The Australian Greens said today that the 2014 budget continues a tough and unfair campaign against single parents, started by John Howard.
"The Howard and Gillard governments both punished single parents, and as more modelling and analysis of Tony Abbott's budget emerges, it is clear that history is repeating itself," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on family and community services said today.
"Single parent families will be unfairly impacted by this budget, making a mockery of the government's claim that everyone will be doing the heavy lifting.
"Analysis from ACOSS shows that cuts focused on low and middle income earners make up 52% of budget savings of the next four years. Cuts to family payments and the single parenting payment, as well as the increased costs of medication and visits to the doctor will all have a substantial impact on families.
"ACOSS have found that single parent households on low incomes are $50 per week worse off as a result of cuts to family payments alone, and NATSEM suggest some single parent families will lose more than 14% of their disposable income as a result of budget measures.
"The pensioner education supplement, which helps more than 17,000 single parents around the country with their studies is also being cut. This is an especially callous decision from a government with a so-called commitment to 'earn or learn'.
"Cutting income to single parents will make it harder for them to afford the absolute essentials like rent and food, let alone child care and the other costs associated with looking for work, studying and training. Pushing single parent families further into poverty greatly increases the risk of them and their children experiencing long term disadvantage.
"Tony Abbott needs to back down from his cruel budget and start listening to single parents and the community," Senator Siewert concluded.