News

Government hammered over single-parent pay cuts

Minister for Families, Jenny Macklin.
Minister for Families, Jenny Macklin. Aap

GOVERNMENT cuts to welfare payments of single parents have been attacked as punitive and ineffective by welfare groups.

The changes are expected to have a greater than average impact on the Northern Rivers, with single parents representing 20% of family households compared with the national average of 16%.

Northern Rivers Social Development Council CEO Tony Davies said the measures were designed to get a "quick budget fillip" for the government which would ultimately punish children of parents looking for work.

"The goal of a welfare system is to provide basic support for people so they can live a decent life. Children should have an equal opportunity regardless of the wealth of their family," Mr Davies said.

"These people are earning less than half the median income for our region, which is already well below the state average."

The median weekly income for families in the Page electorate is $1763 (versus the NSW median of $2370), while single parents with one child will now receive around $396 a week, down from $455.

Mr Davies said sole parents were an "easy target", and the subtext of the policy - that welfare-reliant single parents need a push to get into work - was outdated.

"It's simplistic to assume that by cutting benefits to extremely low levels that you will actually get people into work ... it really just punishes women (90% of single parents) and children for circumstances often beyond their control," Mr Davies said.

"Cutting it by this amount is only going to make one of the most important jobs - being a parent - even tougher.

"The more important thing is how you support people to have a basic quality of life and how you support them to get back into work."

The policy has been widely criticised by social welfare groups.

The Australian Council of Social Services have called for a substantial increase in the Newstart allowance.

Topics:  australian council of social services, northern rivers social development council



The pacemaker cells of your gut

Restroom sign

Living Naturally: problems with the gut

Dunn eyes Millions for Group level push

TRAINING MASTERS: Matt and Keira Dunn at a Murwillumbah Racecourse race day.

Trainer eyes a cast of millions.

Pennant season out of sync?

SWING DOCTOR: Norman Carmichael, pictured with Julie Keegan, has sadly passed away.

Greg Kelly: On the mat.

Latest deals and offers

What's on the small screen this week

Bella Frizza in a scene from the TV series Married At First Sight.

THE Block's $65,000 bathroom is revealed and strangers marry.

MOVIE REVIEW: Life on the Road

Ricky Gervais, Ben Bailey Smith and Foregone Conclusion (Steve Clarke, Andy Burrows, Stuart Baxter Wilkinson, Michael Clarke) in a scene from David Brent: Life on the Road.

Ricky Gervais has brought David Brent back to life on the big screen

Jessica Alba wants tequila shots served at her funeral

Businesswoman and actor Jessica Alba

There won't be mourning at this funeral

Tom Hiddleston's Instagram account hacked

Actor Tom Hiddleston

Thor star the latest celebrity targetted by hackers

Charlize Theron's son dresses up as Frozen character

Actor Charlize Theron

Star's son spotted dressed a beloved Frozen character

BOOKS: Food for thought in Caroline Beecham's latest novel

Maggie's Kitchen by Caroline Beecham is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99.

New novel reminds readers that bravery exists in many forms

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m