Cut to Payments for Teen Mothers
A trial program that will see teenage parents forced to finish Year 12 or risk having their welfare payments cut when their baby turns one was made law by federal parliament last week. AYAC is concerned about the mandatory nature of the policy and the threat facing young people of losing vital basic income support.
AYAC questions why policy makers are putting pressure on young parents by enforced participation while at the same time supporting older parents with paid parental leave? We wonder whether this is just another form of age discrimination against the young and the vulnerable. Young parents are already judged based on mythical stereotypes, and this policy yet again reinforces those old ideas about having babies for the money and the idea that parents of young children, “sit around at home and do nothing”. We don’t think the big stick approach is the answer and will certainly disadvantage more than foster positive outcomes for this cohort of young people.
“It is very hard to make ends on the single parenting payment. I’m still living at home, my son is formula fed (due to problems with colic). I’m a non-drinker and a non-smoker, yet it still becomes hard to do things at the end of the day. I have to budget really well which can still be hard with day to day living.”