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Government must now explain to UN why they have entrenched sole mothers in poverty 

It's saddening but not surprising that sole mothers have had to go to the UN to draw attention to the plight of sole parents in this country.

"I congratulate Ms Edwards and Ms McLaren for advocating for the human rights of sole parents and their children", Senator Rachel Siewert said. 

"These women are shining a light on the poor treatment and punitive measures that target sole mothers in Australia at the UN Commission on the Status of Women in New York, just weeks after the President of the Australian Human Rights Commission slammed the Government for its treatment of single mothers at the inquiry into the Government’s ParentsNext program.

"International human rights laws, that Australia is signatory to, recognises that all people are entitled to a minimum essential level of social security.

"The inadequate Newstart rate and the ParentsNext program which can suspend parenting payments at no notice, mean that these human rights are not being met. 

 "There is a direct correlation between an increase in the poverty rate of single parents and the Howard and Gillard Governments chucking single parents off the Parenting Payment onto Newstart when their youngest child turns eight.

"It's getting pretty tiring hearing the phrase "the best form of welfare is a job" no questions asked. 

"This is not a fact, it's a statement of ideology. 

 "The ParentsNext program was part of the complaint to the UN because of its impact on single mothers.

 "I think most people have had enough of “welfare” bashing.  We should be proud that we have a social safety net in this country, it is part of us being a fair country that looks after its community members.

"We need to remember that every attempt by the Government to erode our social safety net is an attack on our community and our human rights.

 "Let’s take a look at the “welfare” being handed out to big business and mining companies through tax cuts and subsidies.

"We could have stopped the rollout of this ParentsNext program and prevented the immense stress it is causing sole parents if my disallowance motion had been supported by the ALP and the crossbench."

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Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie: 0418 401 180

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