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Newstart gap widens with latest pension increase

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 3 Mar 2014

The Australian Greens said today that the latest round of income support indexation could widen the gap even further between pensions and payments such as Newstart Allowance.

"People on Newstart have been falling further and further behind for years as a result of the flawed indexation systems used to determine payment increases," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on families and community services said today.

"Minister Andrews said yesterday he was "pleased" to deliver the increase to pensions, but he needs to realise that these disproportionate increases are leaving people on Newstart mired in poverty.

"Inadequate levels of income support make it incredibly hard for people on Newstart to even afford food, bus fares and household bills, and the indexation rates do not reflect the pressures people are under.

"Tony Abbott's response is to veer towards punitive welfare to work policies rather than helping people get secure work.

"Newstart needs to be increased by $50 per week, as has been called for by the Greens, community and business groups," Senator Siewert concluded.


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