The Greens will seek to disallow the recently introduced $120 bankruptcy filing fee when the Senate returns in May.
Australian Greens spokesperson for legal affairs Senator Penny Wright said the fee would be a barrier stopping people in dire financial trouble from getting the help they need to get out of debt and have a fresh start.
“It defies reason to require people who are in the worst kind of financial trouble to pay a fee to go bankrupt,” Senator Wright said.
“The Australian Greens will be lodging a disallowance motion when Parliament returns in May, to protect vulnerable Australians.
“Most people filing for bankruptcy have earned less than $30,000 in the previous year and they often have no other choice, so to expect them to cover a fee is unreasonable in many cases.
“The risk is that we’ll see more people trapped in cycles of debt, poverty and uncertainty because they don’t have the means to file for bankruptcy.
“The fee would leave people stranded – they won’t be able to go bankrupt and will have no option but to wait for a creditor to do it, taking away their control and adding to their stress.
“It’s unacceptable to leave low income, vulnerable people in this stressful situation.
“The Australian Greens will be seeking to protect people filing for bankruptcy, not disenfranchise them.”