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Not enough to fix broken aged care and mental health systems, fails to address poverty

“This budget is a surplus of scatter gun approaches and tinkering around the edges. 
 
“This is a budget that continues the ongoing disdain this Government has for people who have been doing it tough for a long time and for whom things have only got worse due to the global pandemic and recession: people on income support, older women, young people, single parents and disabled people.
 

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JobSeeker ‘lifestyle’ is one of poverty and $44 a day

The Greens say Employment Minister Mr Robert’s cruel comments on the ‘lifestyle’ of people on JobSeeker are not based in any realm of reality in which Australians are living.

“It’s just nonsensical to tell people to get a job when in March there were 238, 700 jobs available and there are 1.5 million people on JobSeeker and Youth Allowance payments”, Senator Rachel Siewert said. 

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Government keeps spinning tall tales on Cashless Debit Card despite failure to prove it works

 The Greens say the Government should abandon the Cashless Debit Card not continue to throw money at the failed punitive program.
 
"The $30 million “Job Ready Package” intended for the Cashless Debit Card Trial sites must be invested in supportive measures, for all people in regional, rural and remote areas that need support and training.
 

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Thousands more to be condemned to Cashless Debit Card despite failure of Government to prove it works

The Greens have strongly condemned the lifting of the temporary pause on new income support recipients going on to the Cashless Debit Card program, put in place in response to COVID-19. 
 
"The Government has spent billions pushing this punitive scheme, and millions on flawed evaluations trying to prove that the card works and to justify their punitive approach.

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Unemployed workers and people living in poverty want to see people supporting and campaigning for them

The Greens say that unemployed workers and people living in poverty have been very clear that they want to see their representatives in Parliament supporting and campaigning for them, doing everything they can to increase the rate of JobSeeker above the poverty line. 

“People living in poverty in this cruel punitive income support system feel isolated, they feel abandoned and want people to be vocal in their condemnation of this joke of an increase in the rate of Jobseeker”, Senator Rachel Siewert said. 

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Mr Morrison must stop bullying people on income support

The Greens have said that Mr Morrison’s continued attacks on people on income support is cruel and demonising of people in our community who are doing it the toughest.

Greens Leader Adam Bandt said that his electorate of Melbourne was one of the hardest hit by every reduction to JobSeeker, and that Scott Morrison's actions demonstrated he didn't care about the genuine causes of unemployment.

Lines from Leader of the Australian Greens and Member for Melbourne Adam Bandt MP:

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Blocked vaccine shipment makes the case for domestic production

The Greens say that halted shipments of Astra Zeneca vaccines from Europe show the risks of relying on international supply chains to inoculate Australians, extending their call for the government to establish a publicly-owned vaccine production centre.

News of a quarter of a million doses due for Australia being blocked has exposed the risks caused by the privatisation and winding down of Australia’s domestic vaccine production capabilities over decades.

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Aged Care work must start today 

The Greens say that the Aged Care system is fundamentally broken and there needs to be a sense of urgency in fixing it.
 
"The Royal Commissioners set out a five year process and the work needs to start today", Senator Rachel Siewert said. 
 
"This reform needs to be underpinned by a new aged care act based on a human rights approach. 
 
"For too long, aged care has been put in the too hard basket. The Royal Commission Report clearly shows that years of tinkering around the edges has fundamentally failed older Australians. 
 

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