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Reducing Jobseeker would be irresponsible

The Greens say the Government's plans to reduce the Jobseeker payment in September is reckless, unfair and fiscally irresponsible.

“To meet the OECD relative measure of poverty a fortnightly income of at least $1012 is needed, keeping Jobseeker at its current rate would ensure people were not living in poverty.

“How will people survive if they cannot even afford the basics like rent or groceries and how will our economy repair if people can’t spend?

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Flawed baseline study will undermine evaluation of Cashless Debit Card in Bundaberg and Hervey Bay (Hinkler region)

The Department of Social Services has just released a qualitative and quantitative study of the Bundaberg and Hervey Bay CDC trial which unfortunately are once again flawed and biased.

“It is incredibly frustrating that the Government has done the same thing as they did last time, using "perceptions" of the Cashless Debit Card in what they call their baselines study.

"These "findings" will be used in the evaluation of the trial.

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Adding paypass to the Cashless Debit Card won’t magically make it acceptable

Adding paypass to the Cashless Debit Card won’t magically make it acceptable
 
While welcoming any positive change to the Cashless Debit Card adding paypass to the card is not going to fix the ongoing and debilitating impacts it is having on people’s lives. 
 
"Instead of properly evaluating the trials and looking at the evidence, the Minister has decided to add paypass and give people one percent interest which doesn’t address the underlying issues with the card.
 

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A decent and fair safety net means all payments above the poverty line 

The Australian Greens say that Treasurer Frydenberg’s statement that we must ensure “a safety net which is underpinned by a sense of decency and fairness” means that the Government must commit to maintaining the current rate of the Jobseeker payment and ensuring that no income support payment is below the poverty line. 
 
"It would not be decent or fair to take the Jobseeker payment back below the poverty line. 

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Greens say strong action needed against institutions who fail to sign up to Redress Scheme by June 30 deadline 

The Australian Greens said today that the recommendations of the Interim Report of the Joint Select Committee on the Implementation of the National Redress Scheme highlights the need for reforms of the Redress scheme.
 
“There is an urgent need for action in a number of key areas particularly in view of the looming deadline for institutions to join the scheme. It is unacceptable that some institutions are not joining the scheme", Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said. 
 

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Minister must urgently act to ensure food security in remote communities

Existing issues of price gouging and difficulty in accessing supplies in remote communities is an ongoing issue that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis with reports that First Nations families in remote communities are spending up to 93 percent of their weekly income on food.

"I’m hearing accounts of scarcity, difficulty and inability to access even basic supplies and high prices from many remote communities", Greens spokesperson on First Nations issues senator Rachel Siewert said.

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Senate committee recommends an increase to JobSeeker, Youth Allowance and Parenting Payment 

The Senate Community Affairs References committee has recommended an increase to the JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance and Parenting Payment  rates to ensure people do not live in poverty.

"This report clearly indicates that the pre-covid payment rates for Jobseekers, Youth Allowance and Parenting Payment do not support an acceptable minimum standard of living", Senator Rachel Siewert said. 

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Change is possible when you tell the truth: Captain Cook did not “discover” Australia

 
"First Nations peoples and nations had lived here on the land now known as Australia for more than 60,000 years before the Endeavour dropped anchor and this country was founded on a false doctrine of terra nullius.

"For First Nations peoples Cook’s voyage was the most consequential encounter by early European explorers as it heralded the beginning of a fundamental change to their way of life.

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Employment Service Program needs urgent reform

The Greens say that the Government must urgently reform the employment provider system to ensure that the system is fit for purpose and that job providers are not using the influx of new clients as an opportunity to turn massive profits.
 
"It’s been clear for years now that employment services are not fit for purpose and do not meet the needs of jobseekers. 
 
"The Government did not adequately address the issues following the 2019 Senate inquiry that overwhelmingly demonstrated that the jobactive system is failing unemployed workers. 
 

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COVID Committee reveals Treasury were not asked to do any modelling on providing the COVID supplement for people on DSP or carer payment

Questions to the Treasury during the Select Committee on COVID-19 hearing today revealed that they were not asked to and nor did they do any modelling on providing the COVID supplement to people on DSP and carer payments. 

"At the moment, people on DSP and carer payments are feeling left behind by this Government and this is not good enough.

"Disabled people and their carers should not be living below the poverty line which is what is happening with the increase in their essential living costs. 

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