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.”