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Renewed push to dump energy supplement another cut for struggling Australians: Greens

The renewed push to remove the energy supplement for income support recipients is another assault on people who will be struggling to get by on extremely low income support payments, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“The Government is unrelenting in its attempts to erode and weaken the social safety net as a way to balance the books. People accessing the social safety net can’t afford to lose any more money.

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Research shows drug testing income support recipients in the US has been costly and ineffective

Information obtained by the Australian Greens has shown that drug testing in the United States has been costly whilst returning a miniscule number of positive test results.

“In America the results that came back positive for drugs was farcical. From 2011 to 2014, just TWO people out of 108,408 came back as positive in Arizona. Over in Missouri, just 0.1% came back positive from 2013 to 2014. What a monumental waste of time and public funds.

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Estimates raises human rights concern and lack of consultation on drug testing income support recipients

Questioning in estimates has revealed that the Disability Discrimination Commissioner has some concerns for the potential for human rights in relation to drug testing of income support applicants, and that the Government did not seek any advice from the Australian Human Rights Commission on the matter. 

“A lot of people in the community share the concerns of the Commissioner”, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today. 

“He has taken on notice the question about more details of his concerns. I have deep concerns that this measure is discriminatory.

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Greens support calls for a Royal Commission into the abuse, violence and neglect of people with disability

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has welcomed reports that an open letter has been signed by 100 academics urging the Federal Government to establish a Royal Commission into the violence, abuse and neglect of people with disability.

“There was a large body of evidence to our senate inquiry on the level of violence, abuse and neglect of people with disability in institutional and residential care.

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Government trying to raise money from most vulnerable again

It appears that once again the Government will be picking on the most vulnerable members of our community in the Budget, the Australian Greens said today.

“Introducing a demerit system for Australians who are accessing the social safety net and struggle to meet the harsh requirements for help is just another cruel swipe at people in the community who are vulnerable.

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Funding for the NDIS cannot come from our most vulnerable: Greens

“The Greens support a fully funded NDIS, but it cannot come from our most vulnerable through cuts to the social safety net and the social security portfolio”, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“This is robbing Peter to pay Paul and I’m sure people with disability and their carers would be uncomfortable that the scheme came off the back of people who are struggling.

“I urge the Government to turn to revenue raising measures that have repeatedly been flagged by the Greens and others, such as addressing negative gearing and capital gains tax”.

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