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$350million ParentsNext Program must drop harsh compliance regime and focus on assisting families

The Australian Greens call on the Government to scrap the operation of the punitive targeted compliance framework in the ParentsNext program as complaints about the program grow.

“Parents are getting their payments suspended for things like missing appointments or activities because they have to take a child to a medical appointment and they are quitting units of study because they can’t miss an appointment or an “activity". 

“In September I moved to disallow the ParentsNext program and its nation-wide expansion because of my concerns about the impacts this program would have on single parents but this was unfortunately not supported by the ALP and the crossbench.

"Since then, more and more parents have come forward with negative experiences of this program. I’m very glad that the Senate supported the referral of the ParentsNext program to a Senate inquiry.

“Whether it’s jobactive, ParentsNext or CDP, these programs are blunt instruments that do not address the barriers people face, or the flexibility required with young children.

“In what world do we want single parents, the overwhelming majority of whom are women to choose between their long term future and whether or not they can pay rent next week. Of course they are going to choose their payment, but this approach is so short sighted.

“We have women going into a program to get “job ready" having to miss work days or study just so they can be compliant.

“During the two year trial of the program more than 3,500 participants had their payments suspended and that was before the operation of the TCF.

"Let’s remember, when a parent’s payment is suspended, it is their children that will face the consequences.

“The Government should scrap the operation of the targeted compliance framework, this harsh approach is not assisting people but rather punishing them."

 

Media Contact:

Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie: 0418 401 180

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