Budget Imposes Tough Love on Single Parents
The Federal Government is considering adapting a new budget measure aimed at single and unemployed parents. According to reports, the new measure is expected to be set in place effective July 2013.
The new system will call for granting support payments to these parents until their youngest child is eight years old. If approved, this new arrangement should replace the old system set in 2006, which allowed for single unemployed mothers to get at least $648.50 until their youngest is 16.
The change is a way of enforcing “tough love” by the government so that those depending on this for support will be pushed to find work.
This change will also mean about 100,000 single unemployed parents are going to lose their benefits. The Government, however, stands to save some $700 million from this new measure.
Single unemployed parents who remain without work after their child turns eight will also be penalised $120, and will be transferred to the Newstart allowance system. There will be exemptions, however, granted to those caring for children with disabilities or any other special circumstances that prevents them from working away from their kids.
The Employment of Workplace Relations is behind the Government in this initiative. Minister Bill Shorten said parents with children already in school should be able to return to the workforce.
Shorten said that work is essential to the well-being of a family because it helps make ends meet. He added that public income support is ideally a temporary solution and this should not dis-incentivize people from finding work that pays.
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