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Experts say difficult to properly evaluate Cashless Debit Card trial sites because no proper baselines data has been collected

Experts at a hearing into the cashless debit card today have roundly slammed the Government for using their so-called trial site evaluations to justify the extension of the cashless debit card “trials”.

“The ORIMA reports have been thoroughly discredited by academics and researchers as well as the ANAO and were today described as “extremely misleading” but they are still being referred to by Government to justify the trial extensions”, Senator Rachel Siewert said.

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Discussions of the living wage must include unemployed workers on Newstart

Discussions of a “living wage” have to include unemployed workers who are living in poverty on payments as low as $40 a day, Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“It’s time that we recognised that unemployed workers are workers too.

“We need to change the law so that if you work full-time, you’re not in poverty and if you’re out of work  you’re also not living in poverty.

“There is no fair-go when unemployed workers are living on payments as low as $40 a day.

“Unemployed workers have waited 25 years for an increase to Newstart.

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ParentsNext: a checklist from the 1950’s playbook of social policy double standards

International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate and reflect on what it means to be a woman in our community in 2019.

“It becomes more apparent, every year, that while we now condemn blatant discrimination against women in our society, many of the attitudes that allowed such discrimination persist in our social policy," Senator Rachel Siewert said.

“You only have to look at the number of single mothers living in poverty to see that the long history of social policies that denigrate women, particularly single mothers, is far from over.

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Minster’s claim that indexation is a "welfare boost" is beyond a joke

The announcement that the Government has delivered “another increase” to income support recipients is farcical in its attempt to spin indexation as an increase to income support payments. 

“Why is the Minister wasting everyone’s time by advising that payments are indexed? It happens twice a year!” Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens spokesperson on Family and Community services said.

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Coalition’s targeting of single mothers through ParentsNext is part of culture of disrespect towards women

The overbearing, coercive and controlling ParentsNext program which invades the privacy of women is part of the very culture of disrespect the Prime Minister has alluded to in the announcement of his extra funding to domestic violence services today.  

“The ParentsNext program is part of the culture of disrespect towards women and anyone who doesn’t see that is kidding themselves, Senator Rachel Siewert said.

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Government must do more to get institutions signed up to redress scheme as soon as possible

The Greens are calling on the Government to urgently address the growing concern amongst survivors, advocates and the community that institutions named in the Royal Commission have not yet “opted in” to the redress scheme which is holding up assessment of claims and highly likely to be putting survivors off submitting a claim.

“Any institution that was named during the Royal Commission should have well and truly signed up by now", Senator Rachel Siewert said.

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Overwhelmingly evidence presented at ParentsNext inquiry called for urgent change to protect mothers and children

The senate inquiry into ParentsNext today heard repeated and insistent calls to make the program voluntary and abandon the punitive demerit point system that is causing many mothers huge distress and anxiety.

“The committee also heard that the program is not compatible with Human Rights, Senator Rachel Siewert said.

“In her opening statement, Professor Rosalind Croucher, President of the Human Rights Commission expressed grave concerns about the compulsory and punitive approach of ParentsNext saying the punitive compliance approach is unjustifiably harsh.

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New report shows punitive income support system directly impacting child poverty, Newstart increase more urgent than ever

The latest Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) report reveals the need for an urgent increase in Newstart.

"Our woefully low income support payment rates and punitive unemployment framework are having a direct impact on child poverty, Senator Rachel Siewert, spokesperson on Family and Community said today.

"The urgency of raising Newstart becomes more stark with report after report showing how inadequate Newstart is and the impact it is having on our community.

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Ex-pollies appointed to AAT to hear appeals related to income support doesn’t pass pub test

Liberal party mates such as former politicians and party affiliates appointed to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal does not bode well for people appealing Centrelink decisions on income support.

“The way we have seen this Government go after people on income support is deeply disturbing, and as a result some people appeal to the AAT. Now the Government has appointed some of its Liberal mates to that very body” Senator Rachel Siewert said.  

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