Are your ears burning? They might well be – over the past month it seems like everyone’s been talking about single mothers.
Anne Summers kicked off an explosion of interest in single mothers in July last year with her report The Choice: Violence or Poverty. She hasn’t left it there. An ex-Women’s Advisor to a Labor government, she has plenty of cred and she is using it now to point out that the Gillard government decision to force single parents onto Newstart was wrong, and it needs action. Here she is.
The new Albanese government has created a Women’s Economic and Equality Taskforce and Terese Edwards, CEO of Single Mother Families Australia (formerly NCSMC) is on it. The taskforce has talked and debated and now has put its report to government with recommendations for the May Federal budget. Chair Sam Mostyn spoke to the National Press Club for an hour. Here’s the address, but if you jump to the 36 minute mark, you’ll hear a two minute summary of those recommendations, which including restoring single mothers to Parenting Payment Single until their youngest in 16 or finished high school, a position we have long held.
Housing and poverty have been a strong theme, with many arguments for putting single parents back on the Parenting Payment Single and raising JobSeeker and all related payments including Parenting Payment Single. Other asks include increases in Commonwealth Rent Assistance, abolishing Mutual Obligations and ParentsNext.
The ABC 7:30 Report did a special on children going hungry. It focusses on research being done and features some fabulous single mums and their children who speak out.
Toni Wren, who leads Anti-Poverty Week in Australia, was interviewed on ABC News Breakfast on 6 March for a few minutes talking about raising JobSeeker & related payments.
ACOSS (Australian Council of Social Services) has publicised its Budget asks including lifting all income support payments to pension level, dealing with climate change, improving housing and tax reform.
Other articles on much the same themes include:
Zoe Wundenberg unpicks the moral basis of government policy related to the social security net.
CSMC is working to build on this momentum in the media, parliaments, public discourse, and ensuring that the voices of single mothers continue to be elevated.