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The automated debt recovery system doesn’t need a facelift, it needs scrapping: Greens

The Government giving a ‘facelift’ to the broken automated debt recovery system is just an attempt to quell political backlash and should be viewed as such, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

"The 1800 phone number should have always been on the letters to recipients, for them not to include it in the first place demonstrates how the Government intended to make the process difficult for people accessing the social safety net.

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Minister, get out of your ivory tower and speak to people actually struggling on Centrelink

Minister Alan Tudge refusing to suspend or scrap the automated debt recovery system demonstrates a huge failing to comprehend the struggles and distress that the program has caused to people accessing the social safety net, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“The Coalition is scrambling around trying to work out why voters are so disillusioned and sick of major parties, well they only have to look at the huge disconnect demonstrated by Minister Tudge today.

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Government automated debt recovery system must be scrapped and should be referred to Senate inquiry: Greens

The Australian Greens are calling for the Government’s automated debt recovery system to be scrapped and investigated through a senate inquiry.  

Australian Greens spokesperson on community services Senator Rachel Siewert said:

“Prior to and over Christmas, the automated debt recovery system caused anguish and stress to people using our social safety net, impacting on the mental health of those that we should be supporting.

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Government fails to address real issues of inequality in MYEFO

The Government’s MYEFO has once again proven to be a budget document lacking imagination that seeks to pick apart the thread of our social safety net while offering no real solutions to overcoming barriers people face that keep them below the poverty line and out of work.

“Another MYEFO has passed and the Government has once again failed to meaningfully address major underlying issues with our social safety net that are having a huge impact on our most vulnerable and increasing inequality.

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Release of CCTV footage of Ms Dhu a welcome development, Govt must now stop jail for non-payment of fines

Findings by the WA Coroner that Ms Dhu’s death could have been prevented as early as the day before she died should jolt the Government into acting on Aboriginal deaths in custody, particularly the practice of jail time for non-payment of fines.

“The coroner’s findings are no doubt incredibly distressing for the family and friends of Ms Dhu, but the coroner’s decision to release the CCTV footage is testament to immense determination from Ms Dhu’s family who wanted it released”, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

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Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert responds to Tony Abbott’s defence of the DSP crackdown

“Tony Abbott’s defence of the DSP crackdown and attempting to minimise the struggles of people with disability who are unable to work is ridiculous and should be condemned”, Australian Greens spokesperson on disabilities Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“He has once again demonstrated how out of touch he is with community and particularly vulnerable Australians, and he clearly doesn't know what he is talking about.

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Human Rights Commission report on Social Justice and Native Title should not be ignored like many other reports into addressing Aboriginal disadvantage: Greens

The Australian Greens said today that they hoped the Government would act on the latest Social Justice and Native Title report by the Australian Human Rights Commission, fearing it would be added to the largely ignored pile of reports that outline policy failings and make recommendations to address Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander disadvantage.

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Adjustments to aged care cuts a step in the right direction but changes must go to a senate inquiry: Greens

Although proposed changes to aged care funding are a step in the right direction Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has emphasised that we need a senate inquiry to investigate the complicated cuts and most recently proposed changes.

“The bottom line is that the cuts to the aged care funding are really complicated and need investigation. The Greens have repeatedly put forward a motion for the cuts to go to a senate inquiry and repeatedly both Labor and the Coalition have voted against it.

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Greens welcome KPMG calls for an increase to Newstart

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has welcomed reaffirmed calls by KPMG for a significant increase to Newstart of $50 a week in its report Reform Agenda for Australia, released today.

“The Australian Greens have been campaigning for a long time to increase Newstart, woefully low income support payments mean people are living in poverty and this is another barrier to gaining employment.

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