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Economic Stimulus Package

The Greens are responding to the global financial crisis with an eye on the longer term. We want to ensure that the massive resources we put into an immediate economic stimulus are not just a flash in the pan, that the money we are pumping out is in fact building and supporting the development of a truly sustainable and robust green economy, not just providing a short-term cash boost. We need to be thinking about and working towards a resilient, sustainable, more crash-proof economy to underwrite the future prosperity and wellbeing of all Australians.

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Support for charities only goes so far

"Despite all their rhetoric about caring for charitable and community service organisations, today the major parties rejected a simple Australian Greens amendment to fix the yawning gap in wages and conditions," said Senator Rachel Siewert.

"This sensible amendment would have had a huge impact on the ability of the community sector to continue to provide much needed services."

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Greens move to support Not-for-profits

The Australian Greens today called on the Coalition and the Government to support their amendments in the Senate that will increase the cap on allowable fringe benefits for low-income workers in charitable organisations to $40, 000.

"Not-for-profit organisations are finding it increasingly difficult to attract and keep staff as they can't compete with industry and Government wage levels," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

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Greens present solution to charity tax debacle

The Australian Greens will today propose an amendment to fix changes to fringe benefits tax that will otherwise have a severe impact on employees in the charity and not-for-profit sector.

"Changes to income calculations will raise the employee's salary for the purpose of assessing relevant amounts of family benefits, effectively resulting in a cut in income for what is already a poorly remunerated group," said Senator Rachel Siewert.

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Greens refer charity tax changes to inquiry

The Australian Greens today expressed their concerns over the changes to income calculations that will inadvertently hit low-paid charity workers.

"Charities and other non-government organisations have traditionally used salary packaging to compensate workers for low wages," said Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.

"Changes to income calculations will raise the employee's salary for the purpose of assessing relevant amounts of family benefits, effectively resulting in a cut in income for what is already a poorly remunerated group."

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Rudd caught crying wolf… but Alcopops not off the hook

"While recent data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare clearly show that there has been no recent spike in binge-drinking among Australian youth, the alcopop industry shouldn't be too quick to claim that the statistics show all is well with Australia's youth drinking culture," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"Kevin Rudd has made a strategic error and can justifiably be accused of over-stating his claims of a binge-drinking epidemic," she said.

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