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Action needed following dramatic increase in older Australians on Newstart

The number of Australians on Newstart aged over 50 has increased dramatically over the past three years, the Australian Greens said today.

Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on families and community services says that age discrimination is a significant factor blocking older job-seekers as they attempt to re-enter the workforce.

"Government figures show that there has been a 28% increase in the number of Australians aged 50 and over on Newstart since 2010," Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

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Food out of reach for families as poverty levels increase

The Australian Greens said today that a National Anti-Poverty Strategy must be developed to address the growing number of Australians going hungry as demand for food relief outstrips supply.

"Today is World Food Day, and Foodbank's End Hunger in Australia Report for 2013 shows 65,000 people are being turned away from charities each month because there isn't enough food," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on families and community services said today.

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Greens offer solutions for poverty in WA as the old parties go missing

The Australian Greens said today that they remain the only party with effective policies on the table to reduce the incidence of poverty in Western Australia.

The new WA Council of Social Service Cost Of Living Report released today shows that a lack of affordable housing, increased living costs and inadequate levels of income support are driving Western Australians below the poverty line, with job seekers, single parents and families on low or fixed incomes most at risk.

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Greens stand up for vulnerable people as the old parties keep quiet

The Australian Greens said today that the old parties are ignoring poverty in Australia and cannot continue to ignore the people in Australia who are struggling to make ends meet.

"The election campaign is now in its third week and neither Mr Abbott or Mr Rudd have the courage to commit to the strong and compassionate policies needed to reduce poverty and help jobseekers and single parents," Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

"The old parties are not talking about poverty because they don't have anything to say.

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Greens take Newstart debate to Tweed Heads

Senator Rachel Siewert has joined local Tweed Heads residents in NSW to discuss the Australian Greens plan to boost Newstart and help single parents.

"There's a lot of important public discussion taking place at the moment about payments such as Newstart and the challenges being faced by single parents in the wake of January's cuts. Unlike the old parties, the Greens are encouraging this debate," Senator Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on families and community services said today.

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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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Government & Coalition Senators reject motion to increase Newstart

The Senate has voted against Senator Rachel Siewert's amendments to the Social Security (Supporting More Australians Into Work) Bill 2013, which called on the Government to deliver a $50 per week increase to Newstart and help single parents.

"This was the Government's chance to demonstrate support for an increase to Newstart and help single parents," Senator Siewert said today.

"Over the last six years, Labor have made things harder for vulnerable people by condemning more people to live in poverty on Newstart.

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