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Senate sends robodebt to inquiry for the second time in three years

A Greens motion to send Centrelink’s compliance program including “robo-debt” to a Senate inquiry has been supported by the Senate today.
 
“It’s been more than two years since I chaired the first hearing of the Senate inquiry into the notorious robo-debt program”, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said.
 
“We heard a lot of evidence. There were nine hearings across Australia, and what will always stick with me, is that at every hearing, we heard about the impacts of the program. 
 

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Greens reject tying Newstart increase to cashless debit card

The Greens have welcomed the Nationals interest in an increase to Newstart, but have rejected tying any increase to Newstart with the cashless debit card.
 
“People on income support are some of the best money managers, because every single dollar counts when you are on a low income.
 
“Just because people are unemployed doesn’t mean that they can’t manage their finances. It is insulting and paternalistic to consider otherwise.
 
“Increasing Newstart must not be a vehicle for expanding the cashless debit card in this country.
 

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Greens and ALP send Newstart and related payments to senate inquiry

Senator Rachel Siewert and Senator Patrick Dodson’s reference to senate inquiry on the adequacy of Newstart and related payments has today been supported by the Senate.
 
“I’m very pleased that the Senate has supported our reference to the Community Affairs References Committee”, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said today.
 
“This week we’ve had people from all sides of politics come out in support of an increase to Newstart which has not had a real term increase since 1994.
 

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Greens call for independent body to set income support rates

Following the reporting of the Coalition’s new low of interfering with a Parliamentary committee in regards to recommendations on Newstart, the Australian Greens have renewed their call for an independent process to set income support rates.
 
“If correct it is appalling that Minster Fletcher intervened in the work of the Committee and shows exactly why we need an independent body to set income support rates”, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said.
 

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Government must immediately stop robo-debt in Townsville

The Greens are today calling on the Government to urgently suspend the operation of the robo-debt program in Townsville.

“How heartless and insensitive can this Government get? ,” Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said.

“While people are coping with what is one of the most stressful and traumatic times in their lives, a natural disaster, their Government are chasing them down for money they probably don’t even owe.

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Greens call for immediate Newstart increase and for income support rates to be set independently of Minister

The Australian Greens have welcomed changes to the deeming rates for part pensioners but condemn the Government for failing to address the appalling low rates of Newstart at the same time. 

“Those living on Newstart are doing it very tough. While the Greens agree that deeming rates need reform, the Government also has responsibility for those on Newstart and needs to show them compassion as well”, Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services said today.

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