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ACOSS Appeals for Budget Re-Think

24 May 2012 at 10:23 am
Staff Reporter
Welfare peak body, Australian Council of Social Service, is appealing to the Federal Government to reconsider its planned Budget cuts to single parent families and raise the payment for Newstart and other Allowance recipients.

Staff Reporter | 24 May 2012 at 10:23 am


ACOSS Appeals for Budget Re-Think
24 May 2012 at 10:23 am

Welfare peak body, Australian Council of Social Service, is appealing to the Federal Government to reconsider its planned Budget cuts to single parent families and raise the payment for Newstart and other Allowance recipients.

The appeal comes after ACOSS released a detailed paper on the impact of these Budget measures and the implications for sole parent families.

"Only last week we saw further evidence from the Salvation Army that people on Newstart and Parenting Payments are among those presenting in the highest numbers for emergency relief,” Acting ACOSS chief executive Dr Tessa Boyd-Caine said.

“Yet these people are not presenting for one-off emergencies. Allowance payments are simply not enough to cover the costs of food and bills, housing, healthcare, transport and schooling for those with children.

"The move to force single parent families onto the even lower paying Newstart Allowance is not a work incentive but a recipe for more poverty, which community groups and charities will be left to deal with.

"The proposal to shift around 150,000 sole parents to Newstart and other Allowances would reduce their income support by up to $60 per week. Even with the increases in family payments and the Supplementary Allowance, we calculate a sole parent family with a primary school age child will still be about $40 a week worse off.

"We urge the Parliament on all sides to raise the inadequacy of these payments at every opportunity, particularly as Budget bills begin to come forward.

"We reiterate our call for the Newstart Allowance to be increased by $50 per week, as recommended by the comprehensive Henry Tax Review and supported by the business community and economists,” Dr Boyd-Caine said.

“After 20 years without any real increase, the $4 per week Supplementary Allowance in the Federal Budget is a first step. However it won't resolve the serious financial deprivation of people living on this payment today, including many people with children."


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  • spiralling down says:

    PLEASE, somebody make it known that most sole parents will lose much more than $60 per week. Those who work part-time face a lower threshold for earnings and a lower cut-off point, yet don’t earn enough to benefit much or at all from the income tax changes.

    Those who study will lose the Pensioner Education supplement.

    Child support is counted as income for newstart and clawed back at 40% on top of the 50% already taken from Family Tax Benefit.

    I work, study and receive child support, so I will lose about $260 all up, and if I earn enough to make up the loss it will put me over the cut-off point and I’ll lose the study concession. That makes next year’s diploma $1300 instead of $53 and totally out of reach.

    I have 23 years till retirement age. One more year of study and 22 of them could have been spent in well paid employment or in business for myself, paying much more tax, putting away more super, using private health insurance, being less vulnerable to job loss in future and being able to give my son a better start in life. For the sake of less than $7000 I and tens of thousands like me will have to fight each other for whatever insecure low paid work we can get.

    Wayne Swan doesn’t need to care about this, he knows his government is finished so the economic fallout will be someone else’s problem. Most sole parents hit by this were probably Labor voters until now – I understand not wanting to vote for the people who did this to us but please realise Tony Abbott will make John Howard look like Santa Claus. The Greens are the only ones who care about us.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes it is going to be very difficult for us mums. The reasoning behind the changes is to encourage ( he he) us back into the work force. Well funny enough the ones that work and study are going to be worse off now. What about the mums ( like me) who recieve $7 a week maintinance. My cleaning job will not be enough money without income support and I cant get social housing because Im on newstart!

      Where are all these jobs coming from? and what about the childcare places? Im not leaving my 8 yr old alone. We already have to answer to centerlink and job providers so why make us live us less? The budget was for families, but it looks like me and my two boys are not a family ??

      These new ‘savings’ will cost the tax payer much more in the long run as the welfare baby making bludgers have more babies to get more money and so they dont have to fufill the centrelink requirements!

      Too bad for us genuine mums doing it tough

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