Single mums to protest household budget cuts

SINGLE mums from all over the country will march on Parliament House in February to protest cuts to their Centrelink entitlements, moving them from the parenting payment to the dole.

The administrative change moved about 80,000 single parents from the parenting payment to the Newstart Allowance on January 1, cutting their fortnightly household budgets by about $110.

With the added financial pressure on single parent families, a new action group has sprung up on Facebook, already rallying more than 600 people to the cause online.

Organiser Samantha Seymour, a South Australian single mother, said the Single Mothers' Action Group was hoping to get as many people as possible to protest the change - whether they were in Canberra or not.

She said while she didn't know how many would turn up; she had already recruiting several state leaders for rallies in capital cities.

"Moving single parents from Parenting Payment to Newstart Allowance when their youngest child turns 8 years of age will have so many negative impacts for single parent families," she said.

"Such changes will have a ripple effect and the social ramifications are horrendous.

"In an amazing show of solidarity, single parents and other supporters will be protesting, not just in Canberra on the first day of the sitting year, but right round the country."

Ms Seymour said the group had also secured a meeting with federal ministers in Canberra on the day to talk about the change and how it has affected them.

"Our purpose is to show the government that we will not tolerate their decision to further deprive and isolate Australians whose only crime is being single parents."

Members of SMAG will march on February 5, from Old Parliament House to New Parliament House in Canberra, with other rallies to be held in capital cities.

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