Charities prepare for surge in those seeking help - ABC News, Jan 4, 2013
Labor MPs agree it's tough to live on dole but dodge claims made by Jenny Macklin - AAP, Perth Now, Jan 3, 2013
Swan rejects call to raise single parent payment - ABC News, Jan 3, 2013
Dole anger (video) - A Current Affair, Channel Nine, Jan 2, 2013
Not easy living on Newstart: Plibersek - Milanda Rout and Patricia Karvelas, Jan 3, 2013
Families Minister Jenny Macklin 'wants reform of dole' - Patricia Karvelas, The Australian, Jan 3, 2013
Macklin challenged to live on dole for a week - ABC News, Jan 3, 2013
A fine line: 'Living on the dole is no easy ride' - Vince Chadwick, Sydney Morning Herald, Jan 3, 2013
ACOSS calls on Macklin to 'please do your job' - Bianca Hall, National Times, Jan 3, 2013
Weekly struggle to survive on payments - Leesha McKenny, Sydney Morning Herald, Jan 3, 2013
Bandt issues Newstart challenge (video) - The Project, Jan 2, 2013
Macklin's dole declaration (video) - Clare Brady, Today Tonight, Jan 2, 2013
Welfare to work (video) - ABC 7.30 Report, Jan 2, 2013
Live off Newstart, Greens tell Macklin - Sky News, Jan 2, 2013
Mums angered by Macklin dole comments - Rashida Yosufzai and Genevieve Gannon, AAP, The Age, Jan 2, 2013
Changes to Newstart allowance (radio) - ABC Radio Breakfast, Jan 2, 2013
Macklin, make the most of your moolah with some hints from the margins - Brigid Delaney, National Times, Jan 2
I could live on the dole, Macklin declares - Milanda Rout and Pia Akerman, The Australian, Jan 2, 2013
Minister riles welfare groups - Dan Harrison, The Age, Jan 2, 2013
The great vanishing act: Macklin's dole comment disappears - Dan Harrison, National Times, Jan 2, 2013
Macklin dole gaffe edit 'a mistake' - Sue Dunlevy, News Ltd, Jan 2, 2013
I could live on the dole, says Families Minister Jenny Macklin - AAP, adelaidenow, Jan 1, 2013
Find a job, Jenny Macklin tells single parents whose benefits are being slashed - Pia Akerman and Milanda Rout, The Australian, Jan 1, 2013
Single mums (video) - A Current Affair, Jan 1, 2013
Welfare, industrial changes start in Jan - Paul Osbourne, AAP, The Age, Jan 1, 2013
Single parents fear payment cuts will force evictions - Annika Smethurst, Sunday Herald Sun, Jan 1, 2013
(November/December clips have not been updated)
What life looks like for 2.2 million Australians below the poverty line - Chris Paine news.com.au Herald Sun October 18, 2012
One in six Australian childen 'living in poverty' - Bangkok Post October 17, 2012
Advancing human rights in Australia - Frank Brennan Eureka Street October 16, 2012
Think the dole is generous? I did, until I tried living on it - Rebekah Devlin The Punch October 18, 2012
Thousands go hungry - Radio National Drive October 16, 2012 LISTEN>>
1 in 6 Australian kids live in poverty: report - AFP, The China Post October 16, 2012
Parents missing meals to feed their children - Patricia Karvelas The Australian October 16, 2012
Anglicare says thousands going hungry - Miriam Hall The World Today abc.net.au October 16, 2012 WATCH >>
Aussie school children left hungry: report - AAP World News October 16, 2012
Income divide widens for rich and poor - Patricia Karvelas The Australian October 17, 2012
One in six Australian childen 'living in poverty' - AFP Google News October 16, 2012
Growing number of children hungry due to poverty - AAP Daily Telegraph October 16, 2012
Sole Parents Deserve Better - Eva Cox New Matilda October 11, 2012
A blow to single parents, on the eve of Anti-Poverty Week - Ged Kearney The Punch October 15, 2012
One in eight living in poverty - ABC Radio National Breakfast October 15, 2012 LISTEN>>
One in six children living in poverty - Jared Owens The Australian October 15, 2012
14 per cent of Tasmanians live in poverty - Dinah Arndt Launceston Examiner October 14, 2012
No special deals for single mums - Patricia Karvelas The Australian October 13, 2012
Julia Gillard fights off welfare revolt - Patricia Karvelas The Australian October 10, 2012
Parent welfare cuts pass parliament - Lisa Martin and Andrea Hayward AAP The Herald Sun October 9, 2012
Parents show unity for a single cause - The Australian Financial Review October 10, 2012
