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ParentsNext benefits providers while leaving single parents in desperate situations 

The Greens have repeated their call for the Government to reform the ParentsNext program and make it voluntary after whistleblowers on ABC's Background Briefing have come out showing how dysfunctional the program is, just one year after it's rollout. 

"The nature of the program and outsourcing services to private for profit providers is a recipe for disaster", Senator Rachel Siewert said.

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Senate sends robodebt to inquiry for the second time in three years

A Greens motion to send Centrelink’s compliance program including “robo-debt” to a Senate inquiry has been supported by the Senate today.
 
“It’s been more than two years since I chaired the first hearing of the Senate inquiry into the notorious robo-debt program”, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said.
 
“We heard a lot of evidence. There were nine hearings across Australia, and what will always stick with me, is that at every hearing, we heard about the impacts of the program. 
 

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Greens reject tying Newstart increase to cashless debit card

The Greens have welcomed the Nationals interest in an increase to Newstart, but have rejected tying any increase to Newstart with the cashless debit card.
 
“People on income support are some of the best money managers, because every single dollar counts when you are on a low income.
 
“Just because people are unemployed doesn’t mean that they can’t manage their finances. It is insulting and paternalistic to consider otherwise.
 
“Increasing Newstart must not be a vehicle for expanding the cashless debit card in this country.
 

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Greens and ALP send Newstart and related payments to senate inquiry

Senator Rachel Siewert and Senator Patrick Dodson’s reference to senate inquiry on the adequacy of Newstart and related payments has today been supported by the Senate.
 
“I’m very pleased that the Senate has supported our reference to the Community Affairs References Committee”, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said today.
 
“This week we’ve had people from all sides of politics come out in support of an increase to Newstart which has not had a real term increase since 1994.
 

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Greens call for independent body to set income support rates

Following the reporting of the Coalition’s new low of interfering with a Parliamentary committee in regards to recommendations on Newstart, the Australian Greens have renewed their call for an independent process to set income support rates.
 
“If correct it is appalling that Minster Fletcher intervened in the work of the Committee and shows exactly why we need an independent body to set income support rates”, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said.
 

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Government must immediately stop robo-debt in Townsville

The Greens are today calling on the Government to urgently suspend the operation of the robo-debt program in Townsville.

“How heartless and insensitive can this Government get? ,” Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said.

“While people are coping with what is one of the most stressful and traumatic times in their lives, a natural disaster, their Government are chasing them down for money they probably don’t even owe.

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