Image © 2012 AAP One / Julian Smith
The Government is trying to convince unemployed parents receiving welfare Parenting Payments to get back into the workforce with changes to the conditions and cuts that aim to save $700 million annually.
The plan’s part of a general belt tightening that’s seen over $4 billion chopped out of the defence budget and cuts across the board.
As of January 2012 there were over 630,000 households receiving money from the taxpayer in one form or another and these proposed changes will affect about 100,000 families.
Under the present system single unemployed mums receive $648.50 a fortnight until their child turns sixteen. The proposed changes will mean those payments would be cut off when the youngest child turns 8 for single parent households while the cut off is 6 for households with two parents.
According to Employment and Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten, “We believe that, once children are at school, parents should be encouraged and supported back into the workforce.”
The measures will take effect in July 2013.
There are other changes as well. People spending more than six weeks overseas a year while receiving family tax benefits or the disability pension will have payments cut by as much as $160 a fortnight.
The really shocking part of this story? Even Tony Abbott thinks it’s a good plan.