NSW Upper House supports reversing cuts to single parent payments

The Greens have welcomed the NSW Legislative Council’s support today for a call to reverse the Commonwealth’s cuts to single parent payments.

“The NSW Upper House’s passage of this motion recognises the harmful effects of moving single parents from Parenting Payment to Newstart when their youngest child turns eight. I’m heartened that state Labor and Coalition MPs gave support to such an important community issue,” said Jan Barham, NSW Greens spokesperson on family and community services.

“The change to parenting payments has provoked widespread concern, with the Commonwealth’s own human rights committee, the UN Special Rapporteur and many social service organisations questioning its impacts. I welcome the parliamentary backing to support parents and families.

“Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has led the effort to undo these damaging changes. I hope the Federal Government takes on board this message from the NSW Parliament and takes urgent action to correct these wrongs,” Ms Barham said.

“I am pleased the NSW Legislative Council has supported this important motion,” Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on families and community services said today.

“The message from around the country and internationally is that the Government’s treatment of single parents, is neither acceptable nor appropriate. That is becoming clearer and clearer, and the Government should start listening.

“The Federal Government should take action in next week’s budget to help single parents, rather than just making things harder for them. The Greens have costed measures on the table to do this.

“We have Bills in the Parliament to increase Newstart by $50 per week and provide an additional supplement payment of $40 per week for single parents on the payment.

“By fixing the mining tax, the Government can make sure our economy supports single parents so they can raise their kids in a secure environment,” Senator Siewert concluded.

Media Enquiries:
Jan Barham – directly on 0407 065 061, or David Mallard on 0432 881 448
Senator Rachel Siewert – Chris Redman on 0418 401 180

Motion on parenting payments, passed by NSW Legislative Council 9th May 2013:

1. That this House notes that:

(a) from 1 January 2013 Commonwealth legislation altered parenting payments, affecting more than 80,000 single parent families who will be transferred from Parenting Payment to Newstart when their youngest child turns eight,

(b) this change places many single parent families at greater risk of poverty and threatens the welfare and wellbeing of affected children, and

(c) concern about this change has been expressed by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights and numerous social service organisations.

2. That this House calls on the Commonwealth Government to reverse the cuts made to single parent payments, and ensure single parents receive adequate support to care for their children.