Australian single mums guide – how to vote in the 2019 Federal Election

Australian single mum vote guide

Single Mums – this is your chance to be heard! With our national network of hundreds of thousands of single mums, it’s time to band together to vote on the issues that so harshly affect Aussie single mums – Newstart, Single Parent Payment, Child Support, The Cashless Welfare Card, Third Party Verification and much more. Look closely at the table below and let it be your guide on how you vote for what matters most to you and your single parent family…

2019 single mum how to vote guide

Single Mother election scorecard 2019

Please click here or on the image below to view the voting guide

Click this image to read the how to vote table

 

 

 

 

 

 

Federal Election 2019 – a chance for single mums to be heard

The election is just around the corner. For some it will be a relief whilst for others it could be the winds of wanted change.  The election is a contest of ideas it gives insight into what are the focus and priorities of the political parties.  I have heard the call, don’t vote!  I can never support this call; a passive puppet we are not. But mostly it feels a betrayal to the women who used every part of their resolve to gain the vote for women. These women were shunned by our community, their children were removed, they were thrown in jail, they were tortured and became destitute.

Solo Mums Speak

We did a quick survey, it was really a touchstone to ensure that our scorecard was on the mark and that the issues were of significance to single mothers. It also allows us to project our voice post the election with the validation that can come when we are standing together. It was a tough survey as respondents were asked to tick the ‘four issues that mattered most to them’.  Often all the issues mattered, some were interconnected, some of the issues were about the day-to-day lives while others were big picture. For those who took up the challenge we are thankful, and you’ve given us some clear guidance.

Findings

Despite the usual priorities such as income support due to the entrenched hardship for single mums the unfairness of a failing child-support system and the lived reality of managing housing stress – another big-ticket was the ‘surveillance’ of single mums.

Overwhelmed by prejudice, stigma and bearing the cost of these policies as illustrated by the Robo debt is also the deep annoyance at the cost of the policies.

Imagine for one minute if women had access to funds that were used to manage and direct their life. It’s hard to quantify the importance of living with dignity and not judgement.  Perhaps Jacinta Adern with her first well-being budget might provide some guidance to Australia.

In summary

Third-party verification implies single mums are dishonest

•             There was never any need for the increased penalties of the third-party verification.  A trip back to the 1970s to cherry pick the dark elements of power imbalance. There is no need to replicate the sense that if you are requiring the support system to operate as it meant to that suddenly you are “dishonest”.  This is mean and damaging messaging to the Australian public.

ParentsNext should be scrapped

•             The Senate Inquiry has shown the harm of ParentsNext and the chorus of calls for it to be voluntary or scrapped were not heard. The outcome was some minor tweaking. If the pundits are correct and there is a new government, we will quick in seeking clarity and action upon the promise to “overhaul the program”.

The Cashless Debit Card should not be compulsory

•             The cashless debit card, again controversy, and could have been ‘voluntary’.

No child support policy from the major parties

The sting in the tail is when women then receive letters that confirm the amount of child support that is owing. Shhh, there is no child support policy from the major parties, and it appears that they are not concerned about the non-lodgement of tax returns for child support payers. It is tax evasion and will be breaking our silence again and again.

Enjoy the sausage sizzle, make your vote count and please read the scorecard carefully – it’s a product of your voice – of what you want.

Single Mother election scorecard 2019

Please click here to view the reader-friendly voting guide

What we want Liberal/National Coalition Australian Labor Party Australian Greens
 

Increase income support to single parent families

 

 

§ No action on raising Newstart or Single Parent Supplement.

§ From March 2020 there will be a single Jobseeker Payment to consolidate 7 existing payments

 

§ “Root & Branch review” of Newstart & associated payments. This will reconsider age at which single parents move from PPS to Newstart. May include Single Parent Supplement but no commitment.

 

§  Increase Newstart & Youth Allowance by $75 per week.

§  Agreed to establish a Single Parent Supplement, benchmarked to cost of children as they age.

 

 

Universal dental and health care

 

§ $1B to dental services for children.

§ $100 million for public dental care for an extra 180,000 services.

§ Improve PBS safety net to make it cheaper for those requiring multiple medicines.

 

§ $1B to dental services for children.

§ $100 million for public dental care for an extra 180,000 services.

§ Reduce costs of cancer specialists.

§ End the Medicare freeze.

 

§  $5.8 billion to provide Medicare-funded dental care to all young people, aged pensioners & those receiving Commonwealth funded benefits.

§  Universal health care with more funding to preventative health care, mental health and public hospitals.

 

Respect and a fair go for single mothers § Introduced ParentsNext and will continue it. Has committed to get strict with providers.

§ Pledged $129 million to extend cashless debit card trials around the country.

§ No policy change to third party verification.

§ Labor has committed to overhaul ParentNext.

§ Labor supported the one-year extension of existing cashless debit card trials, but refused to support more trials until evaluations are complete.

§ No policy re third party verification.

§  Greens committed to overhaul ParentNext.

§  Will abolish punitive measures like the Cashless Debit Card.

§  Will abolish third party verification.

 

Fix Child Support § No new policy.

§ While in government, ruled out a government guaranteed child support scheme

§ No change to current ways to collect debt.

§ No new policy.

§ Labor supported all recommendations of 2015 Inquiry so may support government guaranteed scheme.

§ No change to current ways to collect debt.

§  No new policy.

§  No policy to support government guaranteed scheme.

§  Greens have a long standing commitment to fix child support. No detail about how they would do so.

End child poverty § Tax offsets from July 2019 for 10million workers.

 

§ Review of payments and allowances associated with Newstart. §  Unfreeze the income thresholds for Parenting Payment Single
Make all forms of childcare affordable § No further change to childcare Subsidy. In December 2018 responded to public pressure and lifted the In-Home Care hourly cap to $32.00 (from $22)

§ No commitment to continue funding for early learning for 4 year olds when it expires in 2020.

 

§ $4B to increase childcare subsidies

§ Labor will commit permanent funding to deliver early learning for 3 and 4 year olds so that all three and four-year-olds will have subsidised access to 15 hours of preschool from 2021.

§  Will increase childcare subsidy rate to 100 per cent of the hourly fee cap for families earning up to $69,000 who meet the activity test making child care free, or almost free, for up to 372,000 families.

§  $4 billion investment in early education

 

 

Access to affordable and safe reproductive health care § No National Strategy priority funding.

§ No support for affordable pregnancy termination services.

 

§ National Sexual Reproductive Health Strategy for safe, legal and affordable pregnancy termination services available to all Australian women. §  Free and safe pregnancy termination services, including unbiased counselling
More affordable housing § No plan to develop a National Housing & Homelessness Strategy. § Will deliver a National Housing & Homelessness Strategy. §  Supports development of a National Housing & Homelessness Strategy
Safety for women and children affected by domestic violence

 

§ $78m to build or buy new emergency shelters for families affected by domestic violence.

§ $82m for frontline services

 

§ $88m transitional housing.

§ $60m over four years to fund 20,000 ‘flexible assistance packages’.

 

 

§  ‘No woman turned away’ under new $5.3 billion ‘National Partnership Agreement on Domestic Violence and Violence Against Women’

*Policy announcements accurate on 14/05/2019

Terese Edwards, Chief Executive Officer of the National Council Single Mothers and their Children - NCSMC

 

 

By Terese Edwards, Chief Executive Officer of the National Council Single Mothers and their Children

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