The Australian Greens bill to increase Newstart, Social Services Legislation Amendment (Ending the Poverty Trap) Bill 2018 will be debated in the Senate next week in private members time.
“It is untenable that people on Newstart continue to live in poverty, the Government should be moving immediately to address the appalling low rate of Newstart. Unfortunately they are not so the Greens will”, said Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services.
“The Greens have been campaigning for an increase to Newstart for a long time, this is the fourth private members bill that I have introduced to increase the rate of Newstart.
“The Government and the so-called Opposition must commit to an urgent, minimum $75 a week increase to Newstart payments because people cannot afford to eat properly or find affordable accommodation.
“Newstart hasn’t been increased in over 25 years. Both the Government and Labor are ignoring people living in poverty. If we can afford to give those earning some of the highest income a tax cut we can afford to increase Newstart.
“The current rate is so low that people are unable to afford basic living costs such as housing, food, bills and healthcare.
“The Greens have been calling for an independent process for setting pensions and allowances for years and will be referring this issue to a Senate inquiry when the Senate resumes.”
Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie; 0418 401 180