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The Single Parent 2017 Budget Round Up

Government Orders Single Parents To Be Verified

By Jason Bryce | 10 May 2017



A single parent guide to Budget 2017 - stock photo source: Bigstock.com

Single parents will now have to provide

'verification' of their relationship status

Single parents will now have to have to provide 'verification' of their relationship status in order to claim Centrelink's Parenting Payment Single. Single parents who leave parenting Payment Single and then return to the payment will also be caught up in this new verification net.

"From 20 September 2018 new claimants seeking Parenting Payment (Single) or single parents claiming Newstart Allowance will be required to have a third party sign a new form verifying that they are in fact single," the government announced as part of the 2017 Budget this week.

Yes that's right. You have to find someone to verify that you are in fact single. That shouldn't be too hard, right? Be sure to tell them that the penalty for making a false declaration is up to 12 months in prison.

"This is offensive and deeply disturbing," said Terese Edwards, chief executive of the National Council of Single Mothers and their Children.

"Who verifies? Do children get asked? Is there a neighbour watch alert? This is a slippery slope back into the dark days. I'm proud of our single mothers, they are doing a damn good job and don't need the burden of Government prejudice."

Centrelink single parent verification - stock photo source: Bigstock.com
Centrelink single parent verification

There is good news.

The 'zombie cuts' from the Abbott/Hockey Budget of 2014 have been dropped. The big cuts to Family Tax Benefits (FTB) and other payments have been formally dropped. So that's settled then. Yes but ...

Family Tax benefits frozen for two years

Whatever you get now in Family Tax Benefits may be the exact amount you will still be getting in two years time. While inflation is expected to eat up to six per cent of your money's value, FTB Part A and B will be frozen at present levels until 2019.

That will end up costing you $188 per year per child in FTB Part A and $109 per year in FTB Part B

If your child is a teenager, the hit will be greater. The FTB A freeze will eventually cost you $475 per year and the Part B freeze will have $48 per year from your payments.

Three strikes and you're out for Jobseekers


Single mothers and others who are on Newstart or Youth Allowance may be subject to new job search requirements.

And missing an interview or appointment will now result in loss of 50 per cent of a fortnightly payment. A second miss will mean loss of 100 per cent of a fortnightly payment and the third strike is a four week exclusion from payments. Good luck eating.

Centrelink stop single parenting payments - stock photo source: Bigstock.com
Centrelink can stop single parenting payments

ParentsNext New training programs for parents

The government is spending $263 million on ParentsNext, a training program to help parents prepare for work from 1 July 2018.

Seven Centrelink payments combined into one

From 20 March 2020, one single JobSeeker Payment will replace seven existing Centrelink payments including Newstart Allowance, Sickness Allowance, Wife Pension, Partner Allowance, Bereavement Allowance, Widow B Pension, and Widow Allowance.

The government says despite the name change, over 99 per cent of people will have no change to their payment rates.

Catholic school fees could rise


Parents with kids at Catholic primary schools could face big fee increases next year.

Tim Smith, from the Catholic Education Commission in the A.C.T. told SingleMum.com.au that some school fees will rise by 200 per cent.

Catholic school fees rise - stock photo source: Bigstock.com
Catholic School Fees rise

Tim has a list of 21 local Catholic primary schools that will be forced to put up their fees next year because they will actually lose funding in real terms over the next ten years.

Some schools, like St Thomas More's at Campbell and St Bede's in Red Hill will have to put their fees up by up to $5,000 per student, per year, said Tim.

"That's a school fee increase of two hundred per cent."

More than ten other schools will increase fees by more than two thousand dollars per year including Holy Trinity in Curtin, St Joseph's in O'Connor and Sts Peter and Paul Primary School in Garran.

Schools in other states will also be affected said Ian Baker from the NSW Catholic Education Commission. He estimated about $19 million from catholic schools in NSW.

In Victoria, 103 catholic schools could raise fees to cover funding shortfalls said the executive director of Catholic Education Melbourne, Stephen Elder.

Medicare saved and strengthened

"Tonight, we put to rest any doubts about Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme," Scott Morrison told Parliament.

Then he announced a Medicare Guarantee Bill to fund $2.2 billion in new and reinstated Medicare benefits for ordinary patients. Hospital funding will jump by $2.8 billion over four years and mental health services will get an extra $115 million. Another $66 million will help research into children's cancer.


Jason Bryce
Business & Finance Journalist





Further Australian Single Parent reading


Read the article..

Verification bombshell - Every Australian single parent to be reviewed
Jason Bryce | 16 May 2017

Just because you have been receiving parenting Payment Single or Newstart for years makes no difference. All single parents must be more...

Read the article..

Drugs and Centrelink – and why your FTB may soon be income managed
Jason Bryce | 13 May 2017

These income management trials apply to all payments and to all welfare recipients, including those parents simply getting a few dollars of Family Tax Benefit Part A each fortnight... more...

Read the article..

Centrelink debt - 5 ways to avoid being branded a welfare cheat
Jason Bryce | 3 February 2017

Single parents targeted by Centrelinks robo-debt - here are five ways to avoid being branded a welfare cheat... more...




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Jason is a business and finance journalist with 20 years experience, and is also a member of the SingleMum.com.au Expert Opinion Panel. He has a regular weekly column in the Sunday Mail (Brisbane) and writes regularly for the Business Daily section of the Herald Sun in Melbourne and many other newspapers and magazines.

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What does it mean to be a single mum?Of course, the

kids

are the most important thing in a single mum's life. Kids are the focus and always have been. But along with the children, there are other matters that can confuse a single mum's life.

Centrelink

plays a big part of a single mother's life, mainly because this is where a large percentage of single mums get their finances from. Centrelink are the source from where the

single mother pension

, or as it is otherwise known, the single parent payment comes from. The single mother pension is a subsistence amount, but just the same, it is money to live on, and so it is important, no matter if it is called single parent payment, single mother pension or whatever Centrelink welfare classes it at the time

Often, single mums come out of a

divorce

or defacto relationship only to find that their troubles have just begun, and find that their first step leads them towards Family Law - it's time to engage a lawyer.
There are more than just Centrelink finance problems to worry about, as mentioned before, but also

child custody

issues. Child custody is something that hits right at the heart of

single mums

. If a single mother's ex husband or ex partner has been a domestic violence perpetrator, the mum may be greatly worried about child custody. They worry that their kids won't be safe with their spouse, who has already proven to be abusive because they caused

domestic violence

, which resulted in a divorce or separation.

Even so,

Family Court

will often still order a form of child custody named

Shared Parenting

. Shared Parenting is a form of child custody division of time or parental responsibility between the parents. Mother's often look for a good divorce lawyer to try to avoid share parenting with an abusive ex-spouse after divorce, however in many cases Shared Parenting is still the outcome after the divorce, no matter how good the divorce lawyers have been. They will often settle for visitation at a contact centre or access centre where fathers or mothers are supervised during child custody access.

Please remember the bigger font words,because we will use it often in our website.