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Yvette Berry goes Federal Labor over Single Parent Payment Cuts

By johnboy 11 April 2013 36

In 16 years of reading ACT media releases I have never once seen an MLA go their own party at Federal Level quite like new MLA Yvette Berry is getting stuck in to the Gillard Government:

Member for Ginninderra Yvette Berry MLA, is this evening calling on her Federal Labor colleagues to reconsider its decision to cut the single parent payment which took effect in January this year.

“I know a lot of single mums and dads in my electorate, especially around West Belconnen, who are struggling to make ends meet and I think the cut is having an unnecessary impact on family’s budgets” Ms Berry said.

The changes to the single parent payment mean that when a single parent’s child turns eight, they lose their entitlement to the payment. This amounts to a reduction of approximately $100 a week.

“While I understand that the Government needs to balance their spending, I do not believe that this should come at the expense of those who are doing it tough in our community.

“I hope when the Budget comes around that my Federal colleagues can find a way to restore this payment” Ms Berry concluded.

What’s Your opinion?


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Yvette Berry goes Federal Labor over Single Parent Payment Cuts
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Pork Hunt 3:42 pm 13 Apr 13

I can’t wait for the next cycle of poverty vs cars thread…

BimboGeek 2:44 pm 13 Apr 13

But yeah poverty, unemployment and single parenting aren’t always planned. Plus what’s with the 8 year line? Leaving children unsupervised is considered abuse if they are under 12. Sure 8 year olds can be sent to the park to run along and play but they need to know where to find their adult carer.

BimboGeek 2:40 pm 13 Apr 13

wildturkeycanoe said :

You people are a bunch of heartless brutes. Sure there is a proportion of single mums out there who fit your steroetype, but there are also those who are legitimately doing things tough.
Due to a lot of slack Mums and Dads who just up and leave when times are tough, there are some single parents who find themselves alone out of no fault of their own. They then have to choose how to get by.
Eg. Dad works 40h week, 7 to 3:30. Little tyke is 4. Mum took off with the neighbor to Vanuatu.
What does Dad do? Has to tell boss he can’t start work till 9:30 after dropping little tyke to pre-school and has to finish at 2:30, or pay for before and after care? Either way, his weekly income just got slashed substantially, or he lost his job altogether, or the outside hours care is all booked out. The Mum has now taken legal action to claim half the house and assets as hers. Judge believes the fake sob story about abuse and Dad now has to sell the house and find a rental. Unable to find a job that gives him the hours he needs, Dad is now living on the funds the pollies are about to slash and can’t get a government house due to the lack of availability. His efforts to find a rental without an income are fruitless [not that he could afford them anyway], so now they live in a tent at Cotter camping ground.
Still feel like putting this single parent into the same box as the Mum with 3 kids in beautiful house and nice car? Not all welfare recipients are as portrayed in the news.
[The example above is not based on anyone, just a possible scenario.]

Dad should have possibly flirted with a family court clerk so that he could possibly get a hypothetical misogynist magistrate in a bowtie. Also not based on anyone.

DrKoresh 1:51 pm 13 Apr 13

Tetranitrate said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

You people are a bunch of heartless brutes. Sure there is a proportion of single mums out there who fit your steroetype, but there are also those who are legitimately doing things tough.
Due to a lot of slack Mums and Dads who just up and leave when times are tough, there are some single parents who find themselves alone out of no fault of their own. They then have to choose how to get by.
Eg. Dad works 40h week, 7 to 3:30. Little tyke is 4. Mum took off with the neighbor to Vanuatu.
What does Dad do? Has to tell boss he can’t start work till 9:30 after dropping little tyke to pre-school and has to finish at 2:30, or pay for before and after care? Either way, his weekly income just got slashed substantially, or he lost his job altogether, or the outside hours care is all booked out. The Mum has now taken legal action to claim half the house and assets as hers. Judge believes the fake sob story about abuse and Dad now has to sell the house and find a rental. Unable to find a job that gives him the hours he needs, Dad is now living on the funds the pollies are about to slash and can’t get a government house due to the lack of availability. His efforts to find a rental without an income are fruitless [not that he could afford them anyway], so now they live in a tent at Cotter camping ground.
Still feel like putting this single parent into the same box as the Mum with 3 kids in beautiful house and nice car? Not all welfare recipients are as portrayed in the news.
[The example above is not based on anyone, just a possible scenario.]

