Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert says ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr breaking ranks with federal Labor to call for an increase to Newstart is encouraging.
“Mr Barr can see like most that Newstart is far too low to survive off and it needs to be increased if unemployed Australians are genuinely going to be supported into finding work.
“Bill Shorten and the Federal Labor party need to show some courage and admit what we all know, that the payment has to increase so people can survive on it with some dignity.
“As it stands at the moment people are forsaking meals or treading towards homelessness whilst on the payment, this only serves as a barrier to employment.
“I urge the federal Labor party and Bill Shorten to get off the fence and support my bill to increase Newstart by $75 a week rather than promising a ‘review’ of the payment if elected. For too long the payment has not increased and it is time the Labor party did the right thing”.