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Prejudiced policymaking underlies Labor’s cuts to single parent payments

There’s no doubt that last week’s stoush between Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott over sexism and misogyny was extraordinary. But in spite of all the bluster, a comparison of each party’s policies might serve…

The ALP has passed a bill that will reduce the social security payments for single parents — most of whom are women. Ed Yourdon\Flickr

There’s no doubt that last week’s stoush between Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott over sexism and misogyny was extraordinary. But in spite of all the bluster, a comparison of each party’s policies might serve as a more accurate indicator of inbuilt gender prejudices.

In areas of social policy the mindsets of both parties are similar, if not identical. This was clearly illustrated by the support of both Abbott and Gillard for the passage of social security amendments, which will reduce the income of more than 100,000 sole parents — almost all female.

At the same time as the government was bruiting its first tranche payment to low-paid welfare workers — a welcome, if slow, reform — it was conspicuously silent on its planned cuts to the single parent allowance. The only opposing views came from the Greens, who have since also sought extra money for the 60,000 sole parents whose income will drop by nearly $60 per week on January first 2013.

This is a Howard Welfare to Work policy, which has been enthusiastically taken up by Gillard. It is sexist because it fails to recognise the value of parenting. These sole parents have been grandfathered on this payment for at least six years, and are already under an obligation to look for fifteen hours a week paid work (or are currently in such a job). Some have serious difficulties finding appropriate paid work that allows them to prioritise their children’s needs. They are balancing low income, time demands and employer prejudices to combine care needs and part-time work.

The core issue is whether the decision to further extend this program can be justified by evidence supporting the claim that changing the payment system will actually benefit sole parents. The proposition is that that lower pay rates, together with some improvements to employment support services, will increase their workforce participation rates.

This is presumed to be beneficial. The shift of this cohort to the lower pay level is based on the assumption that the move has significantly benefited a proportion of parents that have already been subject to the changed eligibility.

The government’s case, supported by the Opposition, has relied on stereotypes to reassure any questioners that these supposedly problematic sole parents will benefit from a reduced income, as it will force them into paid jobs. The argument being put forward is that these sole parents stayed on the higher parenting payment in 2006, so it’s only fair to lower their payments to match the 40,000 or so sole parents already on the lower Newstart payment. This way, they can share its benefits. The implicit (and sometimes explicit) argument is that these parents are already being pushed off the payments to their own benefit, so the changes obviously work.

There are fewer sole parents on sole parent payments but, as their eligibility for the payments changed, that is to be expected. Many of the parenting payment recipients who have a part-time job would not qualify for Newstart, as the taper rate is higher and basic income lower. Some estimates suggest about 30% would lose their eligibility for a payment and the concessions that accompany them.

I spent some time trying to find statistics on who, exactly, was on parenting payments. It was hard to work this out, as the DEEWR doesn’t seem to publish any usable information on sole parent payment recipients. I could find the total number of people on parenting payments in April 2012 (320,828), but no details on their workforce status, age of children or duration of payment. Newstart figures do not indicate whether recipients are sole parents, in paid work and the ages of their children.

The only figures I could find to assess the economic situation of single female sole parents were some ABS statistics on workforce participation. These do not cover payment sources, but relate to the government‘s claims that sole parents would share the benefits of paid work. The ABS data shows some changes in employment and unemployment (actively looking for paid work) rates of sole parents, including those with children under 15. However, the lack of any discernible patterns of change make it quite clear that the policy changes cannot be based on these numbers.

Lone parent families Australian Bureau of Statistics

The first table, from the Labour Force survey clearly shows that the numbers of single mothers in employment increased between 2005 and 2006 by 21,000 before the changes were brought in. The next year after the change, the increase was less (under 19,000). The following year saw a quite small increase (not quite 8,000) then a slight drop in 2009. The numbers rose again in the last two years.

The 2006 changed eligibility was not clearly responsible for this pattern of employment. The unemployment rates for single mothers in the row below showed the number looking for work had also risen and fallen over the same time bracket in no particular pattern, and the total of sole parents not in the labour force also increased over the period.

