Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has welcomed a joint letter from peak welfare organisations opposing the Government’s cut to the energy supplement.
“In real terms, removing the energy supplement is a cut to an income support payment that desperately needs lifting.
“It still staggers me that the Government is happy to chip away at payments to our most vulnerable to plug up the budget. Time and time again we have said that there are better ways to balance the books.
“The Newstart payment is dismally low and hasn’t increased in real terms for years and years. A single person on Newstart receiving the maximum payment has to live on $37.40 a day. This is less than half the minimum wage.
“People on Newstart can’t afford to lose any more money. To the contrary, the Greens have called for an increase to Newstart by $55 to lift people out of poverty.
“The government’s argument that the energy supplement is no longer necessary with the carbon price gone is false. We know that because of how the clean energy supplement was introduced, removing it will leave people worse off than if it had never been introduced. We can and must do better than this”.