Greens target single mums in WA by-election bid

Scott Ludlam, Greens senator ...
Scott Ludlam, Greens senator ... "We’ve already taken some pretty dangerous steps ... towards the surveillance state." Jim Rice

THE GREENS have made a pitch to single mums across the country as the minor party looks to secure Senator Scott Ludlam's seat in the West Australian Senate by-election.

As WA voters prepare for Saturday's poll, the minor party looks to have a fight on its hands to secure Senator Ludlam's seat, against a raft of micro parties on the ballot.

Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said she would introduce a bill to move single parents on the Newstart Allowance back to the higher-paid parenting payments.

The move, which would need Labor's support to pass, would reverse decisions by the Howard and Gillard governments on eligibility for the payments.

She said it would allow single parents to remain eligible until their youngest child turned 16, rather than the current cut-off of eight years of age.

"It would also restore the payments of those parents affected by the Gillard government's January 2013 payment cuts," she said.

"The Welfare to Work approach has always been about punishing single parents and saving money off the backs of vulnerable people.

"Forcing single parents onto Newstart does nothing to help them into work - all it does is expose them and their children to poverty."

The bill was expected to be introduced once parliament returns after the budget sittings in May.

Topics:  greens scott ludlam

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