The Greens’ costed plan to increase Newstart and Youth Allowance will help Queenslanders under pressure, Senator Waters said today in Brisbane at Suited to Success, a not-for-profit community organisation which offers business clothing and support to unemployed people struggling to enter or return to the workforce.
“After rent, most Newstart recipients are left with less $17 a day to live on. With such a meagre amount to spread across buying food and paying bills, things that can help with finding a job, like public transport fares, a car, a mobile phone and business clothes are often unreachable,” Senator Waters said.
“Organisations like Suited to Success provide valuable support for people who are looking for work and struggling to pay for the basics by outfitting them with business clothes and helping with interview tips.
“In our wealthy country, the government should be providing these people with more of that support.
“But the old parties have failed our most vulnerable people. Labor has continued John Howard’s cruel policies and recently dumped single parents on to Newstart, reducing their income by up to $110 and Tony Abbott plans to take even more money from single parents by scrapping a $210 annual supplement payment for vulnerable people,” Senator Waters said.
Greens lead Senate candidate Adam Stone said: “As part of our plan, the Greens would reverse these cuts, increase Newstart by $50 a week and give single parents an additional $40 a week.
“This much needed extra money will help Queenslanders, including single parent families, escape the poverty trap by supporting them to meet the costs of finding employment.
“We have also announced costed plans to tackle homelessness; boost social housing and improve rental conditions; provide better job services that help people into suitable and secure work; and deliver an enforceable right for single parents and carers to ask for flexible working conditions.
“With 2.3 million Australians living below the poverty line, including nearly 600 000 children, the Greens have announced our costed plan to create a National Anti-Poverty Strategy,” Mr Stone said.
Greens candidate for Brisbane, Rachael Jacobs, said the Greens were the only party standing up for Queenslanders struggling to get by.
“Labor has so far taken more money from single parents by cutting their payments than from taxing billionaire mining companies.
“There are nearly 4000 people in my electorate of Brisbane suffering under inadequate Newstart and Youth Allowance payments and I want to help them escape the poverty trap.
“Just days away from the election, the Greens remain the only party with concrete, costed policies to care for our most vulnerable people,” Ms Jacobs said.
Senator Waters: Monique Vandeleur 0419 626 725
Greens candidates: Kate Dennehy 0422 294 771