Jobless sole parents with children under 15 years pf age. ABS

The second set of figures refer to the percentage of jobless sole parents with children under 15. The jobless percentage in 2005 was 46% but this dropped to 43.7% in 2006, and even lower to 36% in 2008. The figure then rose in 2009 to 39.8%, and hovered around this level for the next two years. On the basis of these figures, it is difficult to argue that the changes to policy have significantly affected the number of sole parents who are now in paid work.

The figures that state actual recipients of particular payments are not very useful indicators of change. People moved to other payment such as Carer’s Payment and the Disability Support Pension, both of which experienced an increase of female claimants when this change came in. Others, who were only part-payment recipients, simply lost eligibility and had their living standards reduced.

Therefore, it is hard for the ALP to claim that this change as an example of good, evidence-based policy making. It would seem that picking on groups based on social prejudices carries more weight in parliament than actual evidence.

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59 Comments sorted by

  1. Linus Bowden

    management consultant

    "This is a Howard Welfare to Work policy, which has been enthusiastically taken up by Gillard. It is sexist because it fails to recognise the value of parenting."

    This is illogical or completely incorrect, and most likely both.

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    1. Account Deleted

      logged in via email @drdrb.net

      In reply to Linus Bowden

      Why is "this" either, or both?

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    2. Linus Bowden

      management consultant

      In reply to Account Deleted

      1. Because the definition of 'sexism' does not include "not recognising the value of parenting".
      2. Because John Howard did/does understand the value of parenting.
      3. Welfare to Work programs in general do not fail to recognise the value of parenting.
      4. Eva might be onto something with Gillard, but to substantiate that, she will have to lose the truly sexist Gillard = Howard.

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    3. Account Deleted

      logged in via email @drdrb.net

      In reply to Linus Bowden

      1) Actually, it is generally acknowledged that "women's work", which usually includes parenting (as well as childcare, nursing, housework, etc) is generally undervalued (in a precise economic sense) and underappreciated in favour of "mens work"/"real work"/"breadwinning", etc. Eva is saying that this policy is one more example of general prejudice against the unpaid reproductive work women do in favour of the paid productive work men do.
      2) I understood the article to refer to this specific policy suite or direction of "Welfare to work", which Howard began and Gillard continued, not to Howard's personal beliefs.
      3) This is just a flat denial without an argument to back it up. On the face of it, making single parents' lives more poverty-stricken doesn't seem to recognise the value of parenting to me. If you have an argument as to why it does, let's hear it.

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  2. Rajan Venkataraman

    Citizen

    Dear Eva
    Having read your article, I'm still struggling to find evidence of "social prejudices" or "sexism" in these changes. But leaving that aside, I wonder what system of benefits we would design if we were to start from scratch in this area. What age would we think was approprate as a cut-off point for assistance to sole parents - eight, sixteen, forever? How would we justify sole parents receiving a higher rate of benefit than an unemployed person? On the grounds of the expenses associated…

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  3. account deleted

    logged in via email @gmail.com

    This is a simple consequence of the feminist push to get women into work, backed by the large financiers. It is consequent on the monetisation of unpaid work in childcare, aged care, domestic work and other similar types of caring roles.

    Eva Cox, you are one of the major agitators for this pushing of women into the workforce and this piece smacks of hypocrisy.

    Basically, you can't have it both ways: if women are to be pushed into working for money, then there has to be less comfort in not working.

    Make up your mind, instead of trying to play both ends off against the middle. Admit you made a mistake in the feminist paradigm you've been so keen on and let's get on with making a better nation, free of the dishonesty and hypocrisy that has been such a feature of the work of those pushing a feminist cause.

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    1. Account Deleted

      logged in via email @drdrb.net

      In reply to account deleted

      I'm pretty sure Eva, and feminists generally, want women to have options, not be pushed.
      But I'm sure if you interview the feminists hiding under your bed, the ones who are always opposing everything and taking offence when you drop your hat, they will agree with you.

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    2. account deleted

      logged in via email @gmail.com

      In reply to Account Deleted

      Oh dear James, ad homs? Sad how that seems to be the only weapon in the armoury of some people.

      I had a response prepared to your meaningless "refutation" of my views on another thread, but for some reason the editors closed the thread before I could post it.

      I'd be happy to take the discussion up here or elsewhere, if you're up to it.