absolutely agreed – I did a fair bit of volunteering with St Vincent de Paul a year or so ago, and anecdotally the usual situation is indeed where one parent has upped and left, or died, or has had drug/alcohol/mental health issues and is out of the picture for that reason.
The comments blaming people for their ‘lifestyle choices’ are bloody absurd and completely divorced from reality.

IF people are in public/community housing they generally tend to do OK on government benefits, but if they’re trapped in the private rental market it’s essentially impossible for them to get by without help from charities if they’ve got kids because the rent alone takes up most of their meager income. They’re the ones in the most dire straights.

It’s a relief to see that not every user one on this site is a soulless bastard 🙂

Thumper 1:31 pm 13 Apr 13

Jim Jones said :

Thumper said :

Jim Jones said :

Masquara said :

Anyone who thinks living on any form of welfare in Australia is hardship is in la-la-land. The other week Canberra 7.30 featured a sole parent who was supposedly living in poverty. She was actually living in a three-bedroom house with a garden, courtesy of the ACT ratepayers, and had a 14 and a 15 year old living at home. All three were fat (that is relevant: read on). Her cute little 4WD car was newer than mine! The week before a documentary had been screened on the telly, on poverty in Florida in the United States. Those folk were actually skinny from barely being able to feed themselves – contrasted with the obese family just mentioned. Children had been taken away from some of the families, as they couldn’t feed them. There were breadwinners earning $3.00 an hour and walking miles to work and back – one of whom had been a middle manager in the ‘burbs until two years before. They were living in single motel rooms – in one case, a family of six – with $30 for all living expenses other than what food stamps covered, after the motel room rent was paid. What I particularly noticed from the doco was that not ONE of these poor folk whinged. Not one complaint. Get real, Australian welfare beneficiaries! You are in clover compared to anyone else in the world bar perhaps two of the Scandinavian nations.

Now *that* is the compassion and empathy we’ve come to expect from the Liberal Party.

Like the compassion and empathy shown by Gillard?

Remembering who slashed the welfare entitlements, that is…

I’ve not forgotten. A pox on both their houses.

But Masquara is the Liberal Party representative around these parts.

Point taken…

Jim Jones 1:05 pm 13 Apr 13

Thumper said :

Jim Jones said :

Masquara said :

Anyone who thinks living on any form of welfare in Australia is hardship is in la-la-land. The other week Canberra 7.30 featured a sole parent who was supposedly living in poverty. She was actually living in a three-bedroom house with a garden, courtesy of the ACT ratepayers, and had a 14 and a 15 year old living at home. All three were fat (that is relevant: read on). Her cute little 4WD car was newer than mine! The week before a documentary had been screened on the telly, on poverty in Florida in the United States. Those folk were actually skinny from barely being able to feed themselves – contrasted with the obese family just mentioned. Children had been taken away from some of the families, as they couldn’t feed them. There were breadwinners earning $3.00 an hour and walking miles to work and back – one of whom had been a middle manager in the ‘burbs until two years before. They were living in single motel rooms – in one case, a family of six – with $30 for all living expenses other than what food stamps covered, after the motel room rent was paid. What I particularly noticed from the doco was that not ONE of these poor folk whinged. Not one complaint. Get real, Australian welfare beneficiaries! You are in clover compared to anyone else in the world bar perhaps two of the Scandinavian nations.

Now *that* is the compassion and empathy we’ve come to expect from the Liberal Party.

Like the compassion and empathy shown by Gillard?

