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Greens call on the Government to respond to international scrutiny of parenting payment cuts

The Australian Greens call on the Government to respond to international scrutiny of its recent cuts to parenting payments and to take immediate steps to reduce the number of people living in poverty in Australia by supporting Senator Siewert's Caring for People on Newstart and Caring for Single Parents Private Members Bills

Senator Siewert, Australian Greens Senator for Families and Communities, said today, "Even the international community is taking note of the Australian Government's action which are deliberately pushing families into severe poverty."

"This is not the first time the Australian Government has drawn criticism from the international community for the way it treats its most vulnerable citizens. Last year also saw the UN raise concerns about the 'Stronger Futures' legislation that extended the NT Intervention.

"The Greens share the concerns of organisations such as ACOSS and want to know why the Government has not yet responded to the October letter from the UN Special Rapporteur, requesting further information. 

"Only the Greens have consistently opposed the cuts to the parenting payment, ever since John Howard first moved single parents onto Newstart in 2006.

"The Greens have also been raising awareness about how low Newstart has become and have introduced Private Member's Bills to raise the payment by $50 a year, as well as a Bill to provide a $40 a week supplement to all single parents living on Newstart, including those who were affected by the 2006 changes. 

"The Greens call on the Government to recognise that allowance payments are too low, and respond to the growing criticism by supporting our private member's bills that give all people including single parent families better support," concluded Senator Siewert.  

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