Don't let our Government increase child poverty in Australia
This petition had 1,553 supporters
For the last decade Sole Parents and their children have been the target of cruel budget cuts by successive Governments. Enough is enough!
Child poverty has increased by over 130,000 in two years since the Gillard government moved sole parents off Parenting Payment Single. Do we want to see more kids going without?
Research from the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) shows that despite more than 25 years of economic growth, 13.3 per cent of the population is living in poverty.
The report found there had been an increase in child poverty amongst lone parent families, with 731,000 children living below the poverty line.
40.6% of children in lone parent families are living in poverty compared with 12.5% from couple families (The ACOSS Poverty Report October 2016)
Family Payments are the most targeted in the OECD, evidence provided at the Senate Inquiry by Professor Peter Whiteford, ACOSS & NCSMC. Any reductions harm the people who need it the most especially to support children to finish high school.
"If you're a family on Family Tax Benefit Part A it will mean that you are around $200-a-year-per-child worse off. If you're receiving Family Tax Benefit Part B you'll be around $350 a year worse off as a family. These are real cuts to families," (Jenny Macklin MP).
Main cuts to date which Sole Parents and their Children have endured:
Sole parents moved from Parenting Payment Single onto Newstart when youngest turns 8, with Newstart Allowance being $110 a week below the poverty line.
Loss of School kids bonus
Loss of Low income support bonus
Loss of Low income superannuation contribution
Now this government wants to remove our EOFY safety net!
Since 2014 Sole Parents have had to endure ongoing uncertainty whether or not the Federal Governments Childcare Package would pass through Parliament or not. With us already being placed onto Newstart after our youngest turns eight and losing up to $130 per week (for those working), the loss of more money per week if this bill passes will make living impossible. The end of year supplement was money that was withheld from us throughout the year and paid at the end of the financial year to ensure we were not left with any debts from any overestimated income. With the loss of this payment, we are scared we will end up with debts again. The lump sum payment was also an added help to paying those bills we struggle to save for.
If appropriate/realistic Child Support could be paid, welfare payments would be reduced. There is over $1 billion Child Support payments unpaid in Australia. The amount is massive, and many assessments are woefully inadequate, with paying parents quitting jobs, working cash in hand (also avoiding tax) etc. Exemptions relating to family violence mean that abusers are financially rewarded by not being required to pay at all.
More cuts will not only increase poverty in single parents and their children... but also the flow on effects from the cuts will be catastrophic for society as a whole.
Domestic violence is a HUGE problem at the moment. On average, one woman is killed every week at the hands of a current or former partner. Women are already struggling to get money to flee unsafe home environments with their children. Now, there will be even more women forced to continue to stay living with their abusers because they can't afford to move out, even into the most basic of accommodations. These cuts will keep more abused women and their children stuck in dangerous situations.
Crime will increase for obvious reasons.
Suicide rates will increase as the inability to pay bills and provide a roof and food for their children rises.
Australia is considered to be one of the wealthiest countries in the world. According to the World Bank and IMF Australia is ranked in the top 10 for GDP per capita. To see the present government retreat from their responsibility for the social provision of support for all families with children, and especially sole parent families, is to deny the value of child-rearing for the whole community.
Increasingly, we are seeing children being regarded as a luxury that only the rich can afford, instead of the truth, which is that all children deserve the right to a life free from poverty, to education, security, housing, health care and the like. Children are the future. Gough Whitlam recognised this when he said: “We are all diminished as citizens when any of us are poor. Poverty is a national waste as well as an individual waste.”
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