The Greens say that the Government is failing the growing number of people out of work by cutting the Jobseeker payment at the end of September and failing to provide certainty to people looking for work.
Questions to Prime Minster and Cabinet today at the COVID hearing have shown that despite the aged care crisis the Government is not doing enough to ensure that all aged care providers around Australia are completely prepared.
"It’s pretty obvious that prevention is better than cure and after speaking to the Department today I have very little confidence that they are taking an appropriate leadership role.
"We cannot just wait around, rely on self-assessment by providers on their readiness for an outbreak, there needs to be action around the country.
The Greens say that the Government's failure to deliver certainty to people on income support is cruel and unfair and undermines confidence in the economy.
"The Government should abandon its plans to cut the Jobseeker supplement by $300 at the end of September and increase Jobseeker permanently", Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said.
Keeping Jobseeker above the poverty line will save people's lives and their livelihoods.
The Greens have written to the Prime Minister requesting that he urgently update the terms of reference for the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety to examine the impact of profit-making corporations on the provision and quality of aged care services.
The Greens welcome the Government’s suspension of mutual obligations while Victoria is in a state of disaster but say that the suspension of compliance measures needs to be extended to the rest of the country.
"The Government's approach to mutual obligations throughout this pandemic has been haphazard, without proper information given to people on income support", Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said.
The Greens say that Australians are losing confidence in the aged care sector and that the Federal Government should stop at nothing to protect the most vulnerable Australians in aged care. This includes ensuring pandemic funding for all aged care workers if they need it.
“We keep hearing this narrative blaming workers for coming to work sick but the Federal Government is not taking enough action to ensure that workers are able to afford to stay home if they are sick,” Greens spokesperson on Ageing Senator Rachel Siewert said.
The Greens have called the decision by the Council of Attorney Generals to defer the decision of raising the age of criminal responsibility a failure of justice and compassion.
“It’s deeply disappointing when we are in a moment of public consciousness about the impacts of state sanctioned criminalisation and violence against First Nations peoples that Governments have failed to act on a tangible policy change that would make such a difference to closing the gap and justice for First Nations peoples.
The Greens say reintroducing the assets test and liquid asset test is mean spirited and unfair in the midst of a recession and have called on the Government to continue to waive these tests until the employment market has more jobs and we are through this crisis.
"The reintroduction of the assets tests will mean those that lost work at the beginning of the pandemic and are on Jobseeker could lose income support in September", Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said.
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.
Authorised by D. Lawson, Australian Greens, Parliament House, Canberra 2600