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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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36 Responses to
Yvette Berry goes Federal Labor over Single Parent Payment Cuts
chewy14 9:52 am 12 Apr 13

johnboy said :

banco said :

So the rest of Australia owes them a living due to their life choices?

Well until we licence childbirth (and doing so instantly begin the depopulation of the continent and the end of the australian nation) we’ll have to accept that children come along in ways not always planned.

Now we’ve got young mothers with young children and less than ideal family situations.

Which is cheaper in the long run?

1) Cut their weekly payments? In turn leading to disruptive children in school (and one disruptive child drags the whole class down), and down the track massive health costs in our hospitals

2) Give them a bit of money now that stops them burdening the rest of the system down the track and raises productive future australians?

It’s not that hard now is it?

Offering sterilisation payments for people on welfare would be even cheaper and far more effective than the lucky dip of parental payments to achieve productive future Australians.

The intergenerational welfare cycle is a tricky one to combat.

bundah 9:34 am 12 Apr 13

johnboy said :

banco said :

So the rest of Australia owes them a living due to their life choices?

Well until we licence childbirth (and doing so instantly begin the depopulation of the continent and the end of the australian nation) we’ll have to accept that children come along in ways not always planned.

Now we’ve got young mothers with young children and less than ideal family situations.

Which is cheaper in the long run?

1) Cut their weekly payments? In turn leading to disruptive children in school (and one disruptive child drags the whole class down), and down the track massive health costs in our hospitals

2) Give them a bit of money now that stops them burdening the rest of the system down the track and raises productive future australians?

It’s not that hard now is it?

One only need look at the wonderful KIM’S,after all their benevolence is something that we should all aspire to!

Erg0 9:33 am 12 Apr 13

johnboy said :

Which is cheaper in the long run?

1) Cut their weekly payments? In turn leading to disruptive children in school (and one disruptive child drags the whole class down), and down the track massive health costs in our hospitals

2) Give them a bit of money now that stops them burdening the rest of the system down the track and raises productive future australians?

It’s not that hard now is it?

I guess that depends on whether you believe that number 2 is what actually results from the extra payments. Or, for that matter, that these are the only two options available. Surely it would be better to spend the equivalent sum of money on targeted social welfare programs, rather than just hand it out carte blanche to people who’ve already shown that they’re not brilliant at long-term decision-making?

HiddenDragon 9:26 am 12 Apr 13

The comments quoted above are rather mild, which probably says something about what a timorous bunch our local pollies are in relation to their federal confrere (of the same party). I assume the federal policy is about saving a few bucks, fitting in with Gillard’s “setting the alarm clock” mantra, and, to an extent, distinguishing themselves from the Greens – who will probably get the first preference votes of some of the affected people, with Labor still getting many of the second preferences.

I’ll second the essence of JB’s comments at #10, and just add that licencing parents was, as I recall it, suggested by Sir Humphrey in an episode of Yes Minister, so, on the principle that life (often) imitates art, there is a fair chance that there are people in this town who have given reasonably serious thought to that idea.

gungsuperstar 9:19 am 12 Apr 13

johnboy said :

banco said :

So the rest of Australia owes them a living due to their life choices?

Well until we licence childbirth (and doing so instantly begin the depopulation of the continent and the end of the australian nation) we’ll have to accept that children come along in ways not always planned.

Now we’ve got young mothers with young children and less than ideal family situations.

Which is cheaper in the long run?

1) Cut their weekly payments? In turn leading to disruptive children in school (and one disruptive child drags the whole class down), and down the track massive health costs in our hospitals

2) Give them a bit of money now that stops them burdening the rest of the system down the track and raises productive future australians?

It’s not that hard now is it?

The problem here John is that we know that poverty and welfare dependency are cyclical.

It’s a complete oversimplification to assume that children whose parents are forced to work are disruptive, and even moreso to assume that “by giving them a bit of money now” will result in more productive Australians – the cycle of poverty proves this.

johnboy 9:10 am 12 Apr 13

banco said :

So the rest of Australia owes them a living due to their life choices?

Well until we licence childbirth (and doing so instantly begin the depopulation of the continent and the end of the australian nation) we’ll have to accept that children come along in ways not always planned.

Now we’ve got young mothers with young children and less than ideal family situations.

Which is cheaper in the long run?

1) Cut their weekly payments? In turn leading to disruptive children in school (and one disruptive child drags the whole class down), and down the track massive health costs in our hospitals

2) Give them a bit of money now that stops them burdening the rest of the system down the track and raises productive future australians?

It’s not that hard now is it?

MrPC 8:23 am 12 Apr 13

Perhaps Yvette Berry should be working within the ACT Government to increase school hours to match business hours. If the kids had to be on site between 8:30am and 5:00pm, then it’d be a lot easier for parents of working age children to find employment. ‘

The kids will hate it, but they don’t vote. The teachers may protest, but they will understand in the context of parents on newstart.

Heck, we may then be able to knock a year or two off the end of the school process, and get our kids into the workforce quicker. Alternatively, we might even have enough time then to teach them how to read and write properly before they graduate. The possibilities are endless.

chewy14 7:54 am 12 Apr 13

Tetranitrate said :

bd84 said :

Perhaps she should help her electorate members get off their butt and get a job now that they have no valid excuse not to work, with their kids at school for 6+ hours a day. Then they could be like the rest of us and not rely on government handouts.

So when was the last time you hired a single parent to work within school hours?

What was so sick about that decision wasn’t adding job-search requirements anyway. The government could have easily added those to the parenting payments and patted themselves on the back, job well done.
They decided instead to shunt these people straight onto newstart, which pays significantly less, as part of a miserly effort to try and push the budget into the black for purely political (not economic) reasons.

