The Australian Greens said today that the Government should not just be considering deeming rates for part pensioners but should be looking at the appalling low rates of Newstart.
“We have many cohorts of people facing poverty and those living on Newstart are doing it very tough. While the Greens agree the Government needs to be looking at deeming rates, they also have responsibility for those on Newstart and need to show them compassion as well”, Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services said today.
“Newstart hasn’t been raised in over 25 years. The current rate is so low that people are unable to afford basic living costs such as housing, food, bills and healthcare.
“There is currently no independent assessment of the adequacy of income support payments. This means the Government can decide to reduce the deeming rate for pensioners, while condemning people on Newstart to live in poverty.
“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.
“It’s time for politics to be taken out of our income support system."
Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie; 0418 401 180