Women and Children in Poverty Need Urgent Cost-of-Living Response

Australian Greens

Recent reports from ACOSS and analysis by Anti-Poverty Week have confirmed that poverty and homelessness are disproportionately impacting women and children. This is a crisis, and it demands an urgent government response.

The Greens are urging Labor to use the upcoming Budget to start turning this around. Remove the Parenting Payment Single cut off. Raise the rate of all income support payments. Invest in housing. Fully fund frontline services.

As stated by Greens leader in the Senate and spokesperson on women, Senator Larissa Waters

"Poverty and homelessness are disproportionately impacting women and children. This is a crisis, and it demands an urgent government response.

"People voted for change at the last election, and an end to the sexist policies of the Morrison government. Those people deserve policies that will fix gendered economic inequality.

"Women make up more than 60% of those relying on the lowest income support payments. They also made up more than 60% of clients of homelessness services last year.

"With rental prices skyrocketing, the fastest growing group of people at risk of homelessness are women over 45. Women who deserve direct investment in affordable housing, not a stock market gamble dressed up as housing policy.

"Reversing the terrible decision of the Gillard government to cut off Parenting Payment Single when kids turn 8 and dumping single parents down to the inadequate rate of JobSeeker at almost $100 less each week, would cost $1.4 billion dollars - a fraction of a fraction of the Stage 3 tax cuts and AUKUS spending - but it would be life changing for 500,000 single mums and their kids.

"Cost of living rises, housing shortages and the ongoing national crisis of gendered violence demand urgent government action. If we scrapped the Stage 3 tax cuts, which mostly benefit rich men, we could fund things that will actually help the people who need it."

As stated by Senator Janet Rice, Greens social services spokesperson and Chair of the Community Affairs References Committee's inquiry into poverty

"Australia's woeful social security system is leaving millions of women, children, uni students and renters in poverty.

"Labor can't keep pretending social security payments are adequate. The Labor Government must introduce a poverty reduction package in May's budget and build a strong social safety net for all Australians.

"The Labor Government has found $368 billion to spend on nuclear submarines and $254 billion in Stage 3 tax cuts for the rich, but nothing for people struggling to pay rent and put food on the table.

"Labor say they're on the side of struggling Australians - it's time they show it, and use that money to make life a bit easier for people doing it tough.

"Instead of spending over $600 billion on nuclear submarines and tax cuts for billionaires, we should raise all social security payments above the poverty line to $88 a day, remove the Parenting Payment Single cut off, get dental and mental health into Medicare, and build enough public homes to clear the waitlist.

"Poverty is a policy choice. Right now, Labor is choosing to leave single mothers and children to starve."

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