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Government should use projected $2.1 billion in savings from Bill passed today towards compensating victims of illegal robodebts

The Australian Greens are concerned that there will be a rushed start of the Simplified Income Reporting measure coming in on 1 July this year as a result of the Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment (Simplifying Income Reporting and Other Measures) Bill 2020 passing through the Senate today.

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Government is failing all Australians by not addressing poverty 

The UNSW Poverty in Australia report released today shows that the freezing of the rate of Newstart and the transferring of sole parents onto Newstart from 2007 are some of the key drivers of poverty. 

“We have very clear indicators of the causes and impact of poverty on our community but the Government refuses to do anything about it,” Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said.

“The rate of child poverty in a country as wealthy as Australia is so shameful.

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Greens gobsmacked as Government claims it has no duty of care to Australian citizens 

The Greens have rejected the Government's claim they have "no duty of care" to Australians accessing pensions and income support through our social security system, saying there has always been a social contract with the Australian people.

"We work, pay our taxes to support our Government so that when we and our fellow citizens fall on hard times we know that we will be assisted to get by — that is what our social safety net has always been,"  Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said.

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Interim report rejects Government’s claim of Public Interest Immunity in regards to robodebt legal advice 

The Community Affairs References Committee has tabled an interim report rejecting the Minister’s claim of Public Interest Immunity in regards to their failure to provide their legal advice and other information relating to robodebt to the committee.
 
Senator Rachel Siewert who tabled the report said that the Minister’s claim of Public Interest Immunity does not sufficiently justify that the provision of this information to the committee would cause harm to the public interest.
 

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Greens urge the Nationals to join the campaign to increase Newstart

The Greens said today that instead of the Nationals proposing to “top up wages in the bush” they should be joining the campaign to increase Newstart.
 
“It’s pretty bleeding obvious that we need to increase Newstart, and this proposal to “top up wages” is yet another case of the Coalition’s ideological opposition to increasing Newstart.
 
“Newstart hasn’t had increase in over 25 years so of course people in the regions are struggling to get by with added pressures like drought and natural disasters.
 

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Government has an ideological obsession with punishing people on income support 

The Greens have called the Government's plan to rollout the cashless debit card nationally an ideological obsession with punishing people on income support.

"There is absolutely no evidence to show that income management works and its just plain cruel to go ahead with a damaging and expensive scheme like this when we have people living in poverty on Newstart", Senator Rachel Siewert said. 

"The ANAO found that there was no evidence that there had been a reduction in social harm in the so-called trial sites. 

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Greens say Government position on Newstart is untenable 

The Australian Greens have today slammed the Government’s position on Newstart as untenable and out of step with community expectations. 

"Let’s be clear, it’s the Government who is choosing to keep people in poverty", Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said. 

"Their refusal to increase Newstart flies in the face of evidence of what we need for healthy and thriving people and communities. 

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Government is still avoiding accountability on Robodebt!

Greens say there continues to be a lack of transparency and accountability on Robodebt with Government departments failing to answer key questions such as  numbers involved, timelines, legal advice, costing and the on-going process at a Community Affairs Committee hearing today.
 
“People affected by the Robodebt process deserve answers, they need to know what is happening and what the process will be. The Government seems to be making this up as they go along," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services said. 
 

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