The Australian Greens say the Government still has time to reconsider legislation that will move around 100,000 single parents onto Newstart Allowance, with an inquiry currently underway into the Bill, which is yet to appear before the Senate.
“Statistics published today point to the lengthy delays Newstart recipients face as they look for work,” Australian Greens spokesperson on Families and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said from Canberra.
“These statistics underline the key message in both the parenting payment and Newstart debates – forcing people onto inadequate levels of income support for an extended period of time can be highly detrimental to their capacity to find work.
“The low rate of Newstart creates a range of new barriers to employment and makes it harder to address the challenges people are already facing.
“This is especially true for people caring for children and looking for flexible working arrangements or affordable child care.
“There will be two Senate Inquiries in the coming weeks and months that address these issues. One will examine the legislation that is threatening to move single parents to Newstart Allowance, while the other, Greens-instigated Inquiry is examining the adequacy of allowance payments such as Newstart.
“This Inquiry forms part of our ongoing campaign to deliver a fairer and more effective income support system- one which meets the needs of our modern economy.
“I encourage individuals and community organisations alike to express the concerns they have with these changes and with the rate of Newstart Allowance to the inquiries.
“To date, the majority of MPs from both the Government and Coalition have refused to acknowledge the evidence – this needs to change,” Senator Siewert concluded.