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Greens show the policy strength and commitment needed to address poverty

The Australian Greens said today they are the only party with the policies and commitment to deliver on recommendations of the nation’s peak community sector organisations and address problems such as poverty and homelessness in Australia.

“A caring society does not condemn people to live in poverty, and the Greens are showing the vision and compassion necessary to help some of our most vulnerable people,” Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on families and community services said today.

“The ACOSS election statement demonstrates how far short of the mark the old parties are when it comes to addressing key drivers of poverty, like the inadequacy of Newstart and the continuing lack of affordable housing.

“The Greens have proposed responsible changes to the mining tax and would end some of the unfair subsidies given to the resource sector to generate the revenue needed to help Australia’s most vulnerable people. 

 “Our proposals include helping jobseekers and single parents, which would see Newstart and Youth Allowance increased by $50 per week, the provision of better services to help people into work and an additional supplement of $40 per week for single parents stuck on Newstart. 

 “The Greens want to see an overhaul of employment services to better support vulnerable job seekers and have announced a policy to help older jobseekers back into the workforce, to protect those people currently locked out of the job market  from slipping into poverty in the years before they’re thinking about retirement. 

“Across our policy platforms, the Greens are committed to addressing poverty, including action on climate change to reduce the costs of energy, improving food security and making sure all Australians have access to quality health services, including dental care. Measures such as these are essential for addressing the costs of living of low income families and delivering stronger health, education and employment outcomes for all Australians,” Senator Siewert said.

“Affordable housing is an essential component of addressing poverty. Unless the affordable housing crisis is tackled as an urgent national priority, it will continue to trap Australians in poverty,” Australian Greens housing spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said today.

“Not only do high rents make it harder to afford the training or education that would boost the chance of getting a job, they are forcing people to live further and further away from areas with good employment prospects.

“There are now more than 105,000 homeless Australians - people struggling to live with security and dignity. They deserve better.

 

"The Greens' Stronger Social Housing System will help 225,000 Australian singles and families in temporary accommodation or homeless as they wait years for public housing.  Our Transforming Perth plan shows we can deliver 250,000 new homes within Perth's metro area - in areas close to jobs and public services - and the urban planning principles in that plan could be adapted to suit any city or regional centre.  Our Convert To Rent initiative would see the many thousands of empty properties in the country converted into renovated low-cost rentals. 

 “These strong Greens initiatives should be embraced at all levels of governments to help people who are struggling to afford the roof over their heads, those waiting for public and community-funded housing, and those sleeping rough every night," Senator Ludlam concluded.

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