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Anti-poverty week: Stop demonising and punishing people on income support

At the start of anti-poverty week the Greens are calling on the Government to stop their targeted approach to humiliating, stigmatising and demonising people on income support.

“In a wealthy country like Australia we really need to ask why we are failing so spectacularly at delivering social services and the impact it is having on our community’s economic equality, mental health and quality of life, Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens spokesperson on community services said.  

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Australian Greens call for Government to release CDP evaluation before Parliament is asked to consider more punitive measures  

The Australian Greens reject the Government’s attempts to make the Commonwealth Development Program (CDP) more punitive and have dissented from the Community Affairs Legislation committee report into the Bill.

“The fact that we are being asked to consider the Bill and the reforms more broadly when we have not yet seen the evaluation of the current CDP is unacceptable, Australian Greens spokesperson on First Nations Issues Rachel Siewert said.

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Australian Greens welcome new psychosocial stream in NDIS

“There has been a lot of anxiety about how mental health is being covered under the NDIS and I welcome the new NDIS stream, Australian Greens spokesperson on mental health, Senator Rachel Siewert said. 

“However, there is still a huge gap in services and funding for people who don’t qualify for the NDIS.

“I have repeatedly raised concerns that people with psychosocial disability are going to lose out on services as people move onto the NDIS and current support programs finish up. These concerns also came up strongly in the Joint Select Committee inquiry into the issue.

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World Mental Health Day: Mental Health is Everyone’s Business

The Australian Greens are reminding people on World Mental Health day that everyone has mental health and that we need to pay as much attention to it as our physical health. 

"Mental health needs to be everyone’s business, we all need to focus on mental health from a personal and community level. Unfortunately there is still far too much stigma associated with mental illness as if mental health is about other people, Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens spokesperson on Mental Health said. 

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Our community needs an urgent raise to Newstart, not tax cuts for the wealthy

Using the "improved budget position" to give tax cuts to the wealthy is yet another vote buying exercise and election pitch for an increasingly  desperate Government.

"Once again the Coalition's agenda is crystal clear, shoring up support for the next election rather than doing their job to ensure that no one in our wealthy country is living in poverty, Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said.

“The Government should be investing in our social security system and increasing Newstart and Youth Allowance.

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Minister refuses to answer whether he could live on Newstart: $38 a day

Minster Fifield, in Question Time today has refused to answer whether or not he could live on the $38 a day Newstart payment.

“As per usual, the Government trots out their lines “Newstart is a payment designed for people transitioning into work.”

“This is an utter fallacy, the jobs are simply not there. In May 2018, there were eight unemployed or under-employed people for every job vacancy.

“46% of Newstart recipients are on the payment for over two years.

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$2 increase to Newstart is beyond a joke

“I’m astounded that the Government thought that Newstart rising through indexation by $2.20 – or about 30c a day – to $275.10 a week will make a difference to people trying to survive on Newstart, Senator Rachel Siewert said.

“It’s not news that the Government is out of touch with the community and their cost of living struggles. But saying that a $2 increase to Newstart is going to “help people keep up with cost of living” is a new low, you would think it was a joke if this issue wasn’t so serious.  

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