The Australian Greens said today that single parents and job seekers have been badly let down by the Government in this year's federal budget.
"This is a disappointing budget for the vulnerable people that Labor claim they want to look after," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on families and community services said today.
"The lack of care being shown for vulnerable people is a blight on Labor's record in Government.
"The few piecemeal steps contained in the budget do not deliver the help needed for the most vulnerable Australians.
"The changes to Newstart only to allow a person to work one extra hour per week at the casual minimum wage. That is well short of the $50 per week payment increase that has been widely called for. Likewise, returning access to two concessions for single parents does not make up for the $60-$120 per week cuts that took effect in January.
"The Government should be committed to reducing poverty, building workforce capacity and securing the futures of our children, but they are not delivering.
"Moving the baby bonus into the family payment system is the right policy setting, but the reduction in the amount of money which will be paid, especially to vulnerable families, is concerning.
"The prime concern for the Greens is that families and the most vulnerable people in the community are not put under even more pressure. We'll be looking at this closely in the coming days to assess the impacts it may have.
"With inaction from the Government and the ruthless approach being offered by Tony Abbott, the Greens are clearly the only party prepared to stand up and ensure our economy helps those people with the greatest levels of need.
"Only the Greens have come into budget week with costed pieces of legislation that would effectively and responsibly deliver an increase of $50 per week to Newstart Allowance and an additional supplement payment of $40 per week for single parents," Senator Siewert concluded.