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‘Maybe’ isn’t good enough when it comes to helping single parents

The Australian Greens said today vague comments by the Prime Minister about the possibility of reversing cuts to single parents are not good enough.

"Maybe isn't good enough when it comes to helping single parents who are living in poverty as a result of Labor's cuts to single parenting payments or the Howard policy of welfare to work," Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

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A sign of things to come as Abbott takes $4 from our most vulnerable

The Australian Greens said today that Tony Abbott's plan to scrap a $210 supplement payment for vulnerable people threatens to be the start of a harsh and unfair policy regime aimed at punishing the poorest Australians.

"By threatening to take this modest payment off people on Newstart, Youth Allowance and parenting payments, Tony Abbott is totally ignoring the threats and pressures being heaped on low income families and Australians on income support," Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

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Greens show the policy strength and commitment needed to address poverty

The Australian Greens said today they are the only party with the policies and commitment to deliver on recommendations of the nation’s peak community sector organisations and address problems such as poverty and homelessness in Australia.

“A caring society does not condemn people to live in poverty, and the Greens are showing the vision and compassion necessary to help some of our most vulnerable people,” Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on families and community services said today.

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Greens announce plan to help older jobseekers

The Australian Greens have today announced a new plan to help the growing number of older jobseekers who find themselves locked out of the workforce and facing a future in poverty on payments like Newstart.

"The Greens will help older jobseekers who are currently being left behind and face significant barriers to re-entering the workforce," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on ageing and families and community services said today.

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Rachel's Speech to COTA's National Policy Forum

I'm glad to see that human rights are on the agenda in the lead up to this election and congratulate COTA for leading this debate. By focusing on the rights of older Australians, this forum highlights the need for a new deal for older Australians, that is based on the UN Principles for Older Persons, a deal based on the principles of Independence, Participation, Care, Self Fulfilment and Dignity.

There are a lot of important issues raised today that need to be considered by Governments. These are all issues that the Greens would like to see progressed further.

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Greens: Productivity Commission working paper highlights need for an immediate increase in Newstart

"This adds to the growing body of evidence that Newstart is too low and that parenting payment cuts for single parent were bad policy. Keeping income support payments so low condemns people to poverty" said Senator Siewert, Australian Greens Spokesperson for Families and Communities.

"The Government is running up a huge social debt, people are being condemned to poverty with all its flow-on problems. This is a false economy.

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Rudd can’t split the Newstart debate to score points - Greens

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd shouldn't seek to split the Newstart debate in order to secure a pre-election poll boost and wedge the community into supporting a weakened, compromised policy shift.

"Everyone on Newstart is struggling. If Mr Rudd turns this into an ‘either/or' debate, in which some people are given assistance and others miss out, it would cause great concern across the community," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on families and community services said today.

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Four Corners shows the harsh reality of life on Newstart

"Last night on Four Corners we saw some of the reality faced by hundreds of thousands of Australians each and every day," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services said.

"I hope politicians across the nation were watching, to better understand the personal impact that supporting policies like January's cuts to single parenting payments have had.

"There a wealthy society such as ours should not be forcing people into the desperate, grinding poverty that comes with life on Newstart.

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