The Australian Greens say the release of a new poverty report by ACOSS makes it clear that our economy is failing to support vulnerable people and highlights the cruelty of the cuts made this week to income support for single parents.
"In light of today's ACOSS Poverty In Australia report, the Government cannot deny the importance of supporting an increase of Newstart and other allowance payments by $50 per week," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on families and community services said today.
"It is deeply disturbing to see such levels of poverty in Australia. Clearly, current systems are not adequately supporting people as they raise kids and look for work.
"This report finds that people who are unemployed, children in single parent families, and people who rely on income support are the groups most at risk of poverty.
"Alarmingly, more than half of the households with Newstart as the main source of income are living in poverty, as are one quarter of people in sole parent families.
"These figures highlight the continuing flawed approach by the Government to income support and services for vulnerable people. Just this week, we saw the Government and Coalition unite to pass legislation that cuts income support payments for to up to 140,000 single parents, meaning more people will end up in poverty.
"The government cannot continue to ignore the problems being faced by vulnerable people. A $50 per week increase to Newstart and other allowance payments should be their first order of business," Senator Siewert concluded.