The federal government is defending welfare cuts to sole parents in the wake of reports some single mothers had turned to prostitution and stripping to feed their families.

The payment cuts came in at the start of 2013 and affect 84,000 single parents, mostly mothers who received parenting payments.

The majority have been shifted onto the Newstart unemployment allowance when their youngest child turns eight and now receive between $60 to $100 a week less under entitlement changes

AAP revealed on Sunday that two brothels in Brisbane and Melbourne had experienced an "influx" of applications from single mothers looking for work while others had sought work at strip clubs, since the changes came through.

Cabinet Minister Anthony Albanese defended the welfare cuts on Monday.

"You've got to acknowledge... that prior to the changes being made there would be people in the same situation getting different levels of payments," he told Sky News.

"There's an inequity there."

Mr Albanese was referring to welfare to work changes the former Howard government undertook in July 2006 when it diverted women applying for parenting payment to Newstart.

Single parents already receiving the payments were "grandfathered" and allowed to continue receiving the payment until their youngest child turned 16.

Labor has now changed the entitlements of the grandfathered group.

Mr Albanese said there was a public debate about whether the dole level was sufficient.

"That's an issue the government will consider in the context of our budget considerations," Mr Albanese said.

Mr Albanese declined to reveal his personal view on whether Newstart should be raised.

"I'm a member of the cabinet, I have the great privilege of putting my position around a small room."

 

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