I’ve hired parents previously for part time school hour work. There are jobs out there, they just have to keep looking. And its not like Newstart is the only payment these people get so its not like they’re living in complete poverty.
I think this is a good welfare cut, its just a shame the government doesn’t have the balls to cut the welfare of far more well off people as well.

miz 7:47 am 12 Apr 13

Huh, the feds are finally realising there are a lot of sole parents out there, and they vote.

The govt has unsuccessfully tried to dress this policy up as ‘we are just helping them get work’, but most are working anyway and any extra earnings are just deducted, leaving a massive net loss due to the pension cuts. I lived thru the Howard ‘mutual obligation’ years as a sole parent with a disabled child, and it was not pretty. This is worse. I have written to Minister Macklin and got a reply recently – thinking about posting though it is a very personal letter and not sure if this it the forum given it is a fed matter.

Even conservative economists now reckon the dole should be raised. It would have been smarter to increase the dole to sole parent levels instead of the other way round. And if they couldn’t afford that, better to have done nothing and not be seen as clawing money from vulnerable people.

gungsuperstar 3:14 am 12 Apr 13

I’m a massive fan of Yvette – but she’s pulled the wrong reign here. My view is that the Labor party supports (or at least should support) welfare as a safety net, not as an a form of payment for parents who choose not to work. It supports individual liberty through (secure) work, and encourages work as the best way for people to be engaged with their community and with their own welfare, and to provide opportunity for themselves and their families.

“Going” Federal Labor over cuts to welfare was the wrong tack here – the right tack would’ve been to call on the Federal Government to find methods to support and encourage employers to hire parents returning to the workforce, and who wish to do so on part time hours (which I believe forms part of the package, although I’m not entirely across it).

Without wanting to generalise the “welfare dependents” among Yvette’s West Belconnen constituency, there is no way in the world that the area can achieve it’s potential and provide the best opportunities to kids (which is what she campaigned on) simply by supporting an ongoing reliance on welfare.

At what age does she think parents should be returning to work, if not 8? 12 (high school?) 18?

I know there’s a lot more to being a stay at home mum than sitting at home watching Ellen – but as far as I can tell, an 8 year old child is gaining more hope and opportunity, and gaining a much better role model from having a parent who works, as opposed to having a parent who lives off welfare.

Masquara said :

Parents with kids eight years old and over should be working (yeah Nicola Roxon that means you too). Newstart plus allowances allowed for the kids by world standards it is NOT living in poverty! Let alone developing countries, try being poor in the United States, living on food stamps in a motel room with $30 bucks left over after the rent, then get back to us for sympathy if you dare. Australia has a very generous welfare system.

But this is wrong, and can only come from the mouth of someone who has never had to use the welfare safety net. I was fortunate (?) to live in a small, cheap (compared to Canberra) little town when I spent 6 months unemployed – it obviously made it harder to get a job (hence my move to Canberra), but at least I could survive. Given the cost of living in Canberra, living solely on welfare in Canberra would absolutely result on you living in poverty.

I don’t support massive increases to welfare for all the reasons I listed above – but there does need to be a recognition that not all welfare recipients do so by choice, and that it’s a bloody hard life trying to provide for yourself, much less for kids when you’re on welfare.

gooterz 12:55 am 12 Apr 13

So I guess people might think twice before becoming a parent?

There are plenty of parents that work 40+ hours then try to make up other time with their children.

Parents who choose to spend all day with their kids instead of working, getting rewarded for it.

The net effect of loads of welfare for single parents is having more single parents just to get welfare.

If we make it so you can choose to be on welfare or have a job, that’s only going to create more welfare. Having a child shouldn’t be seen as a money making opportunity.

banco 12:48 am 12 Apr 13

Tetranitrate said :

bd84 said :

Perhaps she should help her electorate members get off their butt and get a job now that they have no valid excuse not to work, with their kids at school for 6+ hours a day. Then they could be like the rest of us and not rely on government handouts.

So when was the last time you hired a single parent to work within school hours?

What was so sick about that decision wasn’t adding job-search requirements anyway. The government could have easily added those to the parenting payments and patted themselves on the back, job well done.
They decided instead to shunt these people straight onto newstart, which pays significantly less, as part of a miserly effort to try and push the budget into the black for purely political (not economic) reasons.

So the rest of Australia owes them a living due to their life choices?

Masquara 11:23 pm 11 Apr 13

Parents with kids eight years old and over should be working (yeah Nicola Roxon that means you too). Newstart plus allowances allowed for the kids by world standards it is NOT living in poverty! Let alone developing countries, try being poor in the United States, living on food stamps in a motel room with $30 bucks left over after the rent, then get back to us for sympathy if you dare. Australia has a very generous welfare system.

Tetranitrate 11:08 pm 11 Apr 13

bd84 said :

Perhaps she should help her electorate members get off their butt and get a job now that they have no valid excuse not to work, with their kids at school for 6+ hours a day. Then they could be like the rest of us and not rely on government handouts.

So when was the last time you hired a single parent to work within school hours?

What was so sick about that decision wasn’t adding job-search requirements anyway. The government could have easily added those to the parenting payments and patted themselves on the back, job well done.
They decided instead to shunt these people straight onto newstart, which pays significantly less, as part of a miserly effort to try and push the budget into the black for purely political (not economic) reasons.

bd84 10:34 pm 11 Apr 13

Perhaps she should help her electorate members get off their butt and get a job now that they have no valid excuse not to work, with their kids at school for 6+ hours a day. Then they could be like the rest of us and not rely on government handouts.

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