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Government & Coalition Senators reject motion to increase Newstart

The Senate has voted against Senator Rachel Siewert's amendments to the Social Security (Supporting More Australians Into Work) Bill 2013, which called on the Government to deliver a $50 per week increase to Newstart and help single parents.

"This was the Government's chance to demonstrate support for an increase to Newstart and help single parents," Senator Siewert said today.

"Over the last six years, Labor have made things harder for vulnerable people by condemning more people to live in poverty on Newstart.

"They have cut payments to single parents and left Newstart stagnating more than $130 below the poverty line.

"Labor railed against John Howard's Welfare to Work cuts but have done nothing to reverse them. Instead, they've expanded them, despite the massive body of evidence showing that people are doing it tough.

"Yet again we see that only the Greens are standing up in Parliament to help single parents and jobseekers.

"It is easy to lend these issues ‘in-principle' support and say the right things in public. Once again, the old parties have failed to take action.

"I have worked on this issue for eight years. The Greens have the runs on the board to demonstrate our substantial work to help single parents, jobseekers and vulnerable people. We won't back away from this issue," Senator Siewert concluded.

Amendment Text:

At the end of the motion, add:

"and the Senate calls on the Government:
(a) to increase Newstart by $50 a week; and
(b) to provide additional financial support to single parents to lift them and their children out of poverty."


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