Tasmanian Senator Peter Whish-Wilson has continued the Australian Greens Newstart campaign, throwing his support behind a local group, ‘SPAG’ (Single Parents Action Group) who oppose recent changes to eligibility for the Single Parent Payment.
“It’s good to see a grass-roots community campaign now developing which expresses the frustration of so many less fortunate Australians.
“SPAG has supported our argument that mean-spirited changes should not be imposed on welfare recipients, especially in a lucky country with a historic mining boom.
“Many single parents juggle myriad challenges in addition to being a sole full-time parent, including part-time work or study with an inevitable ripple effect to impact upon the wider community should they be moved onto Newstart.
“These changes demonise people for the simple fact they are a single parent.
“We should be providing additional support, not restricting present meagre assistance.
“I encourage everyone who feels the same way to attend the group’s Tasmanian rally on Tuesday 5th February as part of a national day of action.
The Tasmanian rally is one of several planned across the country on that day, with the main event occurring in Canberra at Parliament House from 9.30am.
“There’s understandably a lot of anxiety around this issue. Those presently on Newstart have to look up in order to see the poverty line. Imagine doing that while raising kids.
“The Greens are the only political party committed to opposing the changes to eligibility for the Single Parent Payment in addition to pressuring the Federal Government to raise Newstart to a level where people can actually live on it, as opposed to simply surviving.
“What does it say about Australia when the government will bend to the will of big miners but it refuses to listen to the most vulnerable in our community?”