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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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Budget delivers little respite for carers

The Rudd Government has not delivered enough for carers in the budget, say the Australian Greens.

"After all of Mr Rudd's assurances about protecting carers in this budget, he has failed to live up to those promises," said Senator Rachel Siewert.

"Many carers are still expected to live on substantially less than the federal minimum wage. The first Rudd budget does nothing to improve the standard of living of those carers who are doing it tough."

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Swan sets the foundation, but we're still waiting for the roof

Yesterday's budget was a step in the right direction towards solving our housing crisis, but we still have a long way to go, according to the Australian Greens.

"The Rudd Government has set down a good foundation by addressing some of the long term problems associated with the current housing crisis. I was pleased to see the necessary changes made to the Government's contribution to the First Home Savers accounts, addressing the inequality issues that previously existed."

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Rural Australia left behind in big city budget

The federal budget fails to deliver for the bush, say the Australian Greens.

"This is simply a re-badging of old programs, with no real new money. We are not seeing the strategic application of services and measures needed to address systemic issues in rural Australia," said Greens spokesperson on agricultural, Senator Rachel Siewert.

"The Caring for our Country program is an ill-thought-out rush-job, more designed to quieten the unrest of regional communities and environment groups than to target the conservation and resource management needs of Australia's future."

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Greens condemn careless cut to Carers

"Cutting support to Australia's carers is mean, tight-fisted and short-sighted," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

Carers save Australian taxpayers in excess of $32 Billion, and are as a result one of the most disadvantaged groups with the lowest quality of life in the country.

"If our carer's are forced to stop caring as a result of the increasing costs and stresses of living, the state will have to pick up the tab for their loved one's care and we will all be the poorer," said Senator Siewert.

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Quarantining tax cuts irresponsible - Greens

"Locking in $31 Billion in tax cuts while cutting back on government services is both economically and socially irresponsible," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"When John Howard announced these tax cuts the big news was that it failed to produce even a blip in the polls, and the Australian public said very clearly that they'd rather see spending to improve services such as health and education."

"This is neither good economic management nor smart social policy," she said.

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Poverty figures confirm Greens stance on tax

The latest figures on poverty in Australia, released today by the Australia Fair Campaign, have confirmed the Australian Greens' view that that the recently announced $34 billion in tax cuts cannot be justified.

"The revenue that has been foregone in the tax cuts announced by the Coalition, and then 'me-tooed' by the ALP, should have been spent on social, education and health programs to alleviate increasing poverty in this country," according to Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert today.

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