The Australian Greens said today that in Question Time the Government didn't deny that the $229 million of so-called new money for Emergency Relief has come from their cuts to the Social Services discretionary grants program.
"Last week, the Government said they were ‘adding to the social security net' by providing emergency relief funding of $229m to help the young people they force to live without any income support for more than six months at a time. However, they're much less interested in talking about the fact that their budget cuts $240 million out of the discretionary grants program administered by the Department of Social Services," Senator Rachel Siewert Australian Greens spokesperson on family and community services said today.
"It became clear in additional Senate Estimates hearings that the Government is saving money by collapsing programs into each other and taking an arbitrary $240 million of the top.
"It is disgraceful that the Government is trumpeting an investment of $229 million in emergency relief, when this is clearly not new money.
"They have undertaken a sweeping range of cruel reforms, with no regard for the impact it will have on community services and the people who rely on them.
"The Government's tough welfare measures are cutting payments in order to address the so-called ‘budget emergency'. The Australia Institute released a new report today which demonstrates that there are billions of dollars of state government subsidies going to the mining industry, this is on top of the billions of subsidies paid out by the Federal Government.
"This corporate welfare means that disadvantaged people across the country are losing out as the Government is unwilling to ask big miners and big polluters to pay their fair share," Senator Siewert concluded.