How some children miss out from the start: will telling their stories help make a difference? Melissa Sweet Croakey October 9, 2012
Welfare cuts worry Labor backbenchers - Lisa Martin AAP Adelaidenow October 8, 2012
UN appeal for sole parents - Northern Star October 8, 2012
MPs up in arms over wheat and welfare - Philip Coorey SMH October 9, 2012
Parties to come out (in)fighting as Parliament resumes - Ross Peake Canberra Times October 9, 2012
Could cutting sole parent payments cost Australia UN votes? - Eva Cox Crikey October 8, 2012
Backbenchers bid to halt 'crazy' welfare reforms - ABC Lateline October 8, 2012 WATCH>>
Call to rethink cuts to single parent payments - ABC PM October 8, 2012 LISTEN>>
Single mums to rally over payment cuts - AAP Oct 5, 2012
Claymore residents defend their suburb following Four Corners report - Dennis Clough Macarthur Chronicle October 2, 2012
See original Four Corners program here>>
Alleviating homelessness - Dr Cassandra Goldie St James Ethics Centre October 1, 2012
Growing Up Poor - Sarah Ferguson ABC 4 Corners Program Monday Sept 24, 2012
Single-mother cuts to hit hardest in PM's seat - Patricia Karvelas The Australian September 22, 2012
Parent welfare delay urged - Dan Harrison The Age September 20, 2012
Budget hole looms as MPs want dole for single mums delayed - Patricia Karvelas The Australian Sept 21, 2012
Welfare agencies urge parliament to delay or reconsider plan for sole parent payments - AM, ABC Radio Sept 21, 2012
Push to delay cut in parent payment - Dan Harrison SMH August 24, 2012
Bill Shorten holds the line on parenting payments - Patricia Karvelas The Australian August 24, 2012
Hold off on parent pay cuts: committee - AAP The Courier Mail August 23, 2012
Labor MPs urge delay of Gillard's single parent pension bill - Patricia Karvelas The Australian August 23, 2012
Child support formula baffles 90% of parents - study - Adele Horin SMH July 23, 2012
Single parents dole policy to hurt children, ACOSS warns - Patricia Karvelas The Australian July 20, 2012
Single parents deserve support, not scapegoating - Emma Davidson The Drum July 16, 2012 - Equality Rights Alliance is managed by YWCA Australia
Cash to help kids see other parent - Patricia Karvelas The Australian July 4, 2012
Greens call for rethink on Newstart - Patricia Karvelas The Australian July 03, 2012
Sole parents marooned on dole - Patricia Karvelas The Australian July 3, 2012
Cuts to single mums breaches human rights - Julia Holamn, Hack Triple J, June 21, 2012
Watchdog to test cuts to single pensions - Patricia Karvelas The Australian June 21, 2012
Parenting payment cuts to be investigated - AAP June 20, 2012
Gillard asked to let inquiry assess bill's legality - Patricia Karvelas The Australian June 16, 2012
PM to parents: I feel your pain - Patricia Karvelas The Australian June 08, 2012
Labor MPs take up cause of single parents - Patricia Karvelas The Australian June 07, 2012
Labor MPs fume over budget's penalising of working single mums - Patricia Karvelas The Australian June 05, 2012
Budget crackdown will penalise single working mums - Patricia Karvelas The Australian June 02, 201
Groups say no to single mum welfare cut - Lisa Martin AAP Daily Telegraph May 31 2012
ACOSS leads call to MPs and senators to stop pension cut - Patricia Karvelas The Australian May 31, 2012
Greens call for welfare inquiry - Lisa Martin AAP SMH May 31, 2012
MPs protest over payments - Fleur Anderson AFR May 30, 2012
Sole parents 'demonised' in jobs plan - Dan Harrison The Age May 30, 2012
‘New start needed for broken welfare system' - Patricia Karvelas The Australian May 24, 2012
Jobless need help and motivation - Alan Mitchell AFR May 23, 2012
Report finds hungry kids as parents struggle - Laetitia Lemke ABC TV News May 10, 2012
Parents to go 'from welfare to poverty' - Patricia Karvelas The Australian May 11, 2012
Council tries to stop cuts to 100,000 sole parents -Peter Martin SMH The Age May 7, 2012
ACOSS wants PM to increase payments - AAP Ninemsn Mon May 7 2012
Welfare bodies hit bite on benefits - Dan Harrison The Age May 5, 2012