Australian Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson said it was disappointing Tasmanian Labor MPs who have made recent public statements about helping single parents and people on Newstart today failed to show similar support on the floor of Parliament.
MPs today voted on a motion moved by Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on families and community services, calling on the Government to reverse parenting payment cuts which took effect in January.
“The Greens have been campaigning for over 12 months to help raise Newstart, and once again today we are the only ones voting to support single parents in Parliament.
“It is disappointing MPs, such as Senator Lin Thorp, are happy to make public statements in the media about helping single parents and people on Newstart, but fail when push comes to shove in the Parliament.
“Talk is cheap, if it is not backed up with meaningful action.
“I urge all Labor Senators and MP’s to take action with the Greens and stand up for single parents.
“The Greens’ motion clearly called for the Senate to acknowledge the financial hardship single parent families have faced after being moved to Newstart, and for the Government to reverse these cuts.
“Senator Siewert had two pieces of legislation before the parliament that would provide immediate relief and assistance for people struggling below the poverty line.
“The bills would have increased Newstart and Youth Allowance by $50 per week, and then provide single parents on Newstart with an additional supplement payment of $40 per week.”
Thursday 28th March is a Tasmania-wide day of action calling on the Government to boost Newstart.
Senator Whish-Wilson, along with members of the Single Parents Action Group, SPAG, will be visiting local Centrelink offices talking to people about the need for the Government to reverse these cuts and provide more support to single parents.