INDEPENDENT NEWS

ACT Listens To Concerns of Teen Mums

Published: Fri 24 Sep 1999 04:43 PM
Young mothers in Flaxmere today shared their experiences with ACT Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman who joined them for a morning meeting to discuss ways to improve support for their families.
The group wrote to Dr Newman in Parliament and invited her to meet with them after ACT criticised the Domestic Purposes Benefit for trapping young mothers into dependency.
Dr Newman thanked the group for their invitation and said it was time that politicians started listening to what lone parents really needed.
"For too many years our 'one size fits all' welfare system has just thrown money at people and lumped them all in the same category. That's just not good enough. Each of you and your children has unique needs. ACT wants you to be able to say what you need to drive your own family.
"In practical terms this could mean that you want to complete your education or get help with child care so you can take on a job.
"What ACT is saying, particularly to young mothers, is that you don't have to be trapped. We want to give you a hand up, not just a hand out, to help you make the life that you want for yourself and your baby.
"It's time to stop throwing money at people and start making sure that they are getting the real help they need to take charge. It's time we had the courage to change things for the better.
"We've got to get positive for our children, empower them, educate them and let them know that they can succeed. It's time to stop telling children that there's nothing to strive for," said Muriel Newman.
ENDS

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