This anti-poverty week the Australian Greens are calling on the Government to raise Newstart and Youth Allowance by $75 a week to help those struggling on and below the poverty line and to help address issues like food insecurity.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
We are committed to delivering a guaranteed adequate income to all Australians, so as to assure people have appropriate support. Accessible social services, community resources and income support are essential for ensuring everybody has access to quality health care, housing, employment, education and training. The Greens are committed to increasing Newstart Allowance and raising all income support payments to better reflect the cost of living.
The community and not-for-profit sector plays an important role in our society and Government needs to commit funding and support accordingly.
People who experience disability, and their families and carers deserve access to life-long support and services that meet their individual circumstances. They should have the opportunity to actively participate in planning and delivery of policies, services and supports in areas such as education, health, housing, mobility, employment and social engagement. The Greens are actively working to ensure all Australians have independence, self-determination and choice in their lives.
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