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Greens welcome calls for Newstart increase

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has welcomed an increasing push within the ALP to increase the rate of Newstart Allowance for unemployed Australians.

Senator Siewert recently spent a week living on the equivalent of Newstart - $17 per day after rent – as part of the Greens ongoing campaign to have the payment increased by $50 per week.

“I am glad that more MPs are realising the absolute inadequacy of Newstart, the week living on Newstart clearly demonstrated to me how difficult it is to survive on it," Senator Siewert said today.

“Under the current arrangements, people are living $133 per week below the poverty line and it subsequently becomes harder and harder to find employment.
“A payment this low does nothing to overcome the barriers to unemployment people are already facing and puts people under immense financial pressure becoming yet another barrier to employment.
“The recent budget did nothing to alleviate this pressure, insulting vulnerable Australians with a supplement payment that equates to only $4 per week.
“I am glad members of the ALP have finally realised that an increase to Newstart is essential, that vulnerable Australians are being left behind.
“I encourage them to continue this campaign and to continue raising this issue with senior figures in the Government,” Senator Siewert concluded.

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