Single mums feel pinch

Single mum Rebecca Smirke with her son William (3).
Single mum Rebecca Smirke with her son William (3).

Peel Community Kitchen volunteer John Stallard said he had seen a lot more mothers coming into the charity for food.

‘There have been a lot more mums who have lost about $100 from their pay packet with changes to single parenting payments,’ he said.

‘They battle for money and some start stealing to compensate.’

The Times Facebook page was inundated by single parents describing how hard it was living on single parenting payments.

Lee Bryer said single mothers were losing money as their children got older, which was when they needed the most attention.

While Mandurah mother Rebecca Smirke has not been affected by changes to single parenting payments, she said her payments had failed to keep up with the cost of living.

The single mother said $600 of her payments went on rent, which left her $200 each week to live on.

‘It is very difficult,’ she said.

‘I’ve had to go to Cash Converters in the past to get a loan to pay my bills,’ she said.

‘I know a lot of others who are in the same situation.’

From January this year, parents were no longer eligible for parenting payments when their youngest child turned eight.

Many single parents were moved to the Newstart allowance.