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    3. Account Deleted

      logged in via email @drdrb.net

      In reply to account deleted

      I am not the one who accused all feminists of being dishonest hypocrites, as you did above. Treat others with contempt and you will be treated with contempt yourself.
      Please, by all means, attempt to excuse your cherry picking and selective misquoting, I look forward to reading it.

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    4. account deleted

      logged in via email @gmail.com

      In reply to Account Deleted

      James, you're simply offensive and in the case of this post, dishonest. I withdraw the offer - debating you would be about as challenging as wiping my nose and much less interesting.

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    5. Account Deleted

      logged in via email @drdrb.net

      In reply to account deleted

      Do you deny saying "dishonesty and hypocrisy that has been such a feature of the work of those pushing a feminist cause"?
      Or are you just unable to justify your views, so you're running away clutching your pearls, oh the adhominy?

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    6. account deleted

      logged in via email @gmail.com

      In reply to Account Deleted

      As I said...

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    7. Mary Alderson

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to account deleted

      I do enjoy it when 2 men engage in the game of one-upmanship. The ever so delicate scorn of Craig refusing to admit defeat and blaming James for being unworthy of his (Craig's) superior debating skills brings to mind the politeness of the latest round in the Presidential debates, but with that little dash of Aussie crudeness made so fashionable by Tony Abbott.

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    8. Dan Nobull

      PartiZan social critic

      In reply to Mary Alderson

      No sexism there, eh? I wonder what would be the reaction if they were females and I wrote something like that, Mary? Just wondering, that's all...

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    9. account deleted

      logged in via email @gmail.com

      In reply to Mary Alderson

      And it was a very little dash indeed.

      I take Paul Keating as my inspiration, not Mr Abbott. Mr Keating possesses a very fine turn of phrase indeed, while Mr Abbott, stout fellow that he is, should really let someone else do the talking.

      I wonder if he needs a speechwriter?

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    10. Mary Alderson

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Dan Nobull

      Dan, I like all the comments you have made in connection with this topic. because they are sensible. In this and other online sites where both males and females are being accused of sexism, I have come to this understanding: Men do not realise they are being sexist because historically, from biblical times and probably before, women have been given a subservient role. Men unconsciously accept this as the right and proper way of things. Many women do, too. However, and increasing number of women, and I am one of them, consider that although men and women have different strengths, they are equally valuable members of any society, not withstanding extremist Muslim or other religious views.

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    11. Mary Alderson

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to account deleted

      Craig, although my sister and I suppose many other women, found Keating's caustic wit to be extremely entertaining, far more women were turned off by it. I voted against him rather than for Howard because I had had enough of his arrogance and insults. My mother, a lifelong Labor voter, also thought he was too repulsive to vote for again. I'm surprised that with your subtle turn of phrase, you are an admirer of Keating. Sadly, a better speechwriter is not the answer for Mr Abbott because his major weakness lies in not being able to say sensible and worthwhile things on an impromptu basis, something which is a must for a PM.

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    12. account deleted

      logged in via email @gmail.com

      In reply to Mary Alderson

      Keating had a beautiful capacity to sum people up and he could be very subtle. He did have a weakness for getting into the gutter though, which I kind of share on occasion, although I am working on it.

      You're right about Abbott, he's a very bright man who can't get his words together when he has to.

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    13. Dan Nobull

      PartiZan social critic

      In reply to Mary Alderson

      Mary, sorry, I didn't mean to offend - I wrote that tongue-in-cheek. I understand the patriarchal nature of society very well. Social institutions (the normative constructs socialising individuals and conditioning social life) do place both women and men in particular power relationships to each other, in which men are advantaged. Men and women begin on this path since they first arrive in the world, when the former are dressed in blue and the later in pink. We're socialised into our gender roles…

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    14. Mary Alderson

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Dan Nobull

      Dan, I wasn't offended. One big drawback of the printed word is the inability to hear the tone in which it was written. And you are correct in saying that we are socialised into our gender roles. Because I had the living example of my mother, breadwinner when widowed in her 40s, and even before then working alongside my father in the market garden, I never felt the feminist movement had any special meaning for me. I was also lucky enough to marry a man over 40 years ago, who treated me as an equal…

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  4. Mary Alderson

    logged in via Twitter

    To the best of my knowledge, people receiving the dole also get cheaper prescriptions and other benefits which they lose if they get a job. Low paying jobs should retain the benefits that come with the dole or what's the point of looking for work?

