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Greens Party Room locks in fight against cuts to JobSeeker and Youth Allowance

The Australian Greens Party Room has today resolved to campaign to keep the raised rate of JobSeeker after the coronavirus pandemic, urging other parties not to cave into Scott Morrison’s efforts to halve income support and send over a million people below the poverty line.

“The new JobSeeker rate must be kept in full after the pandemic,” Greens Leader Adam Bandt MP said.

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Disabled People & Carers left out of $130 billion stimulus

Tuesday 31st March, 2020

Australian Greens Disability spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John said the Government's failure to extend the $550 COVID-19 supplement to people receiving the Disability Support Pension (DSP) and Carer Payment in Yesterday's $130 billion stimulus package was an indictment on their attitude to disabled people and carers.

"It's clear that this government is still not taking the needs of disabled people and their families seriously enough in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic," Steele-John said.

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Greens to amend wage subsidy to cover extra 1M casuals

By excluding casuals engaged for less than 12 months, Scott Morrison’s flat wage subsidy will fail to keep Australians employed, and still represents an inferior model to an 80% of wages model proposed by the Greens, Greens Leader Adam Bandt said today.

Mr Bandt said that the 12 month restriction showed little understanding of the nature of work in already hard-hit fields like hospitality, retail and tourism, and meant the policy would leave behind almost a million casual workers.

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Disabled people & Carers need the $550 COVID-19 supplement

Wednesday 25th March, 2020

Australian Greens disability spokesperson Senator Jordon Steele-John has called on Minister Ruston to urgently extend the COVID-19 supplement payment, announced as part of the government’s second round of stimulus, to disabled people receiving the disability support pension and to carers who receive the carer support payment.

“Minister Ruston has been given extraordinary powers up until the end of this year which enable her to introduce measures to ensure that Australians who receive income support can get through this crisis. 

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Massive expansion to Coronavirus Supplement after Greens pressure causes Government backflip

More than 250,000 Australians will have an extra $550 a fortnight to get through the Coronavirus crisis, after the Greens pushed the government to extend a crucial supplementary payment that had omitted Australia’s students.

Following questioning from Senator Rachel Siewert and Senator Mehreen Faruqi, Matthias Cormann said the government would now immediately regulate to make Abstudy, Austudy, and Youth Allowance (Student) eligible for the Coronavirus Supplement.

Lines from Adam Bandt MP, Leader of the Australian Greens:

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Jobseeker increase welcomed but untenable to drop people back to old rate in 6 months

"The Government has finally listened to the community and all those living in poverty who have been crying out for an increase to Newstart for years and years now.

"It shouldn’t have taken a crisis like this to show compassion and increase the Jobseeker payment.

"An increase to the jobseeker payment must be long term and permanent. It is absolutely untenable to drop people back onto $40 a day once this crisis period has passed.

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Changes to mutual obligations make no sense and are cruel and mean spirited

The Greens say the Government’s proposed changes to mutual obligations miss the point. Many people on Newstart don’t have or are unable to afford the infrastructure to just “go online”.

"The changes to mutual obligations are not good enough, people can request online interviews and meetings but that doesn’t account for people who don’t have or just can’t afford the infrastructure to enable this.

"People on Newstart (now Jobseeker payment) are living on $40 a day. How can the government be sure they have access to a home computer and the internet at home?

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Greens repeat calls for Newstart changes to be delayed until Centrelink is fit for purpose

The Greens have repeated their calls for the Government to delay changes to Newstart and the Sickness Allowance in the face of the COVID-19 crisis saying that Centrelink lacks the resources to adequately deal with the changes and the increased workload resulting from the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.
 
From tomorrow, Newstart Allowance, Sickness Allowance, Wife Pension, Bereavement Allowance and Widow B Pension are set to cease and most recipients of these payments will transition to Jobseeker Payment, Age Pension or Carer Payment.

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