The Greens have condemned Minister Cash’s decision to extend the punitive ParentsNext program for another three years.
“How can the Government continue to pour millions into a program that has been widely condemned when they have no evidence to support that it is meeting any of its objectives?” Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said.
This is a program that has been condemned by the Human Rights Commission to be “punitive” and “manifestly inconsistent” with Australia’s human rights obligations but the Minister has just gone ahead and extended it without undertaking an independent evaluation.
If this Government was really worried about parents and their children they would not have cut the corona supplement by $300 last week that will mean at least one million children will be living below the poverty line.
This Government thinks that because women are sole parents, they should be subjected to a compliance based program that is heavily monitored and punished if they don’t meet the requirements.
Let’s be clear, this program takes away choice and control from women. Receiving social security in the form of a Parenting Payment should not call into question the quality of a recipient's parenting.
This program views mothers of young children as unemployed workers when they are in fact working long hours raising the next generation.
There is clear evidence that compliance based approaches don’t work and that we need supportive models.
You only have to look at the number of single mothers living in poverty to see that the long history of social policies that denigrate women, particularly single mothers, is far from over.
Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie; 0418 401 180