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Hard-up mothers told to try charities

Patricia Karvelus reports in The Australian about planned cuts to CENTRELINK payments to single mothers CENTRELINK officers are advising single mothers who say they will not be able to cope when they lose welfare money under a budget savings initiative that begins in January to contact charities for help. The government has come under fire, including from some Labor backbenchers, after passing laws to move single parents on to Newstart payments when their youngest child turns eight. The changes will save the government $728 million over four years and will cost single parents up to $223 a fortnight. Welfare organisations have told The Australian they have received many reports of single mothers being told they should go to charities such as St Vincent de Paul and the Salvation Army if they find it too hard over January. Single mothers have been telling Centrelink they will default on their rent and mortgages and will not be able to pay bills or afford groceries.