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Government is abandoning older women to retire in poverty with failure to increase Jobseeker and invest in an effective income support system 

The Parliamentary Budget Office’s (PBO) report on the Jobseeker payment is yet another indictment on the Government failing to ensure that everyone gets through this pandemic together. 
 
Our income support system has been used ideologically to stigmatise and shame people accessing the social safety net. 
 

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Punitive ParentsNext program extended for another three years with no evaluation 

The Greens have condemned Minister Cash’s decision to extend the punitive ParentsNext program for another three years.
 
“How can the Government continue to pour millions into a program that has been widely condemned when they have no evidence to support that it is meeting any of its objectives?” Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said. 
 

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Greens call on Government to find their heart and stop Jobseeker Coronavirus supplement cut 

The Greens say that it is obscene that the Government is cutting $300 per fortnight from people on Jobseeker and Youth Allowance tomorrow while it prepares to give tax cuts to high income earners.
 
Tomorrow the Jobseeker and Youth Allowance payments will be cut by $300 a fortnight when the corona supplement is reduced, condemning 1.8 million people to live on a payment below the poverty line.
 

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Harsh penalties for Jobseekers in the midst of a recession is cruel and unfair 

The Greens have called the Government's plan to bring back harsh penalties for people looking for work on the Jobseeker payment mean spirited and unfair.
 
“This is an approach solely driven by ideology”, Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said. 
 
Compliance driven approaches that demonise people on income support do not help them find work. 
 

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Greens welcome announcement that Royal Commission will issue a special report on response to COVID-19 in aged care

The Greens welcome the announcement  that the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety will issue a special report on the COVID-19 pandemic in aged care ahead of its Final Report
 
“It is very clear that action is needed now to address the failures in the system that has lead to the terrible impact COVID is having and its continuing potential to severely impact aged care residents. We cannot wait until the final report of the Commission is handed down early next year”, Greens spokesperson on Ageing Senator Rachel Siewert said.

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Greens call for Government to extend medicare funded mental health telehealth sessions past September

The Greens warn that ending access to telehealth items for mental health care at the end of September will have dire consequences for Australians particularly those in Victoria, in quarantine or COVID hotspots. 
 
Temporary MBS telehealth items for mental health care are due to expire on 30th September, but the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and the Australian Medical Association have called for telehealth to be made permanent. 
 

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Senate supports robodebt committee recommendations for Government to explain claims of public interest immunity

The Community Affairs References Committee has tabled its third interim report into Centrelink's Income Compliance Program commonly known as robodebt.

The Senate voted to support the committee recommendations to require the Minister representing the Minister for Government Services to provide an explanation of claims of public interest immunity to the upper house. 

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Rental snapshot show Gov must invest in social housing, retain JobSeeker rate

 The Greens have said that Anglicare Australia’s latest Rental Affordability Snapshot update, released today, has shown that only a tiny percentage of rentals (1 percent or less) are affordable for Australians on low incomes, and this will only get worse if the JobSeeker payment is reduced in the coming months. 

 

Senator Mehreen Faruqi, Australian Greens Housing spokesperson, said:

 

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Greens will move a second reader amendment to Jobkeeper bill calling for Jobseeker to be kept above the poverty line

 The Greens have circulated a second reading amendment in the Senate to the Government’s Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Jobkeeper Payments) Amendment Bill 2020 seeking the support of the Senate to continue the current rate of the $550 coronavirus supplement. 
 
It is untenable to cut the Jobseeker payment by $300 in September, taking it below the poverty line. 
 
There are 1.8 million people on Jobseeker and Youth Allowance and we are looking at a 13% effective unemployment rate by Christmas. 
 

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