SSRV is supporting a campaign by the Council of Single Mothers and Their Children, calling on the Government to raise the cut-off age for Parenting Payment Single.
Currently, Parenting Payment Single ends once the youngest child has turned eight, when many recipients are forced onto JobSeeker at a significantly lower rate.
Single mother families are the poorest family structure in Australia, with more than a third living in dire poverty.
SSRV believes that single mothers deserve to be given the chance to raise their children and provide the best possible life for them – they need access to Parenting Payment Single until their youngest finishes school, so they can afford to feed and house their children.
The Council of Single Mothers and Their Children (CSMC) has launched a petition asking the Government to help to change the lives of thousands of Australian women and children in the May 2023 budget.
The petition calls for the government to:
- Restore single mothers and their children to a livable level of income support.
- Give single mothers and their children a better chance by ending mutual obligations and keeping parents on Parenting Payment Single while their children are in school.
- Condemn the policy-induced choice between violence and poverty that hundreds of thousands of women face each year.
Research by Professor Anne Summers AO shows that as many as 60 per cent of single mothers are single because they fled violence.
According to CSMC, in 2023, single mothers are less supported than they were 50 years ago. They often cannot pay their rent, or their phone bills or register their cars. Too many go without meals so their kids can eat.
These recommendations are endorsed by the Women’s Economic Equality Taskforce, Unions NSW, the National and Victorian Councils of Single Mothers & their Children, UTS Centre for Social Justice & Inclusion and the National Council of Women of Australia.