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Parenting: Single Parent Payment Calculator Tax Offset and At Tax Time

Parenting: Single Parent Payment Calculator Tax Offset and At Tax Time

Parenting: Single Parent Payment Calculator Tax Offset and At Tax Time

Parenting: Single Parent Payment Calculator Tax Offset and At Tax Time - Single parents who were last year moved off the sole parent payment say their children are suffering social and emotional distress as well as poor nutrition, according to a survey. In January 2013, the then-Labor government moved almost 100,000 parents from the Parenting Payment to the general unemployment benefit Newstart. Advocacy group The Parenthood says parents have been left struggling to raise their children as they were between $60 and $160 a week worse off.

A survey of 550 of these parents by The Parenthood found that half reported being unable to afford fresh food, while a third struggled with medical costs. Of those who took part 88 per cent said they struggled to cover the cost of groceries each week and just over half found it difficult to meet basic travel costs for their family.

More than half of all respondents reported struggling to meet rental costs since the removal of the sole parents support payment "What this data clearly shows is that for sole parents the flow on effect of having $100 taken out of your weekly budget is devastating for your children," The Parenthood's executive director, Fiona Sugden, said.

Ms Sugden is a former adviser to Kevin Rudd but was not working for the Gillard government at the time of the Parenting Payment change. With the approaching budget and a welfare review underway, her group is now urging the new Minister for Social Services, Kevin Andrews, to make changes.
The Parenthood survey key findings: Ms Sugden says they understand he "agrees the impact of sole parenting payment cuts have been unfair on Australia's most vulnerable families". She called on Mr Andrews to "increase the support payment for sole parents and immediately increase their earning capacity".

"We will obviously be providing this data to him and his office and the Treasurer's office so that they can see for themselves what sole parents are going through that have had this payment removed. "It's not punished the parents, it's punished the children," she said.

Sole parent Bianca Maciel Pizzorno, who campaigns on behalf of The Parenthood, says she was $160 a week worse off after being moved onto Newstart and has since struggled to buy food and pay rent. As a mother to nine-year-old twins she has had to give up studying a law degree in order to take up full-time work to bridge the gap left by the payment changes.

Inspired by her experience of having the funding cut, she began campaigning for a $50 a week increase in the Newstart allowance. She also wants sole parents to be allowed to keep more of their income and not lose their benefits.

"I want to make it a parent-friendly working Australia," she said. "The current system does not support parents in the workplace."

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