Antipoverty Centre welcomes call to abolish ParentsNext and demands MO suspension for ALL employment services
The interim report has recognised the harm of mutual obligations and payment suspensions, use this report to act on all employment services.
The Antipoverty Centre welcomes the interim report on parentsNEXT calling for the program to be abolished, but whatever comes next must be voluntary and you must suspend MO’s for all parents. Suspend penalties immediately, regardless of what comes next.
Included below: comments from parentsNEXT participant Jessica and Antipoverty Centre spokesperson Jay Coonan
While we support the recommendation to abolish parentsNEXT and support a co-design process, we are also concerned with what might come next and demand transparency for the development of the co-design process and who is picked to lead it.
Given today’s findings it proves the point that advocates have been making for decades – that Mutual Obligations don’t work, and payment suspensions must end.
End the suffering for the nearly 1 million people who are forced to participate in cruel employment services.
People don’t need mutual obligations from the government, their mutual obligations are to their children and families. Leave them alone.
Quotes attributable to parentsNEXT participant Jessica
“Let’s abolish parentsNEXT and in its place should be a voluntary program made available to parents who need and want the support, but under no circumstances should there be payment suspensions.
Being a single parent is hard enough without the threat of not being able to pay rent and feed you and your kids, especially over things like playgroup or library time.
It’s time to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. You called to abolish it, so let's see some action backing those words. Abolish the parentsNEXT program.”
Quotes attributable to Antipoverty Centre spokesperson and AusStudy recipient Jay Coonan
“We welcome the interim report, but it raises questions about the future system. We encourage a co-design process, but are concerned who will be picked to lead the design.
End mutual obligations and payment suspensions for everyone, but if you won’t do that, at least do it for the parents in Workforce Australia and the Disability Employment Service.
If you’re making a system for parents, then have parents make it. No one community is going to be the same either, the systemic issues that are barriers for people are not going to be the same in two separate geographical locations.
You must raise payments and suspend all mutual obligations.
We’re in the middle of a cost of living crisis and people on payments are suffering with food and rent increases, let alone with the punishing employment services – which haven’t got people jobs, even in a so-called “full employment” economy.
This government claims to care, and is showing that it wants to act, well.. now is the time to take the courage and act.
Lift payments to the Henderson Poverty Line and end mutual obligations now.”
Media contact: Jay: 0403 429 414 / media at antipovertycentre.org
About the Antipoverty Centre
The Antipoverty Centre was established in May 2021 by people living on Centrelink payments to counter problems with academics, think tanks and others in the political class making harmful decisions on behalf of people they purport to represent.
We have deep expertise in poverty, disadvantage and unemployment, because we live it. Our goal is to help ensure the voices and rights of people living in poverty are at the centre of social policy development and discourse. We believe there should be no decision made about us without us.
The Antipoverty Centre is not aligned with any political party and does not accept funding that places political constraints on our work.