The Australian Greens said today people on lowest level of income have been completely ignored in this budget with no increase to the appallingly low Newstart and Youth Allowance payments.
Despite a growing group of social services groups and economists calling for an increase to the Newstart payment, the Turnbull Government has failed to increase the payment in the Federal Budget.
“The Government has gone out of its way in the lead up to an election to ensure that baby-boomers are looked after, but once again struggling jobseekers are left to languish below the poverty line on a support payment of less than $40 a day.
“The fact is they just don’t care, they have spent years demonising and vilifying people on income support. Ignoring their plight continues their appalling attitude to people who rely on income support.
“It is political cruelty at its worst when a Government won’t increase a payment that leaves people in poverty and has not increased in real terms for decades.
"The payment needs to be increased by at least $75 a week. Keeping those without a job living below the poverty is unconscionable.
“Pensioners will be able to earn an extra $50 a fortnight whilst receiving the pension which acknowledges that even the higher pension rate is too low, this should have been extended to those on Youth Allowance, Disability Support Pension and Newstart. We should be better supporting those that are trying to attain higher education, find work, or trying to support themselves.
“I also have deep concerns about plans by the Government to make compulsory deductions from income support recipients struggling to pay back fines. This will disproportionately affect the most vulnerable in our community and I will be chasing up the detail in senate estimates”.