Thousands of working mothers felt “cheated” and “left out” by the Labor budget as single parents were given incentives not to take a job.
From September 20, 2023, single parents and family carers are entitled to extra money until their youngest child turns 14. This age was raised from eight years.
The base payment rate will increase from $745.20 to $922.10 per fortnight – an additional $176.90, which equates to $4,602 per year.
The directive will affect 57,000 people.
But the move has angered some working parents and stay-at-home parents, who say they’ve been “begging for relief” because living costs are depressing.
Speaking on the decision to raise the age limit for the single parent payment, Anthony Albanese said: “This change in the single parent payment is about making things fairer for parents who are already having a tough time.”
“I know this will make a huge and immediate difference to tens of thousands of mothers, fathers and children across Australia.”
WINNERS AND LOSERS OF THE 2023 BUDGET
single parent – Single parents are entitled to extra money until their child turns 14
Over 55s on Centrelink – Job-seeking participants over the age of 55 are entitled to more cash
immigrant – A variety of visa changes will make it easier for immigrants to enter Australia
Small businesses – Up to 3.7 million small and medium businesses are eligible for $20,000 in tax breaks
caregivers – A quarter million aged care workers are getting a whopping $10,000 per year raise
young carers – Young people under 25 caring for a loved one are eligible for $3,768 in assistance – $768 more than previously
Families with children in childcare – Childcare funding will increase by $1.4 billion in this budget
First home buyers – Siblings and friends can buy a home together as part of an extension to the current first-buyer guarantee
trade – Craftsmen will probably lose the right to write off their sales immediately
smokers and vapers – Recreational vaping will be banned while tobacco taxes will increase by 5 percent per year for the next three years
People with more than $3 million in super – Australians with more than $3 million in superfunds will no longer receive lavish tax breaks from July 2025
Low and middle earners – Australians earning less than $126,000 a year will pay more tax after the previous government’s low- and middle-income tax equalizer is phased out
JobSeeker participants under 55 – For those under 55, there will be minimal changes to JobSeeker, despite pleas from experts
On Facebook, some complained about how difficult and expensive it is to raise single or low-income children.
Several said they do not understand why people with school-age children cannot find a job during the hours their child is at school.
“There is absolutely no reason why anyone can’t go to work with a 13-year-old,” argued one New South Wales mother.
Do you think the government got it right?
Yes, they help the right people! 0 votes No, working families need more support! 0 votes
Another was criticized for writing a thank you letter to the Prime Minister on a popular Facebook group.
“Single parent payment cap raised to 14!” “Thank you, Anthony Albanese,” the mother wrote.
She soon encountered a flood of negative reactions.
“When do working parents get relief?” asked one mother.
“How the hell does that go from eight to 14?” another said. “If the youngest child is 14, one parent should be employed. The child himself could work!’
Another mother said, “I don’t understand why?” At eight years old, the children are in school, why can’t you find a job during the day? “I would add just because someone has a partner doesn’t make the job any easier, we’re still the default parents.”
Others were concerned about the long-term impact on parents who have been inactive for several years.
“I honestly think there should be more incentives to work – places that offer better hours for single moms or even free before/after school care,” one woman wrote.
“It would make more sense than increasing it to 14, or at least the criteria should change to require parents to pursue casual employment or education after the child is eight.”
Some working and stay-at-home parents have been angry that despite the difficulty and cost of raising single or low-income children, there was no relief for them
Another added: “That’s a horrible idea.” Many years ago it was 16 and the problem was that many mothers were struggling to get back into the workforce because their youngest when they were 16 ended 40 and had not worked for over 20 years. They didn’t have any skills.’
“It would be better to create more job opportunities that allow mothers to go back to work, such as initiatives when mothers need extra days because their children are sick,” said a third. “It would cost the state less to pay for 14 extra vacation days on the job than it would for retirement years.”
“It’s just another excuse for people not to get a job,” said another father.
But others expressed hope about the new rule.
“I love this news,” wrote one parent. “Just because people get parental benefits doesn’t mean they don’t work.”
She added: “Maybe they have a odd job and that now gives them the opportunity to have a little extra money to make ends meet until their child is old enough to be left on their own so that they can then go back to full-time can work.”
“Not everyone has family support or friends close by that they can hand their kids over to on the fly.”
“I take this news as good news, even if it doesn’t affect me at all, because I’m sure it will be very helpful for single mothers who are struggling out there,” she concluded.
What is the new single parent payment?
The 2023 budget extends parental benefit (single parent) so eligible carers have access to this support until their youngest dependent child turns 14.
Beginning September 20, 2023, and pending the passage of the law, single parents will no longer need to switch to JobSeeker when their youngest child turns eight.
These parents will continue to receive the higher benefit, with a current policy of $922.10 every two weeks (95 percent of the retirement benefit) until their youngest child turns 14.
With these changes, eligible single parents currently using JobSeeker will receive a $176.90 per fortnight increase in payments.
More than 90 percent of the parents who will benefit from this change are single mothers.
Around 57,000 people will benefit from the increased financial support
Source: Government of Australia