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Single parents struggling to buy groceries without sole parent payment

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The results of a recent survey have shown that sole parents and their children have suffered a decline in nutrition and mental health and incurred large levels of debt since the sole parent payment was removed 12 months ago.

Since January 2013 nearly 100,000 sole parents have been $60 to $160 worse off a week after the former government abolished the ‘sole parent payment’.

“For sole parents, the flow on effect of having $100 taken out of your weekly budget is devastating for your children.

“Nearly half of the parents who responded said their child’s nutrition levels had declined as they were struggling to pay for groceries,” says The Parenthood’s Fiona Sugden.


Key findings:

  • 67% reported their child has suffered social or emotional distress
  • 73% reported their own mental health has declined.
  • 48% admitted their child’s nutrition levels have declined, while 2 in every 3 parents admitted they sometimes skip meals.
  • 32% said their child has missed a medical appointment.
  • 51% of respondents reported incurring credit card or bank debt as a result of the cuts.

“Of the 550 sole parents who took part, 88% reported struggling to cover the cost of groceries each week and 53% found it difficult to meet basic travel costs for their family.

“More than half of all respondents have reported struggling to meet rental costs since the sole parent support payment was removed.

“When it comes to covering costs for kids, the situation is grim for many families. Four in five sole parents reported finding it hard to meet out of school expenses and 75% said they struggled to meet basic costs of schooling and education,” Ms Sugden said.

Results of the survey show the removal of the sole parenting support payment has not only created financial burden, but has had a severe impact on the social, emotional and physical health of sole parents and their families.

“We understand the new Minister for Social Services, Kevin Andrews, agrees the impact of sole parenting payment cuts have been unfair on Australia’s most vulnerable families.”

Single parents can use our comprehensive list of support services if they need advice.

You might like to read:

Survey by The Parenthood.

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