Single parents are three times more likely to live below the poverty line. The deterioration in circumstances is traced back to the Howard years

When her son was six, Emily Lightfoot split with her husband. A trained accountant, she was able to make a little bit of money each month by doing some tax work. She also applied for the single parenting payment.

Lightfoot and her ex-husband were still living under the same roof during the separation phase. Some time later, Centrelink decided the split couple were together – a ruling contradicted by a court when her divorce was finalised, Lightfoot says.

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