The Greens have written to Minister Robert to seek assurances that people on income support in fire and emergency zones do not have their payments cut off, suspended or receive demerit points if they are unable to meet their mutual obligations or report their income due to the fire emergency.
“There is a likelihood that within these zones it will be extremely difficult for people to meet their obligations and reporting requirements,“ Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said today.
“There is also a potential that there is a disruption to Centrelink and employment provider services which will impact on the ability of community members to report their income and meet their mutual obligations.
“I am concerned that if people are evacuating or employment providers and Centrelink services are necessarily shut down there is a risk that people on low incomes will go without income because they cannot report.
“I wrote to the Minister on Tuesday to ask that the Government suspend the Targeted Compliance Framework and the mutual obligations requirements for people in the fire zones and emergency areas until they can be confident that these zones are out of danger and that Centrelink and employment provider services have returned to normal operations and that communities have been given a reasonable amount of time to resettle in their homes.
“I urge the Government to reassure those on income support that they will not lose their payments during this time."
Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie: 0418 401 180