The Australian Greens said today the Government is likely to use the McClure Welfare Review to continue their ideological campaign against income support and social security using the excuse of simplification to justify cuts.
"I am deeply concerned that the Government are going to use this report to cut back on social security and income support, just as they have done in the Federal budget, a move that will increase inequality across the community" Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on family and community services said today.
"We saw the budget take a punitive approach to many people, including dropping young job seekers off income support for more than six months at a time. This Government has form and I'm totally unconvinced that they are capable of developing a social security system that is fair and supports the most vulnerable.
"What is missing from this review is fairness, which is not one of the four pillars on which the review is based. Fairness should be a part of a strong social security system that provides people with the support they need.
"There area number of proposals in this review that will have an impact on our most vulnerable, including people with disability and carers. The report lacks an understanding about peoples' lives and their needs when it comes to employment, job services and income support.
"The first McClure review, under the Howard Government, led to cuts to single parents and unfair policies like Welfare to Work. Tony Abbott is likely to use this new review in the same way.
"Punitive approaches like income management, look set to be ramped up by the Government, despite the lack of evidence to support it.
"Income management is expensive, punitive and builds dependence, rather than empowering people and providing them the platform they need to live their lives, raise a family and look for work.
"The Greens will closely examine this review and call on the Government to allow for more than a short, six week public consultation process. If the Minister is genuine about wanting long term reform, this whole process needs to be open to proper consultation, debate and discussion," Senator Siewert concluded.