Get the latest single parent news & help questions...
Click here to subscribe to our newsletter!

Get all the latest Aussie single parent freebies, news and articles - subscribe to our mailing list!

* indicates required
Close



Follow Us!
Get Breaking Single Parent News and the latest Single Mum Forum posts in your news feed everyday!


go to the Single Mum Australia Facebook Page go to Twitter singlemum.com.au




Expert Opinion Panel
Jason Bryce - Business & Finance Specialist

go to Jason Bryce's Profile

Good news for single mums on the dole

Jason Bryce | 02 February 2012




Good news for single mums on the dole - Stock Photo

What good news could there possibly be for families who have lost hundreds of dollars per fortnight...

What good news could there possibly be for families who have lost hundreds of dollars per fortnight for the sake of Wayne Swan's now abandoned promise of a federal budget surplus in 2013?

Yes, single parents are turning to prostitution or despairing about how they can support their children according to numerous media reports and posts on online single parent forums.

Yes, some working single parents are reporting benefit cuts of more than $200 per fortnight, because the taper rate for Newstart is so much harsher than that for Parenting Payment Single.

And yes, parents with young children are dreading that eighth birthday, because with it now comes Newstart poverty.

But there is good news amid the despair...

A grassroots campaign of mothers is attracting plenty of media attention. Widespread support for single parents has surprised some mothers who are more used to being made to feel ashamed for their situation.

Facebook groups and a day of action on Tuesday the 5th of February are the direct result of mothers coming together and fighting these changes and they are attracting national attention.

Single mum Karen Jones from Melbourne has two teenagers and works 30 hours per week. Karen is one of the working parents who has lost thousands of dollars per year.

"I lose $240 per fortnight thanks to these changes," Karen told www.SingleMum.com.au on Friday. Karen joined the Single Parents Action Group just before Christmas and is now the convenor of the Victorian branch.

"Concerned mothers started this campaign about three months ago and it has just exploded since then.

"Don't think that it will be over this Tuesday," said Karen "This Tuesday is just the beginning."

"One of the great things about the surge in single parent activism in the last few months has been the coming together of people who often feel alone in the world" said Karen.

"...Some mothers are telling their stories for the first time and some have been through a lot"

"This is giving people a voice, they are not alone. Some mothers are telling their stories for the first time and some have been through a lot.

"Some are learning that you don't have to feel degraded, humiliated, ashamed for being in this situation," said Karen.

"We didn't choose to be single mothers and if I could have had a different life for my kids I would have.

"People are hearing that, and they need to hear that it is not just a case of us having lots of kids, a lot of us are in this situation because of violence and intimidation," said Karen "Things are not as clear cut as people think."

Other good news for single mums dealing with big pay cuts is the announcement of a federal election on September 14. That and the abandonment of the commitment to a federal budget surplus this year raise the possibility of politicians reacting to people marching on the streets.

Other news that has brought a smile to the faces of single parents recently was the Minister in charge of Centrelink claiming she could live on Newstart's $35 per day. Jenny Macklin later apologised for her comments that were widely condemned as insensitive and arrogant. Macklin's current salary gives her about $900 per day.

Centrelink too had to apologise for bungling the changeover of thousands of single parents from Parenting Payment Single to Newstart and wrongly asking parents to hand in or destroy their pension cards.

Raising Newstart payments by about $50 per week

Raising Newstart payments by about $50 per week is a possible outcome of sustained political pressure on the government. This could occur as soon as the May federal budget.

Dr Tessa Boyd-Caine, the acting CEO of the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) says there is increasing interest from all political parties in the urgent need to increase Newstart.

"Politicians from all sides have acknowledged in recent weeks that the $35 a day Newstart payment is simply too low to live on.

"We welcome media reports that options are being considered by the Federal Government," said Tessa Boyd- Caine.

However, the Federal opposition parties are giving no support to the single parents action groups and Tony Abbott's recent 'comprehensive' policy launch ignored single parents altogether.

Plus Abbott is planning to axe the schoolkids bonus if elected on September 14, according to media reports this week.

The campaign to fight the parenting pension changes has been remarkable in that it has not been started, co-ordinated or promoted by a big lobby group or established political party. This has been mothers coming together, sharing stories and saying enough is enough.

For Karen Jones that has been a great outcome in itself.

"If nothing comes out this campaign at least I have made some good friends."

Jason Bryce
Business & Finance Journalist





Read more SingleMum.com.au exclusive Centrelink articles


Read more SingleMum.com.au exclusive Child Support articles



go to Jason Bryce's Biography

Jason is a business and finance journalist with 20 years experience, and is also a member of the SingleMum.com.au Expert Opinion Panel. He has a regular weekly column in the Sunday Mail (Brisbane) and writes regularly for the Business Daily section of the Herald Sun in Melbourne and many other newspapers and magazines.

Jason's personal website is www.centrelinknews.com.au

...read Jason Bryce's Profile here




Article Disclaimer: The views of authors on our website are not necessarily representative of those views of our website. Articles contain only general information, correct at the date of publication. For advice regarding your own personal circumstances, always seek individual advice from a qualified professional. This article may not be reprinted, reproduced, or retransmitted in whole or in part without the express written consent of SingleMum.com.au. Please read the complete Singlemum.com.au Disclaimer here



What does it mean to be a single mum?Of course, the

kids

are the most important thing in a single mum's life. Kids are the focus and always have been. But along with the children, there are other matters that can confuse a single mum's life.

Centrelink

plays a big part of a single mother's life, mainly because this is where a large percentage of single mums get their finances from. Centrelink are the source from where the

single mother pension

, or as it is otherwise known, the single parent payment comes from. The single mother pension is a subsistence amount, but just the same, it is money to live on, and so it is important, no matter if it is called single parent payment, single mother pension or whatever Centrelink welfare classes it at the time

Often, single mums come out of a

divorce

or defacto relationship only to find that their troubles have just begun, and find that their first step leads them towards Family Law - it's time to engage a lawyer.
There are more than just Centrelink finance problems to worry about, as mentioned before, but also

child custody

issues. Child custody is something that hits right at the heart of

single mums

. If a single mother's ex husband or ex partner has been a domestic violence perpetrator, the mum may be greatly worried about child custody. They worry that their kids won't be safe with their spouse, who has already proven to be abusive because they caused

domestic violence

, which resulted in a divorce or separation.

Even so,

Family Court

will often still order a form of child custody named

Shared Parenting

. Shared Parenting is a form of child custody division of time or parental responsibility between the parents. Mother's often look for a good divorce lawyer to try to avoid share parenting with an abusive ex-spouse after divorce, however in many cases Shared Parenting is still the outcome after the divorce, no matter how good the divorce lawyers have been. They will often settle for visitation at a contact centre or access centre where fathers or mothers are supervised during child custody access.

Please remember the bigger font words,because we will use it often in our website.