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    1. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to Mary Alderson

      Perhaps Mary you should look at how much the dole actually is. No amount of cheaper prescriptions will make the dole a payment that anyone can live on, let alone have the income needed to be able to look for work.

      I do agree though, that low paying jobs should retain some of the benefits that people on centrelink payments have access to.

      The biggest barriers to sole parents finding work, in my view, is a lack of adequate child care. This is not being addressed in any serious way.

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  5. Jennifer Smith

    Manager

    Despite the objections from the men’s rights movement, this article from Eva Cox is spot on. As a single mum who brought up two kids on the parenting payment, I found it too stressful and demeaning just trying to live week to week on the parenting payment as it was. To cut single parents incomes will make the children of these 100,000 parents suffer even more.

    Some logical flow on effects will be more insecurity for the children as they are shipped from one carer to another, or left on their…

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  6. Marilyn Shepherd

    pensioner

    Yes it is so ridiculous to call Gillard a champion for all women when she pushes this through without need and when she legislates to torture refugee women.

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  7. Eva Cox

    Professorial Fellow Jumbunna IHL at University of Technology, Sydney

    Feminism is about not restricting choices because of gender, but also about recognising the value of many of the tasks and attributes assumed to be the role of women. It has never been about coercing women to take on paid jobs. So, yes, women should have the right to access paid work, and recognition that this may require some changes in unpaid care and other assumed domestic responsibilities.

    Feminism therefore includes recognising that the value mainly women traditionally (and still undertake more than most men) contribute by the unpaid jobs, eg nurture and care and requires ensuring that paid and unpaid work can be effectively combined. It is basically sexist therefore to coerce sole parents of six year olds to look for and take on paid work, And then assuming they are just not looking hard enough if they still need income support when the child turns eight and cutting their pay. .

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    1. account deleted

      logged in via email @gmail.com

      In reply to Eva Cox

      Eva, you're trying to have two bob each way. Either women are "workers" or they are "mothers". One is essentially incompatible with the other for most women. The reasons are not financial, they are intrinsic to the nature of being a parent.

      Given that you have been strongly supportive of the "mother as primary carer" model, you have to accept that this paradigm renders women unable to work full-time and that this is a consequence that is not easily sidestepped.

      It is not good enough to complain…

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    2. Emily Kate

      Student and single mum

      In reply to Eva Cox

      Another policy that is being implemented starting 30 December this year, is severe cuts to the JET childcare assistance. This is making it harder and harder for single parents to access education and employment as the cost of childcare simply cannot be worked into the already small budgets of parents on welfare. It seems this government aims to keep single parents and their children trapped in the poverty cycle. It is disgraceful. I myself am now having to consider leaving university because I cannot…

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    3. Mary Alderson

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Emily Kate

      Emily Kate, have you thought about doing domestic cleaning. The hourly rates for this, @ $25+ and hour in WA, are higher than the hourly rates for some office work. What's more, many women who employ cleaners, have no objection to a young child or two if they are well behaved and don't get in the way of your work. Getting university qualifications doesn't guarantee work with many students now they are overqualified but lack work experience. Your best bet might be to clean houses for the wealthy until your children reach school age, then fit in your studies around school hours.

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    4. Dan Nobull

      PartiZan social critic

      In reply to Emily Kate

      Hey Emily. I remember when I did my uni studies, while raising three young children. I could only complete my studies at night, when they were asleep - I was routinely going to bed at 2 am, only to get up at 6.30 am. I often took on casual jobs to make ends meet, painting houses or repairing fences when my relatives could look after the kids, and before they were of school age. All that paid off, as I am now earning a reasonable income, part of which is going into taxes and thus contributing towards your income and child care subsidies to which you apparently feel entitled. I don't mind doing so if it is actually giving people who actually try a bit harder to leave the welfare system a hand up. I have been in your situation, and I know lots of people who are in a similar position - you can't pull the wool over my eyes. Please try just a bit harder, would you?

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    5. Dan Nobull

      PartiZan social critic

      In reply to Dan Nobull

      How interesting to get negative votes for sharing my personal experience and suggesting it as an example of a way out for you, Emily. It indicates the level of imagination and optimism which some people bring to these discussions...

