Thousands of working mums have been left feeling ‘cheated’ and ‘sidelined’ by Labor’s Budget, saying single parents were given incentives not to get a job.
From September 20 2023, single parents and carers will be entitled to receive extra cash until their youngest child is 14. This age has increased from eight.
The basic payment rate will increase from $745.20 to $922.10 per fortnight – an extra $176.90, which equates to $4,602 a year.
The policy will impact 57,000 people.
But the move has infuriated some working parents and homes with one stay-at-home parent, who say they have been ‘begging for relief’ as the cost of living bites.
From September 20 2023, single parents and carers will be entitled to receive extra cash until their youngest child is 14. This age has increased from eight
Anthony Albanese spoke of the decision to raise the age cut-off for the Single Parenting Payment and said: ‘This change to single parent payments is about making things fairer for parents who are already doing it tough.
‘I know this will make a big and immediate difference for tens of thousands of mums, dads and children right across Australia.’
On Facebook, some complained about how difficult and expensive it is to raise children on single or low incomes.
BUDGET 2023 WINNERS AND LOSERS
Single Parents – Single parents will be entitled to extra cash until their child turns 14
Over 55s on Centrelink – Jobseeker participants over the age of 55 will be entitled to more cash
Immigrants – A host of visa changes will make it easier for immigrants to move to Australia
Small Businesses – Up to 3.7 million small and medium-sized businesses will be eligible for $20,000 of tax relief
Care Workers – A quarter of a million aged care workers are set for a huge $10,000 a year pay increase
Young Carers – Young people under 25 who are caring for a loved one will be entitled to $3,768 in support – $768 higher than in the past
Families with children in childcare – Childcare funding will increase by $1.4 billion this budget
First homebuyers – Siblings and friends will be able to buy a home together under an expansion of the current First Home Buyer Guarantee
Tradies – Tradies likely lose the right to instantly write off their utes
Smokers and Vapers – Recreational vaping will be banned while the tax on tobacco will be increased by five per cent per year over the next three years
People with more than $3million in super – Australians with super balances of more than $3million will no longer get generous tax breaks from July 2025
Low and Middle Income Earners – Australians earning less than $126,000 per year will pay more tax after the former government’s low and middle income tax offset expired
JobSeeker participants under 55 – There will be minimal changes to JobSeeker for people aged under 55, despite pleas from experts
Several said they didn’t understand why people with school-aged children could not get a job during the hours their child spent at school.
‘There’s absolutely no reason someone with a 13-year-old can’t go to work,’ a New South Wales mum argued.
Another was slammed for penning a thank you note to the Prime Minister on a popular Facebook group.
‘Single parenting payment cut-off lifted to 14! Thank you Anthony Albanese,’ the mum wrote.
She was soon met with a barrage of negative responses.
‘When will working parents get some relief?’, one mum asked.
‘How the heck does it go from eight to 14?’ another said. ‘By the time a youngest child is 14, a parent should be working. The child themselves could be working!’
Another mum said: ‘I don’t understand why? At eight years old, the kids are at school, why can’t you get a job during the day? I might add just because someone has a partner it doesn’t make it easier to work, we’re still the default parent.’
Others were worried about the long-term impacts on parents who are out of the work force for several years.
‘I honestly think there should be more of an incentive to work – such as places that provide better suited hours for single mums, or even free before/after school care,’ a woman wrote.
‘It would make more sense than raising it to 14, or the criteria should at least change and require parents have a casual job or pursue education after the child is eight.’
Some working and stay at home parents were furious that there was no relief for them despite how difficult and expensive it is to raise children on single or low incomes
Another added: ‘This is a terrible idea. Many years ago it was 16-years-old, and the problem was so many mums struggled to get back into the work force because by the time their youngest was 16, they were in their late 40s and hadn’t worked in over 20 years. They had zero skills.’
‘It would be better to create more work opportunities that make it possible for mums to go back to work, like initiatives if mums need extra days because their kids are sick,’ a third said. ‘It would cost the government less to pay for 14 extra days of leave to a workplace than years of pension.
‘This is just another excuse for people not to get a job,’ said another dad.
But others were hopeful about the new rule.
‘I think this news is awesome,’ one parent wrote. ‘Just because people are getting parenting payments doesn’t mean they are not working.’
She added: ‘They might have a causal job and it now gives them the option to have a little more funds to get by until their child is old enough to be left alone so then they can return back to full-time.’
‘Not everyone has family support or friends around that they can just drop their kids off to at the drop of the hat.’
‘I’ll take this news as good news even if it doesn’t impact me whatsoever because I’m sure it will be so helpful to single mums struggling out there,’ she concluded.
What is the new Single Parenting Payment?
The 2023 Budget will extend the Parenting Payment (Single), so eligible carers can access that support until their youngest dependent child turns 14.
From 20 September 2023, and subject to the passage of legislation, single parents will no longer have to transfer to JobSeeker when their youngest child turns eight.
These parents will continue to receive the higher support, with a current base rate of $922.10 per fortnight (95 per cent of the Age Pension), until their youngest child turns 14.
With these changes, eligible single parents currently on JobSeeker will receive an increase to payments of $176.90 per fortnight.
More than 90 per cent of parents who will benefit from this change are single mothers.
About 57,000 people will benefit from the increased financial support
Source: Government of Australia
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