Caring for single parents

The Greens have announced new legislation to increase the support offered to Australia's single parents.

One in six Australian children live in poverty, as do 38% of sole parent households. This is unacceptable in a wealthy nation like ours.

The Australian Greens are working to help single parents. That is why we're opposing the Abbott Government's budget cruelty and why we have introduced legislation to reverse past cuts to single parents, and ensure current parenting payment recipients aren't dumped onto Newstart.

Our Caring for Single Parents Bill

Our bill will help to support single parents as they balance their responsibilities raising a family, working and looking for work, but will do so without exposing them to poverty. 

Read our Legislation and Explanatory Memorandum.

This bill ensures that single parents remain eligible for parenting payment until their youngest child turns 16, rather than the current limit of 8. It will also ensure employees who are carers have the right to request flexible working arrangements. Single parents currently on Newstart would have their parenting payment restored.

The current difference in payment rates is $557.90 for a single parent on Newstart, compared to $720.30 for a single parent on parenting payment. As at March 2014 there were 89,176 single parents on Newstart who could benefit from this legislation, while the 259,506 single parents currently on single parenting will have more security knowing their support is safe in the years ahead.

We're introducing this bill to make things easier for single parents.

Under the Howard government's Welfare to Work laws single parents were moved onto Newstart when their child turns eight. On 1st January 2013, the Labor Government continued this poor policy by moving over 100,000 single parents, who were previously protected from the reforms, off parenting payment and onto Newstart. 

Disadvantage early in life can have significant impacts on children, so by supporting single parents and families, we can help give kids the best possible start in life and help them engage at school and in their communities. This is crucial for ensuring life opportunities in the years ahead.

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