Monday, 20 November 2017
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Vinnies supports rally to stop cuts to the sole parent payment

The St Vincent de Paul Society National Council of Australia fears well over 100,000 sole parents and their children will be driven deeper into poverty should they be moved from a parenting payment onto the pittance that is currently the Newstart Allowance.

Chief Executive Dr John Falzon will attend a rally outside Parliament House at 11AM tomorrow to show his support for those sole parents, mostly women, who could face payment cuts of between $60 and $100 a week, depending on their circumstances.

“This rally is being organised by the National Council of Single Mothers and their Children in conjunction with other community groups that represent some of the most marginalised families in our community,” Dr Falzon said. “We are in complete solidarity with these families. This is a matter of justice. We are especially disappointed to see the government ignoring the recommendations of its own Human Rights Committee.”

The St Vincent de Paul Society has been active in opposing cuts to parenting payments announced in the Federal Budget in May of this year. National President, Anthony Thornton, said he was disappointed to learn legislation may still go before the Senate as early as this week.

“The Society has repeatedly called for the Social Security Legislation Amendment (Fair Incentives to Work) Bill 2012 to be abandoned. Two parliamentary committees have already expressed similar concerns and recommended that the Bill be delayed until the completion of the Newstart Inquiry next month,” Mr Thornton said.

“The Newstart Allowance has not been increased in real terms since 1994. We wholly support peoples’ transition to the workforce but you do not help people do this by forcing them onto a woefully inadequate payment.”

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4 comments

  1. The Labor Government continues to fail in supporting the marginalised and vulnerable. Gina Rinehart and Clive Palmer, have thus far paid zero dollars towards the carbon tax, not one single dollar, and the Government turns to our single parents and decreases their modest welfare payments as a ‘strategy’ to meet surplus!
    There has got to be a fairer way.

  2. Thank God for St Vincent de Paul. It’s appalling how their changes make the poor even poorer. They should try living on that allowance and see how they fare.

  3. Maria Harrison

    I’m lucky! My partner and I both work full time and wanted to give back to the community in some way, so we joined the ‘Vinnies’ community this year. Now we regularly see people who are dependant on these meagre handouts on a regular basis and understand some of the issues they deal with. I don’t understand why anyone would think it appropriate to reduce their income at a time that children become more aware of the outside world and have more expensive needs? If education is critical to a better life, how can parents feel positive about sending their children off to school when it has such a negative impact on their lives? Given the ridiculous spending on useless building via the BER, the incredible and unecessary overspend on NBN, the unmeasured increase in public service roles, and the numerous other wastes of the current government, it’s a major disappointment that we can’t find funds elsewhere in the budget to avoid this.

  4. Steve Harrison

    As an active member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society through membership of the Baulkham Hills conference, I’d like to express my gratitude to Dr John Falzon and St. Vincent de Paul for publicly taking a stand over this issue. I think it incredible that our elected govenmental representatives can ignore their own report recommendations and willingly introduce a bill that will increase the burden and hardship on a great number of the people that we look to support and encourage every week.

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