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'Hardest job' hit hard

Mother of four Tammy Grehert with Bohdi, 5, is unimpressed with planned Federal Budget cuts to single parenting payments.
Mother of four Tammy Grehert with Bohdi, 5, is unimpressed with planned Federal Budget cuts to single parenting payments. Claire Simmonds

MISERY may be the result of budget plans to cut the benefits of single parents when their children turn eight.

"It is the most idiotic change, as there's not enough jobs out there for the people who want to work, without dumping parents into the unemployment line," Tammy Grebert of Westlawn said.

As a single parent Ms Grebert receives a parenting benefit for the two of her four children under the cut-off age of 16; the youngest is yet to start school.

The new plans will force 100,000 single parents off parenting payments and onto the lower Newstart benefits.

These families previously held the parenting payments until their youngest child turned 16.

"It's hard enough for my 19-year-old daughter to find work, although I do what I can," Ms Grebert said.

"My boy Corey just moved to Mackay to get a job in the mines, but I couldn't do that because there is no way I could find a babysitter for the younger children."

Mother of three Tania McGowan of Grafton will be hard-hit when she is forced onto Newstart.

"I'm really struggling, as my youngest has chronic fatigue syndrome, so I haven't been able to get full-time work," Ms McGowan said.

"Food - being able to eat, or pay bills - it's one or the other as I can't do both; now I've lost around $200 a fortnight," she said.

Working casual split shifts in the kitchen of a services club enables her to manage her 16-year-old daughter's illness.

In the mornings, she needs to get her daughter out of bed and take her to TAFE and returns in the afternoon to cook a meal as her daughter needs a large block of sleep to cope with her illness.

After putting her daughter to bed by 6pm, she often returns to work.

Topics:  budget, newstart, single parents



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