Remembering who slashed the welfare entitlements, that is…

I’ve not forgotten. A pox on both their houses.

But Masquara is the Liberal Party representative around these parts.

Tetranitrate 1:01 pm 13 Apr 13

wildturkeycanoe said :

You people are a bunch of heartless brutes. Sure there is a proportion of single mums out there who fit your steroetype, but there are also those who are legitimately doing things tough.
Due to a lot of slack Mums and Dads who just up and leave when times are tough, there are some single parents who find themselves alone out of no fault of their own. They then have to choose how to get by.
Eg. Dad works 40h week, 7 to 3:30. Little tyke is 4. Mum took off with the neighbor to Vanuatu.
What does Dad do? Has to tell boss he can’t start work till 9:30 after dropping little tyke to pre-school and has to finish at 2:30, or pay for before and after care? Either way, his weekly income just got slashed substantially, or he lost his job altogether, or the outside hours care is all booked out. The Mum has now taken legal action to claim half the house and assets as hers. Judge believes the fake sob story about abuse and Dad now has to sell the house and find a rental. Unable to find a job that gives him the hours he needs, Dad is now living on the funds the pollies are about to slash and can’t get a government house due to the lack of availability. His efforts to find a rental without an income are fruitless [not that he could afford them anyway], so now they live in a tent at Cotter camping ground.
Still feel like putting this single parent into the same box as the Mum with 3 kids in beautiful house and nice car? Not all welfare recipients are as portrayed in the news.
[The example above is not based on anyone, just a possible scenario.]

absolutely agreed – I did a fair bit of volunteering with St Vincent de Paul a year or so ago, and anecdotally the usual situation is indeed where one parent has upped and left, or died, or has had drug/alcohol/mental health issues and is out of the picture for that reason.
The comments blaming people for their ‘lifestyle choices’ are bloody absurd and completely divorced from reality.

IF people are in public/community housing they generally tend to do OK on government benefits, but if they’re trapped in the private rental market it’s essentially impossible for them to get by without help from charities if they’ve got kids because the rent alone takes up most of their meager income. They’re the ones in the most dire straights.

HiddenDragon 12:55 pm 13 Apr 13

DrKoresh said :

My dad raised me as a single parent, and for a significant chunk of my childhood we were living below the national poverty line, so I think a lot of people here don’t have a goddamn clue what they’re talking about. I don’t understand why the cuts are being made to single parents, not childless singles and couples, it’s a spit in the eye of people who have one of the hardest jobs there is.

Not to mention the poor kid, turning 8 years old and suddenly having even less money to get by one than they did before. Most of you lot seem to take you wealth for granted, so I’d guess you don’t have any idea how hard it can be for a child who can’t afford even the basic stuff they see all their friends playing with or to go on school camps and excursions. This welfare cut makes me really mad, so I’m going to stop now before I degenerate into a lot of rambling and swearing

A Labor government worthy of the name wouldn’t be just tinkering with top-end superannuation, they’d be looking at all the legalised lurks and rorts including a capital gains tax system which, as I understand it, allows people who make their living through asset price speculation to pay tax at about half the rate (if that) of people who do real work for a living.

Thumper 12:18 pm 13 Apr 13

Jim Jones said :

Masquara said :

Anyone who thinks living on any form of welfare in Australia is hardship is in la-la-land. The other week Canberra 7.30 featured a sole parent who was supposedly living in poverty. She was actually living in a three-bedroom house with a garden, courtesy of the ACT ratepayers, and had a 14 and a 15 year old living at home. All three were fat (that is relevant: read on). Her cute little 4WD car was newer than mine! The week before a documentary had been screened on the telly, on poverty in Florida in the United States. Those folk were actually skinny from barely being able to feed themselves – contrasted with the obese family just mentioned. Children had been taken away from some of the families, as they couldn’t feed them. There were breadwinners earning $3.00 an hour and walking miles to work and back – one of whom had been a middle manager in the ‘burbs until two years before. They were living in single motel rooms – in one case, a family of six – with $30 for all living expenses other than what food stamps covered, after the motel room rent was paid. What I particularly noticed from the doco was that not ONE of these poor folk whinged. Not one complaint. Get real, Australian welfare beneficiaries! You are in clover compared to anyone else in the world bar perhaps two of the Scandinavian nations.

