Single mums protest entitlement cuts
HUNDREDS of single parents, primarily mothers, have rallied in capital cities around the country, protesting cuts to their government entitlements that came into effect at the state of the year.
The protests were part of a campaign by the Australian Council of Social Services to force the Federal Government to reverse its decision, which saw about 80,000 single parent entitlements cut by about $110 each fortnight.
Timed to coincide with the first federal parliamentary sitting day of 2013, the protest in Canberra attracted about 50 single mothers and some children, but the only politicians to support the event were from the Greens party.
ACOSS chief executive Dr Cassandra Goldie told ABC Radio the government was forcing already suffering single parents further into poverty.
She said the government had taken about $700 million out of the pockets of some of Australia's most vulnerable people, in order to bolster the Federal Budget.
The move was originally proposed by the government last year and will see benefits to those single parents cut when their youngest child turns eight years old.
Families Minister Jenny Macklin has previously said the cut was to help encourage those parents back into the workforce.
But Dr Goldie told ABC many of the parents receiving the payments were already actively looking for work, and most wanted more hours to help support their children.
She also said she hoped the protests would help highlight the effect of the budget on single parents, with the social services lobby planning to meet with some government MPs while in Canberra.