Thousands of working mothers feel “cheated” and “sidelined” by Labour’s Budget, saying single parents were given incentives not to get a job.
From September 20, 2023, single parents and carers are entitled to extra money until their youngest child is 14 years old. This age has been increased from eight years.
The base payment rate is increased from $745.20 to $922.10 every two weeks – an additional $176.90, which equates to $4,599 per year.
The policy will affect 57,000 people.
But the move has enraged some working parents and stay-at-home families, who say they were “begging for relief” as the cost of living is squeezed.
From September 20, 2023, single parents and carers are entitled to extra money until their youngest child is 14 years old. This age has been increased from eight
Anthony Albanese spoke about the decision to raise the age limit for single parenting payment and said: ‘This change in single parent payment is designed to make things fairer for parents who are already struggling.
“I know this will make a huge and immediate difference to tens of thousands of mothers, fathers and children across Australia.”
On Facebook, some complained about how difficult and expensive it is to raise children on single or low-income families.
BUDGET 2023 WINNERS AND LOSERS
Single parents – Single parents are entitled to extra money until their child turns 14
Over 55s on Centrelink – Job-seeking participants over the age of 55 receive more money
Immigrants – A large number of visa changes will make it easier for immigrants to move to Australia
Small companies – Up to 3.7 million small and medium-sized businesses are eligible for $20,000 in tax credits
Caregivers – A quarter of a million elder care workers get a huge $10,000 a year pay raise
Young carers – Young people under 25 caring for a loved one are entitled to $3,768 in support – $768 higher than in the past
Families with children in childcare – Childcare funding will increase this budget by $1.4 billion
First home buyers – Siblings and friends can buy a house together as part of an extension of the current First Home Buyer Guarantee
Traditions – Traditions probably lose the right to immediately write off their utes
Smokers and vapers – Recreational vaping will be banned and the excise tax on tobacco will be increased by five percent per year for the next three years
People with over $3 million in super – Australians with a super balance of more than $3 million will no longer receive generous tax breaks from July 2025
Low and middle income – Australians earning less than $126,000 a year will pay more tax after the former government’s low and middle income tax deduction expires
JobSeeker participants under 55 – There will be minimal changes to JobSeeker for those under 55, despite requests from experts
Several said they could not understand why people with school age children could not get a job during the hours their child was in school.
“There’s absolutely no reason why anyone can’t go to work with a 13-year-old,” said a New South Wales mother.
Another was criticized for writing a thank you note to the Prime Minister on a popular Facebook group.
‘Payment limit for single parenthood raised to 14! Thank you Anthony Albanese,” the mother wrote.
Soon she received a barrage of negative reactions.
“When will working parents get some relief?” one mother asked.
“How the hell are you going from eight to fourteen?” said another. ‘By the time a youngest child is 14, a parent has to work. The child could be at work himself!’
Another mom said, “I don’t understand why? At the age of eight the children are at school, why can’t you find a job during the day? I might add that just because someone has a partner doesn’t make it any easier to work, we’re still the default parent.’
Others worried about the long-term consequences for parents who have been out of work for years.
“I honestly think there should be more incentives to work — like places that offer more convenient hours for single moms, or even free before and after school care,” one woman wrote.
“It would make more sense than raising it to 14, or at least the criteria should change and require parents to have casual jobs or get an education after the child is eight.”
Some working and stay-at-home parents were outraged that there was no relief for them, despite how difficult and expensive it is to raise children on single or low-income families
Another added: “This is a terrible idea. Many years ago it was 16 years old, and the problem was that so many mothers struggled to get back to work, because by the time their youngest was 16, they were in their late 40s and had had more than 20 years not worked. They had zero skills.’
“It would be better to create more work opportunities that allow mothers to return to work, such as initiatives when mothers need extra days because their children are sick,” said a third. “It would cost the government less to pay 14 days extra leave to a workplace than years of pension.
“This is just another excuse for people not to get jobs,” said another father.
But others were hopeful about the new rule.
“I love this news,” one parent wrote. “Just because people get parental benefits doesn’t mean they don’t work.”
She added: “They may have a causal job and it now gives them the opportunity to have a little more money to get by until their child is old enough to be left alone so they can return to full-time work.”
‘Not everyone has support from family or friends in the area where they can drop their children off just like that.’
“I consider this news as good news, even if it doesn’t affect me in any way, because I’m sure it will be so helpful to single mothers who are struggling,” she concluded.
What is the new single parental benefit?
The 2023 budget extends the parental benefit (single) so that eligible carers can access that support until their youngest dependent child turns 14.
As of September 20, 2023, and subject to legislation, single parents will no longer be required to switch to JobSeeker when their youngest child turns eight.
These parents will continue to receive the higher support, with a current base rate of $922.10 every two weeks (95 percent of the retirement pension), until their youngest child turns 14.
With these changes, single parents who are currently eligible on JobSeeker will receive an allowance of $176.90 per fortnight.
More than 90 percent of parents benefiting from this change are single mothers.
About 57,000 people will benefit from the increased financial support
Source: Government of Australia