The claim by Government of success in reducing the number of young parents relying on income support has been immediately questioned by the social services sector and should not be hailed as a win by the Government, particularly when parents could actually be worse off, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.
“Figures have been provided by the social services sector that show there has been a reduction in teenage pregnancies in the period that the Government is pointing to, so this is looking like a pretty unimpressive attempt to clutch at figures that can be attributed to other factors unrelated to harsh government policy.
“The Government will often use figures that many haven’t had the chance to properly analyse when attempting to prove their social safety net cuts and changes are ‘working’. This is just another example of that.
“If a young parent is being pushed off supports because the Government is tightening up the social safety net, we need to be seeing evidence that they are not worse off and living in poverty. This shouldn’t be hailed as a success if the Government is unable to provide concrete evidence that this group have moved into work and/or has an improved quality of life.
“I urge Minister Porter to provide a full picture of vulnerable cohorts to the community rather than attempting to spruik harsh social policy. It should not be considered a win if young parents can no longer put food on the table for their child”.