It’s the one night of the year where people who normally have very little interest in figures outside their family budgets suddenly have income and expenditure tables front of mind: Yes, next week it’s Federal Budget Night 2023. And this year, it’s of particular interest to single mothers.
At 7.30pm on Tuesday 9 May, Treasure Jim Chalmers will stand up in Parliament and hand down the 2023-24 Budget, the first full-year Budget of the new Labor Government. You can watch the Treasurer’s Budget speech live and get expert commentary on ABC 24.
As is usual practice, leaking of key features of the Budget has already started, and many in the media believe a major change will be raising the cut-off age of Parenting Payment Single to when the youngest child turns 12, 13 or 14. Currently, it sits at eight, so while this may not be the change back to 16 we have been fighting for, it will be a big improvement for many families.
At the moment, single mothers on PPS receive around $961 a fortnight, but when they are moved onto Jobseeker when their child turns eight, it’s cut by $176 a fortnight. That’s a hell of a lot less money to raise kids on.
No doubt raising the cut-off age will be touted by the Government as a great win for single mothers, but we also know that it simply delays driving single mother families into dire poverty at a time when their kids are entering or in high school, cost more to feed and clothe, and still need their parent’s support and presence, leading to disruption to their education and long-term consequences. You can read our CEO’s letter to the PM which is part of a last ditch efforts to make this win as wide-spread as possible, to benefit single mothers with children of all ages.
End Single Mother Families’ Poverty campaign
We were delighted by the number of CSMC members and supporters who joined our campaign to tell the Government that single mothers need access to PPS while their children are at school. An incredible 456 of you signed our petition, and 327 single mothers took time to write to the Prime Minister, many adding your own stories, as did 94 allies, meaning the PM and other senior MPs received 421 emails!
We are so grateful to everyone who supported this campaign. How much of a win will we get?
We’ll find out on Tuesday night, and we’ll provide you with a deep-dive analysis soon afterwards.