The federal leader of the Palmer United Party and Member for Fairfax, Clive Palmer, has joined his parliamentary crossbench colleagues at a function held by the National Council of Single Mothers and Their Children Inc.
Mr Palmer spoke at the function, which was held to launch a documentary on 10 single mothers who share their stories of battling to keep their families from poverty following the recent cuts by Labor and the Liberals from the Single Parenting Payment to Newstart Allowance.
“As a society, we can afford to give every child in Australia a ‘fair go’,” Mr Palmer said.
“Poverty robs a child of a chance to live in a safe and secure home, to have enough to eat, to play sport and to stay cool in summer and warm in winter. Poverty robs a child of the chance for a positive future and we as a country miss out on their potential future talents and skills.
“It will be these children who don’t reach their full potential unless we act. All families deserve to have enough to afford the basics and a child being forced to go hungry in Australia in today’s society is not acceptable.”
Shadow Minister for Families and Payments Jenny Macklin also spoke at the function, admitting Labor had ‘got it wrong’ on this issue.
Mr Palmer said Australia needs a system that encourages employment and doesn’t disadvantage single mothers who wish to earn money through some form of work.
“Currently, if on Newstart, a family cannot work their way out of poverty,” he said.
“Newstart is not for families, it never was.
“Therefore we must immediately increase the existing Newstart payment index payments to wage movements. Australia must provide all children with a good start in life.”