Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Families and Community Services has introduced a Private Members Bill to Parliament which increases Newstart and Youth Allowance by $50 per week.
“In a world that is getting harsher, it is government’s role to make things easier for all Australians. Punishing job seekers by condemning them to poverty is not contributing to the caring society that the majority of people want for themselves and their children,” Senator Siewert said today.
“A $50 increase for single people living on Newstart and Youth Allowance will ensure a fairer system and better indexation will help maintain the value of an increase into the future.
“We want to take this opportunity to help people while they study and become work ready, and then help them into secure work. This is an important way to reduce the incidence of poverty in our community and to address the barriers that currently keep people out of work.
“The Greens have taken action on this gross inadequacy while the other parties continue to ignore the needs of people doing it tough.
“While the government has acknowledged on a number of occasions that it is not easy for a person to live on the current rate of Newstart, the measures they have introduced have been inadequate to address the needs of those on the lowest rates of payment.
“Indeed, their response this week has been to pass a new supplement payment that equates to just over $4 per week, and even that miserly increase was opposed by Tony Abbott’s Coalition.
“The call for an increase in the base rate of allowance payments has received widespread support from welfare and social service groups, business groups, unions, various economists and a number of Members of Parliament.
“All MPs should engage with this legislation and support moves to help those people who need it the most,” Senator Siewert concluded.
The Social Security and Other Legislation Amendment (Caring for People On Newstart) Bill 2013 will:
- Increase the maximum single rate of Newstart by $50 per week
- Increase the maximum single rate of Youth Allowance (living away from home) by $50 per week
- Index these payments by the same method as pensions
The bill amends the Social Security Act 1999 and the Social Security (Administration) Act 1999.