An Illawarra contingent will march in Sydney tomorrow to oppose cuts to the single parent payment.
Shellharbour councillor Kellie Marsh is to speak at the event and plans to call for incentives for employers who take on single parents as part of an alternative.
"If the government really wants to make an impact on getting single parents back to work, we need them to provide incentives for small businesses," said Cr Marsh, herself a single parent.
Wollongong City councillor Vicki Curran said she knew of single mothers from the Illawarra who had taken on night-time cash-in-hand jobs in the hospitality industry - paying as little as $8 an hour - in anticipation of the changes, which took effect on January 1.
The new system will shift single parents from the single parent payment to the Newstart allowance once their youngest child turns eight.
People who have received the payment since 2006 already face these conditions, but those who were receiving the payment in 2006 could keep it until their youngest turned 16.
The government expects the cuts to save $680 million over four years.
The change will most affect parents who work part time because parenting payment recipients are allowed to earn more than Newstart recipients before their payments are affected.
Under the change, a single parent who gets no income from work will be $115 worse off a fortnight; those earning $400 a week from work will lose $223.
Cr Marsh said single parents were already struggling to live off existing welfare payments and there was "no fat to trim".
"We've got children now that are not going to sporting events. We've got children that aren't eating as well," she said.
Cr Marsh will march with Cr Curran and single parents from the Illawarra as part of a national day of protest. The NSW march will start at Martin Place at 11am.
Cr Curran said the cuts were ill-conceived for areas of high unemployment, such as Berkeley. The Illawarra contingent will travel to Sydney in the third carriage of the train service departing Oak Flats at 8.52am, Dapto at 9.02am and Wollongong at 9.16am.