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  8. stib

    logged in via Twitter

    Sorry, but that first table is completely meaningless. What do the numbers represent? There is no labelling of what they represent or the units. That's undergraduate level stuff.
    http://xkcd.com/833/

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  9. Dale Bloom

    Analyst

    Someone could view the situation from a very narrow, feminist type viewpoint, or they could think expansively and ask “Why are there single parents, and is single parenting constructive?”

    Maybe if more people thought expansively, there wouldn’t be so much of a problem with single parents, because the numbers of single parents would be vastly reduced.

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    1. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to Dale Bloom

      How do you propose to fix the so called problem with single parents?

      I'd be interested to know how "thinking expansively" will change the number of single parents, maybe you could be a bit more specific Dale, or at least define what you mean by "thinking expansively".

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    2. Dale Bloom

      Analyst

      In reply to Judith Olney

      Judith Olney
      So you can't think expansively?

      Doesn't say much for our very feminist education system.

      I will let you think about ways to reduce the number of single parents, and get back to you later.

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    3. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to Dale Bloom

      I don't know what your definition of "thinking expansively" is Dale. Do you mean thinking outside the box, lateral thinking, linear thinking, big picture thinking, you could mean any number of things, which is why I asked you to clarify.

      Instead you choose to personally insult.

      I did wonder if you had anything interesting to say, maybe some ideas that others hadn't thought of, that could be discussed in a civil manner, but it looks like I was wrong, you are just trolling again.

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    4. Suzy Gneist
      Suzy Gneist is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Multi-tasker at Graphic Design & Montville Coffee

      In reply to Dale Bloom

      expansive |ikˈspansiv|
      adjective
      1 covering a wide area in terms of space or scope; extensive or wide-ranging : deep, expansive canyons.
      2 (of a person or their manner) open, demonstrative, and communicative : she felt expansive and inclined to talk.
      3 tending toward economic or political expansion : expansive domestic economic policies.

      Into which category of meaning does your interpretation of 'thinking expansively' fall?
      I'm interested to hear your suggestions of reducing the number of single parents - it has an ominous sound to it...

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    5. Dale Bloom

      Analyst

      In reply to Judith Olney

      Judith Olney
      Thinking outside of feminist indoctrination might be a start on the journey towards expansion of someone’s ability to actually think.

      Look carefully through these statistics, and see what stands out like a sore thumb.

      http://www.censusdata.abs.gov.au/census_services/getproduct/census/2011/quickstat/SSC10536

      I don’t know how feminists/social scientists keep overlooking such statistics, and then matching cause and effect.

      NB. If I comment on some science topic, I am not labelled a “troll”, but if I comment on some social issue, I am labelled a “troll”. I think attempting to label me a “troll” is just a form of verbal abuse, but you would know more about verbal abuse than I would.

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    6. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to Dale Bloom

      Not being someone who believes there is such a thing as feminist indoctrination, there is nothing to think outside of.

      Still you have given nothing of a clarification or definition for your term, "thinking expansively", just attempted to push your own very narrow opinion on feminism yet again.

      You have also failed to put forward any proposal for dealing with your perceived problem with single parents.

      Perhaps you are trying to sound profound, by skirting around the questions asked, or perhaps you just don't have any thing to add, other than some link to statistics on a state housing suburb, and some vague attempt at drawing some link to single parents and poverty.

      NB. I did not label you as a troll, I said that it looks to me like you are trolling again. Trolling is a behaviour not a label. This is an observation of your method and content of your posts, and in no way verbal abuse.

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    7. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to Dale Bloom

      I'm a pretty literal person Dale, not an unthinking one. You are quoting statistics from one suburb, in one state, and trying to make something of this. Are you suggesting that the income of married people with children is more than it is for single parents with children? I would have thought that was pretty obvious, single parent families on average are financially disadvantaged, due to a range of reasons. How do the statistics you quoted deal with what you see as a problem with single parents?

      What do you mean by "thinking expansively", and what do you propose as a solution to the problem you perceive single parents to be?

      Being obtuse is tedious, please do not bother to reply if you are not prepared to answer the questions asked. I'm not interested in silly games, or propaganda.

