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Greens write to Minister Ruston asking her to use legislative instrument to increase support for people on DSP and Carers payment

"I have written to Minister Ruston asking her to immediately increase the Disability Support Pension and Carers payment using the power under amendments in the Coronavirus Economic Response Package Omnibus Act 2020 to change social security settings via legislative instruments to provide additional support when needed. 

"It is crystal clear if you speak to anyone on these payments that additional support is urgently needed for Disability Support Pensioners through this crisis. 

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Greens will seek to amend Jobkeeper package to ensure that not-for-profits will survive this crisis 

While many people will benefit from the Government’s stimulus packages, the Government’s response to COVID-19 continues to see large sections of our population left behind who are disproportionately affected by this health and economic crisis. 

I will be seeking the support of the Senate to: 
•    Extend the $550 supplement to the Disability Support Pension (DSP) and Carer Payments
•    Amend the revenue test for charities and not-for-profits 
•    Extend the Jobseeker Payment to people on temporary visas 
•    Ensure that part-time workers can’t be exploited

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Greens welcome pause on debt raising and recovery  

“I am pleased that the Government is finally implementing a pause on debt raising and recovery activity.
 
“Now is the time to be looking out for people, ensuring they have enough to live on, not chasing them for debts.
 
“I was told two weeks ago in the Senate by the Minister for Social Services that debt recovery had been suspended, now two weeks later we have confirmation from Minister Robert. 
 
“Constituents have been contacting us with debts that were raised against them this week!
 

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Now is the time for employment providers to take a supportive role 

"It’s been clear for years now that employment services are not fit for purpose and do not meet the needs of Jobseekers. 
 
"The Government failed to adequately address a system that was clearly in crisis following the 2019 Senate inquiry that overwhelmingly demonstrated that the jobactive system is failing unemployed workers. 
 
"Centrelink and job providers play a critical role in millions of peoples’ lives and more people than ever are relying on our social safety net during this crisis. 
 

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Centrelink puts out advice saying people on DSP shouldn’t swap to the now higher Jobseeker payment 

The Greens say Government advice released today saying that people on DSP should not change to the now higher Jobseeker payment indicates exactly why DSP and Carer payments need to be increased. 
 
"People receiving the Disability Support Pension are facing additional and unforeseen costs for transport, food deliveries, healthcare, medical supplies and personal protective equipment during the coronavirus crisis. 
 

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Going after vulnerable people on income support has cost us all so much

The Greens say it will be almost impossible to account for the social and economic costs of the Government's punitive Robodebt program. 

“This program has literally cost people's lives, ruined many many more and caused so much pain and anguish. 

“I am pleased that it looks like the Government will have to compensate victims of the illegal Robodebt scheme but nothing can truly compensate people for the distress this has caused. 

“I raised this issue in the Senate on Monday and as late as yesterday people were telling me they were still being contacted about debts. 

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Government must suspend mutual obligations and reporting requirements for the long term

Government must use a common sense approach to Centrelink and suspend reporting requirements and mutual obligations for people already on Centrelink until COVID-19 crisis has passed
 
The Greens say the Government must use common sense and suspend the requirement for people on income support payments to report their income every fortnight and complete mutual obligations while the system is so overburdened during the COVID-19 crisis. 
 

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