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ParentsNext benefits providers while leaving single parents in desperate situations 

The Greens have repeated their call for the Government to reform the ParentsNext program and make it voluntary after whistleblowers on ABC's Background Briefing have come out showing how dysfunctional the program is, just one year after it's rollout. 

"The nature of the program and outsourcing services to private for profit providers is a recipe for disaster", Senator Rachel Siewert said.

"Private for profit providers have a primary motivation of profit and some are putting their company bottom line over the interests of some of the most vulnerable people in our community. 

"ParentsNext is an ideologically driven approach that clearly doesn't work, rather than assisting people who are facing significant barriers like homelessness and poverty, single mothers are hounded and put into impossible situations. 

"The Government needs to act urgently to ensure the women that were interviewed on Background Briefing stop being hounded. 

"The Government’s constant comments that the best form of welfare is a job is even more ludicrous when you are talking about homeless women or women with young children and denies the fact that caring for children is so important. 

"One of the women who shared her experience was raising eight children on less than $500 a week because her sister was killed in family violence and her payment was cut off because she couldn't meet the program's draconian requirements. 

"We really need to have a more sophisticated and nuanced approach to social services and income support and the Government shouldn’t be trying at every turn to police people’s lives or chuck them off support payments.

"It's absolutely outrageous that the Government is spending millions of dollars of public money on a program that demonises people just because they are single parents. 

"The Senate inquiry into this program found that ParentsNext is not fit for purpose, just this week the Senate passed my motion calling on the Government to act on the recommendations from the inquiry. 

"If Labor and the crossbench had supported my attempt to disallow this program last year in the Senate the program rollout would have ceased and people in our community would not be in this position."

Media Contact
Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie; 0418 401 180

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