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    8. Dale Bloom

      Analyst

      In reply to Judith Olney

      Judith Olney
      To be fair, there isn’t much available on the problems of single parent families in this country. I think feminism/social science is too useless to find cause and effect.

      This might help you broaden your mind.

      "It's also the biggest disadvantage of lone parenthood that you're much more likely to be poor."

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/6542031.stm

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    9. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to Dale Bloom

      I disagree Dale, there is plenty of research on why families break up, and we end up with single parent families. There is also a lot of research on the problems facing single parent families, including the reasons why they tend to be disadvantaged financially. It is not the job of feminists to conduct research into the problems single parent families face, feminism is simply the desire for all human beings to enjoy equal rights and opportunity, not a scientific discipline.

      There are no doubt…

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    10. Dale Bloom

      Analyst

      In reply to Judith Olney

      Fully agree about feminism not being a “scientific discipline”.

      As for feminism being the “desire for all human beings to enjoy equal rights and opportunity”, well I do like a laugh, and I am pleased you included that.

      There is no evidence of equality within feminism.

      There is also minimal research into divorce or separation in this country. Feminism/social science is too useless and non-scientific to conduct such research.

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    11. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to Dale Bloom

      I disagree with your view of feminism, and with your view on social science.

      People get divorced and separated for their own reasons, I don't know if researching divorce or separation would be of much use in finding a solution to the problems facing single parents.

      Unless you are suggesting that helping people to stay together would go some way in seeing a drop in the number of single parent families. There are already services available to couples who wish to access them, but it is not something that should be forced on people, it is up to them if they wish to stay together or not. I would certainly support more services provided to people who wish to seek relationship help or counselling.

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    12. Dale Bloom

      Analyst

      In reply to Judith Olney

      “I don't know if researching divorce or separation would be of much use in finding a solution to the problems facing single parents.”

      I don't know if you have researched single parenting much at all. Perhaps you have relied instead, on feminist misinformation and propaganda.

      There are two main reasons for single parents.
      1/ De facto relationships.
      2/ Divorce.

      However, many feminists believe marriage is oppressive, and have been very enthusiastic for large scale divorce and increased numbers of de facto relationships.

      I don’t believe the public should be asked to continue to fund failed feminist ideals.

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    13. Suzy Gneist
      Suzy Gneist is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Multi-tasker at Graphic Design & Montville Coffee

      In reply to Dale Bloom

      Yours is one specific discourse which deals with the litany, or surface data, and looks for the problem within the system (i.e. marriage) rather than placing it in the context of your personal worldview.
      De-facto or married relationships can be functional, or become dysfunctional and end in separation or divorce. As such functional de-facto relationships, like marriage, provide the main aim of a union or partnership by sharing responsibilities (incl. bringing up children, sharing finances and mutual…

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    14. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to Dale Bloom

      Relationships break up Dale, it happens. I think you are getting into tin foil hat territory if you think it is all some feminist plot, or that feminism is responsible for single parents.

      lol, I did wonder if you were leading up to some sort of feminist conspiracy theory, and I guess I was right. What are you proposing Dale, forcing people to stay in a relationship? Cutting all payments to single parents as punishment for daring to leave a relationship?

      There are many and varied reasons relationships…

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    15. Dale Bloom

      Analyst

      In reply to Suzy Gneist

      Suzy Gneist
      You may be an intelligent woman, so perhaps you would like to back up what you have said with some statistics, (or does what you say come out of a feminist brainwashing indoctrination handbook?).

      Perhaps statistics from a reliable source that give the primary reasons for divorce, and whether the marriage could have been saved?

      And perhaps statistics for what are the primary reason for single parents: separation in de facto relationships, or divorce in marriages?

      You probably…

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    16. Dan Nobull

      PartiZan social critic

      In reply to Judith Olney

      Judith
      Some radical feminism is dangerous, and men who feel threatened by its nasty vitriol do resist its ideologies and ideologues. Denying the veracity of evidence that refutes junk social science is not the way to engage in dialogue. The place to start is to admit that particular extremes of feminism can be more than a movement to redress the exploitation of women, and to change the harmful, oppressive and systemic patriarchal social structures to bring about actual equality for women and men…

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    17. Dale Bloom

      Analyst

      In reply to Dale Bloom

      Found nothing?

