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Turnbull Government and Labor must show political courage and commit to increasing Newstart: Greens

Research by the Salvation Army showing the average Newstart recipient has just $17 a day to live off after accommodation expenses should not be ignored by the Turnbull Government and Shorten’s Labor party, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today. 

“$17 a day after accommodation expenses is obscene. Members of our community are foregoing food and safety because the Government won’t exercise political courage to lift the appalling low payment. At the same time Government is pursuing tax cuts for the wealthy. 

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Labor puts the poor last with promises on debt and tax cuts but nothing on Newstart

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Labor and Coalition gang up to vote down motion that calls for increase to Newstart

The Labor party has sided with the Government to vote down a motion that calls for an increase to Newstart and Youth Allowance.

“Despite the broad group of economists, business and social service organisations saying that the payment definitely needs to be increased, both major parties are showing cowardice.

“The rate of Newstart does not need to be ‘reviewed’ it needs to increase urgently, and the ALP knows this.

"It has been well established that it is dangerously low and causing harm to jobseekers. It’s time for Bill Shorten to come off the fence”.

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Government makes broken CDP worse despite promising overhaul

 Changes by the Turnbull Government to the Community Development Program (CDP) in remote and regional Australia are tinkering around the edges, despite Minister Scullion promising an overhaul of the broken program, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“As it stands at the moment job seekers in remote and regional Australia are suffering under the CDP, which imposes unfair mutual obligations and is causing significant harm in communities. 

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Australian Greens will reintroduce bill to increase Newstart and Youth Allowance

 

The Australian Greens will reintroduce legislation to increase the single rate of Newstart and Youth Allowance by $75 a week in the second half of 2018. 

“It is time we stopped leaving struggling Australians behind and for Newstart to be increased to a level where jobseekers can live with some dignity. 

“As demonstrated in the Federal Budget on Tuesday, the Government has clearly abandoned people trying to survive on Newstart and Youth Allowance. 

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Vulnerable Australians continue to get left behind by Turnbull Government

The Australian Greens said today people on lowest level of income have been completely ignored in this budget with no increase to the appallingly low Newstart and Youth Allowance payments.

Despite a growing group of social services groups and economists calling for an increase to the Newstart payment, the Turnbull Government has failed to increase the payment in the Federal Budget.  

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Australian Greens dissent from committee report into Government plans to drug test income support recipients

The Australian Greens have dissented from the Community Affairs Legislation Committee report into the Government’s bill that would drug test Australians seeking access to income support. 

“I share the disappointment and dismay of the experts and community organisations at the reemergence of this plan to drug test Australians accessing our social safety net”, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today. 

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Bill Shorten should stop walking both sides of the fence and support an increase to Newstart

Bill Shorten and the Labor Party should dump their commitment to ‘review’ the woefully low rate of Newstart and instead commit to increasing it in their first term of Government if elected. 

“The rate of Newstart does not need to be ‘reviewed’, and the ALP knows this, if they don’t it shows how out of touch they are. It has been well established across the board that it is dangerously low and causing harm to jobseekers. 

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MPs who think they can survive off $40 a day should try living off it for a week

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has called on Federal MPs who think they could live off the $40 a day Newstart rate to give it a go. 

“I am glad there is a national discussion occurring about the woefully low payment that job seekers have to survive on whilst trying to find work. Julia Banks MP has claimed she could live off the payment rate of $40 a day, I urge her to put her money where her mouth is and give it a go for a week. 

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CDP hurting remote Australians, it is time the for the Minister to act

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has called on the Federal Government to urgently overhaul the Community Development Program (CDP) in light of more evidence that the program is hurting vulnerable people in remote communities.

“More and more people in remote communities, most of whom are Aboriginal, are being slugged with fines because the program if failing to meet their needs. This is having a dire impact on individuals, families and the whole community.

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