It has been revealed in senate estimates that the Government has not sought advice from the Department of Social Services on the ability for job seekers to live off $40 a day whilst on the single rate of Newstart.
“Despite this chorus of voices about the inadequacy of the payment, the Government did not seek advice from the Department of Social Services about whether people can actually live off the payment.
“There is a breadth of expert advice across the board that the single rate of Newstart is not nearly enough to get by, yet the Government is stubbornly refusing to increase the payment. It has stagnated for years because of a lack of political will to increase the payment and people are suffering.
“This shows that the Government couldn’t care less about what the stagnating payment means for Australians trying to get by and whether it is enough to survive off or not.
“There is a weight of evidence that shows the payment is definitely not enough and to increase it would help pull people out of poverty whilst stimulating the economy.
“I urge the Government to support my bill in August that seeks to increase the woefully low payment by $75 a week”.