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Newstart Allowance

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Pension boost widens the Newstart gap

The Australian Greens said today the gap between pension and allowance payments will grow further next week, with the Government’s flawed payment indexation system failing to provide any relief for people on allowance payments such as Newstart.

“The latest indexation of pension payments will see the maximum rate increased by a much needed $17.10 per fortnight, but Newstart will only increase by up to $2.90,” Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Families and Community Services said today.

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Distractions won't halt the push to boost Newstart

The Australian Greens say the Government should be ‘ashamed’ of its attempt to downplay the financial challenges being faced by unemployed Australians.

In its submission to the ongoing inquiry into the adequacy of Newstart Allowance, the Government has not made like-to-like comparisons, failing to include the family payments made to working families when demonstrating how the current rates of Newstart compare with the minimum wage.

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Minister needs to remain committed to Newstart talks


The Australian Greens said today it was heartening to hear that Employment Minister Shorten now wants to listen to the debate on Newstart, but have questioned his level of commitment.

“Minister Shorten has been having a bob both ways on these discussions, hopefully he will now remain committed to this approach,” Senator Siewert said today.

“I’m certainly pleased that the Minister now appears to recognise the importance of the current public discussion and is not dismissing the concerns of those trying to survive on Newstart.

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Senate Inquiry told of Newstart’s negative impact


Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert says evidence presented to a Senate Inquiry makes it clear that the low rate of Newstart is having a negative impact on jobseekers and can undermine the efforts of jobseekers and community organisations.

Senator Siewert said the message to the Committee investigating the adequacy of payments, including Newstart, was clear. 

“The Inquiry has been consistently told that Newstart is too low and acts as a disincentive to people finding work,” said Senator Siewert.

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Newstart Inquiry begins in Melbourne

The Australian Greens said today that a new economic report shows households relying on the unemployment benefit are over five times as likely to be in poverty.

The release of the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling report coincides with the first public hearings for the Senate Inquiry into the adequacy of support payments such as Newstart Allowance.

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Newstart Inquiry to begin public hearings

A Senate Committee investigating the adequacy of allowance payments such as Newstart will hold its first public hearings this week.

The Inquiry was instigated by Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert, who lived on the equivalent of Newstart Allowance for a week earlier this year to demonstrate the challenges faced by job seekers.

“This Inquiry will examine the adequacy of the allowance system for jobseekers - with a focus on where the system is failing to support people into work,” Senator Siewert said today.

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Greens will amend legislation to prevent parenting payment cuts

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today she would move amendments to Government legislation to remove proposed changes to single parenting payments.
The Government’s Fair Incentives To Work Bill contains a budget measure that cuts payments of around 100,000 single parents by forcing them onto the inadequate Newstart Allowance. A Senate Committee yesterday recommended the Government postpone debate on the budget measure until the conclusion of the inquiry into Newstart and other income support payments.
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Senate Inquiry recommends delaying parenting payment cut

The Australian Greens have supported a Senate Inquiry report which recommends the Government consider delaying the debate on a budget measure that would reduce the income support payments of over 100,000 single parents.

The Senate Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Legislation Committee has reported today on the Social Security Legislation Amendment (Fair Incentives to Work) Bill 2012.

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Inquiry exposes Government commitment to the ‘Newstart fallacy’

The Australian Greens say their Senate Inquiry into Newstart Allowance and other income support payments is already providing an insight into the Government's commitment to the fallacy that a low rate of Newstart encourages people into work.

"Newstart is completely inadequate and it is a complete fallacy to suggest that keeping people $130 a week below the poverty line will encourage them into work," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Families and Community Services said at Parliament House this morning.

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