Family Payments – Critical Support not a Cost Saving Measure
NCSMC welcomes the opportunity to present a submission to the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Family Payments Structural Reform and Participation Measures) Bill (No. 2) 2015. It is our hope that the voices of those who vehemently oppose this Legislation will be heard.
The submission will convey that this measure cannot be viewed in isolation. Denying access to the parenting payment single for families whose youngest child is older than eight years has a ‘domino effect’ such as financial hardship and impeding women`s capacity to work their way out of poverty. It reduces the ability to protect women from domestic violence (including post-separation). The harm is further exacerbated due to the failings of child support system with the combined result of trapping sole parent families in a life full of hardship. We seek that the Committee does not support the further entrenching of this hardship by reducing Family Payments.
Sole parent families are in deep distress about this measure and it is our role to convey this distress which is grounded in the ‘lived reality’. It is our greatest hope that the Committee will react, review and insist that the predictable outcome of these measures, great harm to vulnerable families, will be rejected outright. These families are not in a position to manage further cuts.