The Australian Greens welcomed a Coalition MP today crossing the floor to help protect 100,000 single parents, but criticised the Government and Coalition for voting together today in the House of Representatives.
Greens Deputy Leader, MP for Melbourne Adam Bandt, sought to amend a government bill by removing the clause which would see single parents moved to Newstart Allowance and payments cut by up to $60 per week.
"The Government and Coalition have turned their backs on poor and struggling families, highlighting the growing disconnection between the other parties and vulnerable people" Mr Bandt said today.
"Despite the obvious unrest on the Labor backbenches about this legislation, almost all MPs chose not to support this sensible amendment," said Mr Bandt.
"The one courageous exception was Judy Moylan who joined me and Mr Wilkie in opposing this cut to single parents pension."
"The government is asking single parents to shoulder an unfair burden to help the Budget meet an early return to surplus. There are other places we can find the money, like the multi-billion dollar subsidies to the mining industry."
The Bill will now move to the Senate and be subject to a Senate Committee Inquiry.
"We will try to amend this legislation in the Senate, following the tabling of the Inquiry report," Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens spokesperson for Families and Community services said following the vote.
"The Greens will strongly participate in the Inquiry process. We have already had a number of people contacting us about this legislation.
"This legislation will have a serious financial impact on families who are already struggling. Moving parents from Parenting Payment Single to Newstart moves them further into poverty and makes it harder to find work.
"Protecting single parents from these changes is a major priority for us heading into the winter breaks," Senator Siewert concluded.