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GREENS WILL OPPOSE LIBERAL & LABOR AGREED CUTS TO LOW-INCOME JOBKEEER AND JOBSEEKER

 

21 July 2020

Greens Leader Adam Bandt and spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert have responded to today's announcement that the government has agreed to Labor’s proposal to cut JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments, even as unemployment soars and the Covid outbreak continues in Victoria and NSW. 

This is being billed as an extension, but the reality for millions of Australians, many of whom are still under lockdown, is that this is a cut in vital income support.

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Greens have deep concerns about robodebt refund process

The Greens are deeply concerned about how Services Australia plans to refund illegal robodebts saying the process is too slow and unfair.

“People have been put through so much by this illegal program and now they have to wait longer for their refund with some people owed money being paid back by installment,” Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said today. 

“The Government has not made it clear what constitutes a debt of a 'larger amount' or why money is to be refunded in installments.”

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Greens support naming of organisations not signing up for Redress and want cutting of tax concessions

“The Greens support the naming of the 6 organisations who have failed to sign up to the National Redress Scheme. The Greens also support the revoking of tax concessions and charity status for organisations who choose not to participate in the scheme and deny justice for survivors.” Senator Siewert, the Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services said today. 

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Morrison back to his old myths and tropes surrounding Jobseeker

"The PM'S claims that the Jobseeker rate is discouraging people from working is a regression to old myths and tropes used to demonise people who are accessing income support." Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services said today. 

"The Government is trying to restart their campaign against people who need to access income support." 

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Government must ensure Jobseeker remains above the poverty line

"I am disappointed that the Government has continued to deny reports of plans to permanently increase the rate of Jobseeker come September" Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services said today. 

"There are over 1.6 million people currently receiving Jobseeker. It cannot be Government policy for them to live below the poverty line on a payment of $40 a day. It needs to reassure people that this won't happen." 

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Labour force participation rates for people with disability have remained static for the past 20 years despite Disability Employment Services receiving $800million annual funding 

The ANAO have released their report, Management of Agreements for Disability Employment Services which indicates clear concerns around elevations frameworks to measure the success of a program that receives $800million in funding per year and which was recently “reformed”. 

 

"The ANAO has found that the Department of Social Services did not develop an evaluation framework to measure the success of the DES reforms. 

 

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Greens welcome Labor’s support for Royal Commission into Robodebt 

A Royal Commission will ensure we know the full truth of what happened with robodebt including before 2015.  
 
“The Government has clearly demonstrated they are not going to hand over this information willingly and will continue to hide behind “public interest immunity claims” or claims that they have no “duty of care”, Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said. 
 
“This is why it's so important to have a Royal Commission, we need to understand what happened and make sure it never happens again.

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PM’s so-called apology is pathetic and a complete failure to take responsibility

 

“The PM’s so-called apology in Parliament yesterday failed to show empathy and recognise the pain and trauma that the robodebt program caused to hundreds of thousands of Australians.

“This Government relentlessly pursed people for years in the full knowledge that they were targeting vulnerable people for savings. 

“I would apologise for any hurt or harm in the way that the government has dealt with that issue,” does not cut it, the PM clearly doesn’t get how much hurt and grief robodebt has caused.

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