Greens move to protect single-parents payment

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The Greens will seek to amend proposed Government legislation which threatens to cut the income support payments of around 100,000 single parents by up to $60 per week.

Greens Deputy Leader, MP for Melbourne Adam Bandt has circulated an amendment in the House of Representatives to remove the clause from the Fair Incentives to Work budget measure.

"We are calling on the Government and Coalition to support this amendment and give better support to struggling families," Mr Bandt said.

"This is an opportunity for Labor backbenchers who have expressed their concern to do something about it."

"Our amendment will prevent 100,000 single parents being placed on Newstart Allowance - a payment that is more than $130 per week below the poverty line. A cut in payments will see single parents struggle to find work or affordable child care. It will lead to children growing up in poverty."

Greens spokesperson on Families and Community Services, Senator Rachel Siewert said today that the Greens will closely examine the legislation in the Senate.

"The old parties are continuing to ignore the circumstances of some of the most vulnerable people in our society. The Greens are giving them the chance to change their approach.

"We know that Newstart is too low to effectively support people and this impacts on their ability to find work, yet the Government is intent on pushing people on to the payment. This legislation will make it harder to find work and harder to care for a family. It is an unacceptable situation," Senator Siewert concluded.

The Social Security Legislation Amendment (Fair Incentives to Work) Bill 2012 is due to be debated today.