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Work for the dole expansion continues Government's attack on job seekers

The Australian Greens said today a significant number of jobseekers will be punished and disadvantaged from any expansion of work for the dole.

"Work for the Dole is not an effective program for getting people into work and study, and is just another example of the Government's ideological war against income support and social security," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on family and community services said today.

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Government fails to understand employment challenges

The Australian Greens said today comments made by Minister for Social Services Kevin Andrews that young people should just get a job show the flawed basis on which the government's budget has been based.

"Mr Andrews' comments show he doesn't understand how hard it is for young people in the labour market, or for people who aren't able to find work after participating in employment programs", Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on family and community services said today.

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Young Australians under threat from plans to withhold vital income support

The Australian Greens said today that calls to take income support away from teenagers will expose them to poverty and homelessness.

"'Earn or learn' is a cruel sound bite from Tony Abbott and his mining magnate backers," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on family and community services said today.

"Taking vital income support away from young people ignores the serious personal circumstances many will be facing, and the move would make it considerably harder for them to transition into work or study.

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Australian Greens present pesticides petition to Senate

The Australian Greens today tabled a petition in Parliament on behalf of Pesticides Action Group WA calling for further investigation into the use of pesticides including the illnesses and environmental harm that these products cause.

"At present there is no nationally coordinated bio-monitoring programme or public health surveillance of the Australian population by relevant Australian government authorities," said Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Agriculture.

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Suspension of Wage Connect will see job seekers miss out

The Australian Greens said today that the Coalition is letting down thousands of long term unemployed people by suspending the Wage Connect program, calling on them to reinvest now so that the high demand for places can be met.

"The Government has said they're suspending the Wage Connect subsidy because of the scheme's mismanagement, but the reality is that the strong take-up of this program is evidence that wage subsidies can be effective for helping people into work," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on families and community services said today.

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Welfare to work mentality leaving people with disability in poverty

The Australian Greens said today that labour force statistics released by the ABS indicate that policies designed to supposedly help people with disability into work are failing, leaving more people with disability stuck in poverty.

"The ABS data shows that there has been no improvement in the labour force participation rate by people with disability since the survey was last conducted in 2009. Meanwhile, the number of people with disability who are unemployed has increased," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Disability Issues said today.

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Employment the barrier to positive ageing

In the past few days, two reports from the Productivity Commission and Grattan Institute have suggested a number of policy responses to our ageing population.

The Productivity Commission has discussed increasing the retirement age to 70 and the ways in which personal assets and equity can be used to pay for aged care. The Grattan Institute examined lifting the age at which both the aged pension and superannuation can be accessed to 70, and the potential for owner-occupied housing to be included in the assets test for the aged pension.

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Income management and disability support cuts on the Government’s agenda

The Australian Greens said today that the Government's increasingly hard-line approach to vulnerable people could have a severe impact on Australians relying on the disability support payment.

"Yet again, the Government is looking to save money at the expense of some of Australia's poorest people by considering moves to cut the payments of people with disabilities by dumping them onto Newstart," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on families and community services said today.

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