BENDIGO mothers were among those voicing their protest over changes to single parent payment changes yesterday.
A number of parents from Bendigo’s Single Parent Action Group raised concerns the payment changes have put them on the brink of homelessness.
Members of the group were among hundreds of single parents that rallied on the steps of State Parliament in Melbourne. A number of signs at yesterday’s march called on the government to reconsider cuts to single parents and instead increase taxes on the mining industry.
Bendigo mother Andie Downing – who was invited to speak at the event but stayed behind to work – said her thoughts were with those who were fighting to look after their children.
She said a lot of parents felt “completely trapped” by a lack of opportunities under the payment changes.
“We’re one of the wealthiest countries on earth but the government decides to rip funding out from the minority,” she said.
“What I hope the rallies show is that... it’s not all about the financial impacts, it’s also the social impacts.”
The federal government introduced tighter restrictions to payments on January 1, forcing parents off their pensions and on to the Newstart allowance once their youngest child turned eight.
More than 60,000 single parents across Australia have received between $60 to $100 a week less under the entitlement changes.