It is becoming more and more clear that the difference between the two major political parties here in Australia is in rhetoric only. Both have been slowly eroding legislation that has for years enables those in poor circumstances the opportunity to support themselves and their children.
We’ve watched free university education fall to the Higher Education Scheme and the cost per semester increasing with every year. As a country we have had to watch as the conservatives and the left dismantle essential Mental Health programs as well as those for the homeless and at risk persons. In particular the current federal LNP government has been attempting to overturn environmental protections on some of our most important world heritage listings in the aim of short-term profit over long-term damage.
For many years the smaller parties and independents have not held the numbers to seriously impact legislation and have also been tied to more singular orientated policies while leaving other issues unaddressed. This has been changing however and in the past year especially The Australian Greens have begun to make an impact at both the state and federal level in both houses of parliament and in variety of areas.
Today we saw a giant step in policy for this party as they move to address an issue that both the Labour and LNP have successively undermined. In recent years we’ve seen massive cuts to the single mothers pension, first under Howard and then with Labour under Gillard and we have been left wondering just who are we voting for. Successive Labor and Liberal governments have made it harder for single parents, reducing their level of income support and cutting payments out completely when the children are still as young as 8 years old.
Today the Greens announced a bill to change that.
“This bill would scrap the Howard Government’s changes to parenting payments, which dumped single parents onto Newstart when their youngest child turns eight. It would also restore the payments of those parents affected by the Gillard Government’s January 2013 payment cuts,” – Senator Rachel Siewert
If you would like to read more about this bill please follow the link to The Australian Greens.