Now *that* is the compassion and empathy we’ve come to expect from the Liberal Party.

Like the compassion and empathy shown by Gillard?

Remembering who slashed the welfare entitlements, that is…

DrKoresh 11:49 am 13 Apr 13

My dad raised me as a single parent, and for a significant chunk of my childhood we were living below the national poverty line, so I think a lot of people here don’t have a goddamn clue what they’re talking about. I don’t understand why the cuts are being made to single parents, not childless singles and couples, it’s a spit in the eye of people who have one of the hardest jobs there is.

Not to mention the poor kid, turning 8 years old and suddenly having even less money to get by one than they did before. Most of you lot seem to take you wealth for granted, so I’d guess you don’t have any idea how hard it can be for a child who can’t afford even the basic stuff they see all their friends playing with or to go on school camps and excursions. This welfare cut makes me really mad, so I’m going to stop now before I degenerate into a lot of rambling and swearing

HiddenDragon 11:31 am 13 Apr 13

With this morning’s contributions from wildturkeycanoe and Jim Jones, it’s good to see some balance coming back into the debate. Reading and reflecting on the statistics regarding divorce, particularly divorces involving children (with at least similar patterns presumably applying to de facto relationships), and the trends in unemployment and job vacancies, might be useful for some.

Whatever her motives, I still admire Yvette Berry for breaking ranks on this issue.

Jim Jones 10:09 am 13 Apr 13

Masquara said :

Anyone who thinks living on any form of welfare in Australia is hardship is in la-la-land. The other week Canberra 7.30 featured a sole parent who was supposedly living in poverty. She was actually living in a three-bedroom house with a garden, courtesy of the ACT ratepayers, and had a 14 and a 15 year old living at home. All three were fat (that is relevant: read on). Her cute little 4WD car was newer than mine! The week before a documentary had been screened on the telly, on poverty in Florida in the United States. Those folk were actually skinny from barely being able to feed themselves – contrasted with the obese family just mentioned. Children had been taken away from some of the families, as they couldn’t feed them. There were breadwinners earning $3.00 an hour and walking miles to work and back – one of whom had been a middle manager in the ‘burbs until two years before. They were living in single motel rooms – in one case, a family of six – with $30 for all living expenses other than what food stamps covered, after the motel room rent was paid. What I particularly noticed from the doco was that not ONE of these poor folk whinged. Not one complaint. Get real, Australian welfare beneficiaries! You are in clover compared to anyone else in the world bar perhaps two of the Scandinavian nations.

Now *that* is the compassion and empathy we’ve come to expect from the Liberal Party.

wildturkeycanoe 7:29 am 13 Apr 13

You people are a bunch of heartless brutes. Sure there is a proportion of single mums out there who fit your steroetype, but there are also those who are legitimately doing things tough.
Due to a lot of slack Mums and Dads who just up and leave when times are tough, there are some single parents who find themselves alone out of no fault of their own. They then have to choose how to get by.
Eg. Dad works 40h week, 7 to 3:30. Little tyke is 4. Mum took off with the neighbor to Vanuatu.
What does Dad do? Has to tell boss he can’t start work till 9:30 after dropping little tyke to pre-school and has to finish at 2:30, or pay for before and after care? Either way, his weekly income just got slashed substantially, or he lost his job altogether, or the outside hours care is all booked out. The Mum has now taken legal action to claim half the house and assets as hers. Judge believes the fake sob story about abuse and Dad now has to sell the house and find a rental. Unable to find a job that gives him the hours he needs, Dad is now living on the funds the pollies are about to slash and can’t get a government house due to the lack of availability. His efforts to find a rental without an income are fruitless [not that he could afford them anyway], so now they live in a tent at Cotter camping ground.
Still feel like putting this single parent into the same box as the Mum with 3 kids in beautiful house and nice car? Not all welfare recipients are as portrayed in the news.
[The example above is not based on anyone, just a possible scenario.]

