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Shorten’s Labor are out of credible excuses as to why they can’t commit to raising the rate of Newstart now

With both major parties in South Australia now supporting an increase to Newstart, Shorten’s Labor are running out of excuses as to why they can’t commit to raising the rate of Newstart now.

“It’s been clear for years and years now that the rate of Newstart is too low. Now with pressure from the community, social service and business sectors, economists, the Greens and now the cross-bench we see that the heat is really on the major parties, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“Shorten’s Labor shouldn’t have to be shamed into doing this. It should be a policy priority and frankly I’m surprised that their members are not up in arms at why they cannot achieve this very simple policy outcome that is both economically and socially viable.

“After last week’s dismal performance by the ALP where they supported the Government making migrants wait 4 years to access Newstart many people are asking who the opposition actually is.  

“It’s never been more clear why we need Greens in the Senate, because we need to keep Shorten’s Labor focused on bread and butter issues like increasing Newstart and making sure that migrants get the support they need.

“I currently have a bill before Parliament that would raise the rate of Newstart, Youth Allowances and other working age payments by $75 a week. This is the fourth bill I’ve introduced to raise the rate.

“The ALP can no longer get away with calling this a whimsical Greens stunt, they need to commit to raising Newstart by $75 a week and then look at how we ensure that Newstart continues to be fair into the future.  

“I look forward to seeing the outcome of the ALP National Conference and sincerely hope that Shorten’s Labor will do the right thing.”

Media Contact:

Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie: 0418 401 180

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