While many people will benefit from the Government’s stimulus packages, the Government’s response to COVID-19 continues to see large sections of our population left behind who are disproportionately affected by this health and economic crisis.
I will be seeking the support of the Senate to:
• Extend the $550 supplement to the Disability Support Pension (DSP) and Carer Payments
• Amend the revenue test for charities and not-for-profits
• Extend the Jobseeker Payment to people on temporary visas
• Ensure that part-time workers can’t be exploited
Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said:
“The Australian Greens welcome the Jobkeeper package but yet again vulnerable groups are missing out.
“At the moment charities need to demonstrate a 15% decline in revenue to be eligible for the Jobkeeper Payment.
“While this helps some charities, those that rely largely on government grants won’t be able to demonstrate the 15% decline in revenue if tied grants are included.
“This is unfair as charities and not-for-profits are suffering major losses of income from a decline in fundraising, donations and volunteer capacity, while also experiencing increased demand for services including caring, emergency and food relief, mental health support and homelessness services.
“Our amendment excludes government grants from the revenue test for charities and assesses the turnover of a charity at the centre or service level.
“If not-for-profits and community organisations are forced to close, disabled and vulnerable people will have nowhere to turn. These organisations are the backbone of our community.
“Over 10% of the Australian workforce is employed by the not-for-profit and community sector. These jobs need to be protected too.
“Disabled people and carers are already more likely to be living in poverty or on a very low income and they must have their payments increased to assist with the additional costs associated with dealing with this crisis.
“People receiving the Disability Support Pension are facing additional costs for transport, food deliveries, healthcare, medical supplies and personal protective equipment during the coronavirus crisis.
“The Government must extend the jobseeker payment to people on temporary visas. It’s unacceptable for people in our community to have no access to income support in these economic conditions.”
Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie: 0418 401 180