      Well about the only study into divorce was carried out by the AIFS in 1999 (13 years ago) and nothing since. An abysmal record for feminism/social science.

      http://www.aifs.gov.au/institute/pubs/WP20.html

      Noted that over 50% of the reasons for divorce were “Affective issues”, which could have been resolved, and in fact most of the rest of the issues could have been resolved also.

      Instead, we have divorce, the Child Support Agency, Family Law and the single parent industry.

      Again, an abysmal record for completely useless feminism/social science.

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    18. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to Dan Nobull

      I am very aware of extremist ideologies, and do not subscribe to any. I don't see anyone here, apart from Dale and Craig, that espouse extremist views, and possibly yourself, but I haven't seen enough of your posts to be sure. Your post seems incoherent and rambling, and I wont be bothering with your link, thanks anyway.

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    19. account deleted

      logged in via email @gmail.com

      In reply to Judith Olney

      Oh dear, Judith - "extremist"? Because I have raised some issues of inequity?

      Is this the next word that the dictionary people need to look at?

      "Extremist: expresses logical extension of existing social paradigm designed to improve equity"

      I can live with that...

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    20. account deleted

      logged in via email @gmail.com

      In reply to account deleted

      Oh and btw, just for the record, the views you hold were considered extreme only a generation or so ago, whilst the author of this article is still on the extreme end of the feminist spectrum.

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    21. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to account deleted

      <"Oh and btw, just for the record, the views you hold were considered extreme only a generation or so ago">

      Thank goodness views change, otherwise it would be a very predictable boring world.

      I find your views to be extreme, but I have seen these same views espoused by men, (and its almost always men), that have had some personal problems with women, and the court system. Things did not go the way they wanted, and they have become bitter and angry.

      I don't find the Authors views to be…

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    22. Dan Nobull

      PartiZan social critic

      In reply to Judith Olney

      Judith
      I am sorry to see that you consider my posting incoherent and a ramble, but I doubt whether I could put it in a simpler way for you. Even so, your impolite and patronising response underlines the very points that some of us are making about radical feminism; the reading I linked to goes some way towards explaining the ideological source of such nastiness. Not caring to read the short Solanis extract I linked to is of course your choice, but it might also be your loss since it could provide some insights into what you're actually aligning yourself with (albeit unintentionally, I am sure).
      Bye bye.

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  10. Trevor S

    Jack of all Trades

    "which will reduce the income of more than 100,000 sole parents — almost all female"

    Maybe the issue is with he family law court if the females are alone in rearing young, of all the failed marriages I have seen, I have never come across a Dad who has managed to win sole custody not matter how hard he tried ?

    I am a male so I am sure the misogynist tag will be thrown around but I must admit I don't understand why people have children if they can't afford it and then complain when others don't…

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  11. Elizabeth Hawker

    Sales Makrketing

    agree with parents working but am against taking this extra income from people who are already working. This will only push parents already working to work longer hours to make up the difference in money. A working single mum, working 30 hours per week will now lose close to $200 per fortnight. This is money many have already allocated to rent or committed to paying off loans for cars etc... In order for single parents to make this money up they have no option but to look for a second job, extend…

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  12. Bec Regan

    logged in via Facebook

    how can the govt expect single parents to afford to live on the same amount that a single person receives on newstart? they have higher rent as they need more rooms for children plus there's school uniforms, excursions, extra food, bills, etc etc. this policy makes me furious. the govt ignored the report saying newstart is not enough to provide an adequate quality of living for a single person, let alone a person with the above added responsibilities. what about women in isolated areas where there is no work?? what about when there is no after school care available at the school? what about women living in areas of high rent? what about women who are studying and trying to break free of social security altogether? what about women in abusive relationships that will possibly not leave now? it's wrong to label all single parents as 'lazy, living of welfare out of choice'. this govt is an absolute joke, the libs and labor may as well be the same party.

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    1. Mary Alderson

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Bec Regan

      The govt has every right to expect you to supplement your allowance by finding a job. Do you live in an isolated area? If so, you probably need to home school your children so after school care isn't an issue. You can get an online job which will pay you to stay at home. If you live elsewhere, you can get a job cleaning houses for those who can afford it. If that's beneath you, you are lazy and don't deserve an allowance from the govt in the first place.

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