Senator Rachel Siewert said today that the Government must stop ignoring the advice of independent experts like the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling and Deloitte Access Economics who say that an increase to Newstart makes economic sense and would stimulate the economy.
“Deloitte said that an increase to Newstart by $75 a week would be a better use of Government money than the second tranche of personal tax cuts,” said Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services.
“A couple of days before the budget the Government is trying to buy off people on low incomes with a one off payment, while high income earners get permanent so called ‘tax relief’.
"What they should be doing is spending on some of the most vulnerable people in our community and increasing Newstart.
“They are so in denial about the state of economic inequality in our country they haven’t even bothered to include the people in our country living on the lowest incomes, those on Newstart.
“The Government, and for that matter the ALP, need to stop acting like the world is going to end if we help people living in poverty.
“With all the evidence banking up and the support in the community, should the ALP win Government there is really no excuse for not increasing Newstart as an absolute priority.
“The Greens have a fully costed plan to increase Newstart. Through a Buffet Tax, we can tax loopholes for the super wealthy and fully fund a raise to Newstart of $75 a week.
“I introduced a bill to Parliament in October last year to increase Newstart by $75 a week.
“This is the fourth bill I have introduced to increase Newstart.
“With inequality on the rise, we can’t keep favouring the super wealthy and the big corporate donors of the Liberal and Labor parties. We can afford to create a fairer Australia if we choose to – and the Greens are leading the way in reducing the inequality that’s entrenched in our system.”
Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie: 0418 401 180