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Greens: Productivity Commission working paper highlights need for an immediate increase in Newstart

"This adds to the growing body of evidence that Newstart is too low and that parenting payment cuts for single parent were bad policy. Keeping income support payments so low condemns people to poverty" said Senator Siewert, Australian Greens Spokesperson for Families and Communities.

"The Government is running up a huge social debt, people are being condemned to poverty with all its flow-on problems. This is a false economy.

"Three times now the Labor Government has tinkered around the edges of allowance payments but a real increase of $50 is what is really needed, plus reversing the payment cuts for all single parents. This has to be a first response to the crushing poverty that these families face.

"The report also demonstrates that disadvantage is complex and highlights that a child's early years fundamentally shape their life changes and therefore we need to target responses in such areas as supporting early childhood development and education, family support and good nutrition.

"This approach is what many community organisations have been calling for, for a long time.

"It is time to stop pretending that growing up in poverty doesn't have lasting impacts on children.

"It is impossible to work on education and early childhood development, when you have people in insecure housing or who can't afford enough food.

"Solving poverty won't happen overnight, but the Greens have a fully costed response, ready to be implemented that could lift many of these families out of poverty immediately," concluded Senator Siewert.

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