The ACTU welcomes today’s announcement that the Labor Government will raise the age cut-off for the Parenting Payment (Single) from 8 to 14.
ACTU President Michele O’Neil is a member of the Women’s Economic Equality Taskforce, which recommended this change along with many women’s and community organisations.
The change means single parents will not have to transfer to the lower JobSeeker payment when their youngest child turns eight.
The vast majority of parents who will receive this benefit are single mothers, many of whom have experienced violence in a previous relationship and are at risk of financial stress. Nearly half the children in sole parent families live in poverty.
Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:
“The ACTU appreciated the opportunity to participate in the Women’s Economic Equality Taskforce and welcomes this important change. It is a critical step in creating a more inclusive gender equal society.
“The cost-of-living crisis is hitting everyone hard at the moment, this is particularly true for single parents, and especially single mothers who have left a violent relationship. We know this change will provide much-needed support for these women.
“This will assist single parents to re-enter the workforce, undertake training and care for their children.
“This additional payment will be welcome relief to many parents, women and children who are doing it tough. The cost of raising a child doesn’t drop at 8. Clothes, food and utilities are not cheaper for supporting an 8-year-old than an older child.
“We welcome this step in the right direction but call on the Government to continue improving this payment and support families until children are 16.”