Masquara 5:32 pm 12 Apr 13

Anyone who thinks living on any form of welfare in Australia is hardship is in la-la-land. The other week Canberra 7.30 featured a sole parent who was supposedly living in poverty. She was actually living in a three-bedroom house with a garden, courtesy of the ACT ratepayers, and had a 14 and a 15 year old living at home. All three were fat (that is relevant: read on). Her cute little 4WD car was newer than mine! The week before a documentary had been screened on the telly, on poverty in Florida in the United States. Those folk were actually skinny from barely being able to feed themselves – contrasted with the obese family just mentioned. Children had been taken away from some of the families, as they couldn’t feed them. There were breadwinners earning $3.00 an hour and walking miles to work and back – one of whom had been a middle manager in the ‘burbs until two years before. They were living in single motel rooms – in one case, a family of six – with $30 for all living expenses other than what food stamps covered, after the motel room rent was paid. What I particularly noticed from the doco was that not ONE of these poor folk whinged. Not one complaint. Get real, Australian welfare beneficiaries! You are in clover compared to anyone else in the world bar perhaps two of the Scandinavian nations.

Genie 3:58 pm 12 Apr 13

Welfare always will be a touchy subject and my opinions on this matter make people receiving benefits extremely angry !!

Welfare shouldn’t be a “one fits all” package. In reality – it should be a case by case package designed to get single parents and the unemployed (sans children) into work. Welfare is meant to be SHORT TERM financial assistance during hard times. Being a single parent, is not a hard time and welfare shouldn’t be treated as a means to live.

When it comes to unemployment payments, Centrelink should be DECREASING payments the longer the individual person has been on the benefits. For example: 100% of payments for the first 12 months, 90% for 12-18months, 80% for 18-24 months and so on and so forth. Over time they won’t be receiving enough money to live – therefore forcing them into the workforce.

Now – When it comes to single parent payments – why on Earth does the Government keep throwing more money at SINGLE parents when they pop out more children. This just encourages that vicious cycle that a minority of “dole bludgers” enter by continually having children for more money.
As JB pointed out in #10 we’ll have to accept that children come along in ways not always planned. . Why should the Government pay for that ? If they are already seeking assistance for one or more children they already cannot afford to support, why does the Government give them MORE money ? Centrelink should FREEZE payments based on your circumstances when you applied for benefits. (this should apply to public housing aswell). If you receive welfare payments for yourself and 3 children, and get given a 4 bedroom house – why do taxpayers then need to fund that 4th and 5th child you may “accidently” have and then upgrade you to the 6 bedroom mcmansion you harass Public Housing for ? I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it. If you’re already on benefits – YOU CAN’T AFFORD TO HAVE MORE CHILDREN !
Before people ark up and claim that some people don’t have the skills to find a high enough paying jobs to survive / feed children – Centrelink provides access to attend certain CIT courses FOR FREE !!!!! Yes you heard me FREE. (or at a cost of 50%). There is no excuse for anyone receiving unemployment benefits OR single parenting payments to not receive further education to help them get a job.

Yes – I have lived off unemployment benefits before
No – I do not have children
Yes – I know of single parents who struggle on benefits
Yes – I also know of MORE single parents who get off their arse and work to provide for their children instead of relying on handouts.

Dante 1:30 pm 12 Apr 13

Agreed Damien, this seems to go against some of Labor’s core values, and Kim Carr has blasted the Govt since being relieved of his duties at Human Services minister, saying that he couldn’t support the changes.

So I guess we can safely assume that Labor has well and truly crossed the middle line and is headed towards a populist right-wing agenda to pander to the uneducated masses.

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