Single parent payments are back on the table more than 11 years after the Gillard Government’s overhaul plunged tens of thousands of single mothers into poverty.
Back in 2012, on the same day that then-Prime Minister Julia Gillard delivered her infamous misogyny speech – in which she told Tony Abbott that she wouldn’t be lectured about sexism and misogyny – the government passed controversial legislation to strip welfare assistance by about $100 a week to single parents, most of whom were women.
The move also meant parents would no longer be able to receive the handout once their youngest child turned eight. This officially ended an arrangement put in place by the Howard Government that allowed those already on the payment in July 2006 to keep receiving it until their youngest’s 16th birthday.
Watch: Mia speak with Angela Bishop on how she never thought she'd never be a single mum. Post continues after video.
Since then, parents have been shuffled from the single parent payment (which is about $960 a fortnight) to the Jobseeker allowance (which is about $176 less a fortnight) when their last child turns eight.
While the cut saved the federal government $728 million over four years and $5 billion by 2020, it threw 80,000 single parents onto the lower payment.
So, why’s everyone talking about the single parent payment now?
With Labor back in power, the party is under pressure to reverse Ms Gillard’s decision in next month’s federal budget and improve support for single parents.