Dr Cassandra Goldie
Dr Cassandra Goldie abs.gov.au

UN appeal for sole parents

A GROUP of top social service groups have appealed to the United Nations to help stop the Federal Government cutting sole parent pensions.

Led by the Australian Council of Social Service, nine groups signed the letter sent to UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights.

The letter calls on the UN to lobby the government to stop its plans to cut between $60 and $100 from the sole parent pension, a change expected to be voted on in the Senate this week.

The groups wrote any moves to cut pensions could affect up to 100,000 sole parent families, and the government should wait until a committee already investigating the welfare system makes its recommendations.

ACOSS chief executive Dr Cassandra Goldie said despite a parliamentary committee advising the government to delay the change, a decision to "press on regardless is simply unacceptable".

"If the Bill passes the federal Parliament, it will place more than 100, 000 single parents, and all of their children into even greater risk of poverty and homelessness," she said.

"This will start happening from January 1, just 10 weeks away, at the worst time of the year for struggling families," Dr Goldie said.