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Government and ALP combine to gag debate and rush racist, punitive cashless debit card extension through the Senate

The ALP was tonight complicit in extending a social experiment on the people of Ceduna, the East Kimberley and the Goldfields by rubber stamping the Government’s extension to the Cashless Debit Card for another year.
“This is a sad day for people in our community who are suffering  on a coercive, controlling card that flies in the face of self-determination, Senator Rachel Siewert, Spokesperson on First Nations issues said today.
“How can the ALP stomach let alone support this type of policy approach?

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Projected budget surplus comes at expense of people on lowest incomes  

The Australian Greens said people on the lowest incomes have been ignored in the budget which has projected a so-called "surplus" at the expense of people doing it tough.

“It is as if this is a budget for a world where people on Newstart don’t exist. They didn’t get the increase in payment so desperatley needed and people on Newstart don’t get the $75 energy bribe.

 “Meanwhile, high income earners get permanent so called ‘tax relief’.

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Even more evidence that increase to Newstart makes economic sense

Senator Rachel Siewert said today that the Government must stop ignoring the advice of independent experts like the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling and Deloitte Access Economics who say that an increase to Newstart makes economic sense and would stimulate the economy.

“Deloitte said that an increase to Newstart by $75 a week would be a better use of Government money than the second tranche of personal tax cuts,” said Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services.

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Overwhelming evidence that ParentsNext should not continue in current form

Following the findings of the Senate inquiry into ParentsNext the Australian Greens are calling for the ParentsNext program to cease operating in its current form.

“The ParentsNext program must be made voluntary and the punitive, coercive demerit point system abolished” said Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services.

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Government continues its attack on people on income support - No evidence for Cashless Debit Card 

Senator Rachel Siewert said today that the Government had once again displayed its contempt of people on income support by extending the Cashless Debit Card and increasing the pressure of the robodebt program.

"The Government has defied logic and displayed contempt for both experts and people on income support in committing millions of dollars of public money to extend the Cashless Debit Card, a program that simply does not work," Senator Rachel Siewert said. 

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Government's new "digital platform" not the saviour of flawed Jobactive program   

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert today said she has little confidence that a transition to a digital platform and other measures announced today will go any way to addressing the broken jobactive system.  

"For a start anyone who has spoken to or at least listened to someone on Newstart would know that it is very difficult for people to actually afford internet services and smart phones. 

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Greens launch human rights based approach to Aged Care including 50,000 home care packages and pay rise for aged care workers

The Australian Greens on Tuesday unveiled a comprehensive suite of policies that will support older Australians to access high quality aged care and better pay and conditions for aged care workers. 

 "It's been clear for years now that there are significant issues within the aged care sector and for too long aged care has been put in the too hard basket”, Senator Siewert said.

“We can’t keep tinkering around the edges. The Greens understand we need change and a comprehensive plan of how we are going to care for older Australians.

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Experts say difficult to properly evaluate Cashless Debit Card trial sites because no proper baselines data has been collected

Experts at a hearing into the cashless debit card today have roundly slammed the Government for using their so-called trial site evaluations to justify the extension of the cashless debit card “trials”.

“The ORIMA reports have been thoroughly discredited by academics and researchers as well as the ANAO and were today described as “extremely misleading” but they are still being referred to by Government to justify the trial extensions”, Senator Rachel Siewert said.

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Discussions of the living wage must include unemployed workers on Newstart

Discussions of a “living wage” have to include unemployed workers who are living in poverty on payments as low as $40 a day, Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“It’s time that we recognised that unemployed workers are workers too.

“We need to change the law so that if you work full-time, you’re not in poverty and if you’re out of work  you’re also not living in poverty.

“There is no fair-go when unemployed workers are living on payments as low as $40 a day.

“Unemployed workers have waited 25 years for an increase to Newstart.

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