Attack on stay at home mums obscured by election campaign

Attack on stay at home mums obscured by election campaign

The Catholic Commission for Employment Relations (CCER) has spoken out against upcoming changes to Family Tax Benefit payments, saying they unfairly target stay at home mums. CCER represents Catholic employers in NSW and the ACT.

Writing in the Catholic Weekly, CCER Executive Director Tony Farley said:

“New cuts to family payments that will hurt stay at home mums will come into force largely unnoticed next month, obscured by the frantic last moments in a very long federal election campaign.

“These changes will have a major impact. Over 76,000 families around Australia will lose almost $10,000 each over the first three years of the cuts.

“When families sit down to watch the results roll in and to discover who will be the Prime Minister, many will be significantly worse off regardless of whom it turns out to be.

“In a cynical grab for budget savings, both parties have established a new regime that discriminates against single earner families and will hurt stay at home mums and their children.

“There’s an ugly philosophy underpinning these changes that says that choosing to raise your children full time is neither valued nor respected and should attract a financial penalty.

“With the parliament adjourned and the government in caretaker mode, it may be too late to stop these unjust changes in the short term. But we can try to force change when the new parliament resumes.

“No cuts to families in need should proceed, but the absurdity of these discriminatory measures should highlight the need for a full review of family payments so that families can be better supported in their decisions to care for their children.”

Background

Family Tax Benefit Part B (FTB B) is a payment to single earner families with dependent children. Both married parents and sole parents are currently eligible. It’s currently about $60 a week.

Originally contained in the Abbott government’s 2014 budget, the changes that come into effect on July 1 will remove access for married couples when their youngest child turns 13.

This was originally part of a much larger package of cuts that would have impacted single parents as well. However this cut was the only agreeable one to the Labor opposition and so the new Turnbull government split the package. With the rest stalled in the Senate, only those cuts that impact couple families will proceed.

Read Tony Farley’s article in the Catholic Weekly here.

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