A BLACKBUTT single mother has disputed Families Minister Jenny Macklin's claims she could live on the $35-a-day Newstart allowance, saying "show me how".
It has also been suggested reducing welfare payments for single parents will put more pressure on the Illawarra's already in-demand charities.
The federal government recently decided to transfer single parents from the single parent payment to the Newstart allowance once their youngest child turned eight, a cut of up to $110 a week.
One such person is Blackbutt single mother Saffron*, who said the cuts would cost her about $68 to $69 per week.
The cuts, effective as of January 1, are expected to save the government $728 million over four years.
They will affect 84,000 single parents currently receiving parenting payments.
Saffron, who is unemployed and has two daughters, aged 11 and 14, said she did not know how she was going to make ends meet, due to her already tight budget.
"I don't want to try and envisage how I'll get from that [payment] week to the next fortnight," she said.
"I think what they've done is an abomination."
She also disputed the Minister's claims.
"There's bread, milk, meat, vegies, medication, running a car, plus rent, gas and electricity ... it's not possible," she said.
"If she can do it, I want to know how."
Saffron, whose family live in Sydney, said being unable to afford after-school care and trying to find employment with flexible hours suitable for her children were major obstacles.
She said the cuts would place even greater demand on already stretched charities.
"People are not going to be able to contribute much [to charities]," she said.
"I've helped out with Vinnies before; I usually try to donate or help with charity drives because they've helped me in the past.
"The charities will miss out and it's going to keep going round and round in circles."
Shellharbour councillor, single mother and social worker Kellie Marsh said the welfare cuts were "demoralising" for many of those affected by them.
"Most of the mums I've spoken to, they need $50 a day just for rent," she said.
Cr Marsh said the government should consider incentives for employers to take on single mothers and create flexible work hours.
"I feel the government just isn't putting any value on our contribution to society as single parents," she said.
Ms Macklin defended the changes, saying they aimed to get people into work.
"What we have found as a result of changes made in 2006, we have seen more and more single parents going back to work and, of course, the more that people go back to work, the better," she said.
*Surname withheld by request.