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Estimates raises human rights concern and lack of consultation on drug testing income support recipients

Questioning in estimates has revealed that the Disability Discrimination Commissioner has some concerns for the potential for human rights in relation to drug testing of income support applicants, and that the Government did not seek any advice from the Australian Human Rights Commission on the matter. 

“A lot of people in the community share the concerns of the Commissioner”, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today. 

“He has taken on notice the question about more details of his concerns. I have deep concerns that this measure is discriminatory.

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Greens support calls for a Royal Commission into the abuse, violence and neglect of people with disability

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has welcomed reports that an open letter has been signed by 100 academics urging the Federal Government to establish a Royal Commission into the violence, abuse and neglect of people with disability.

“There was a large body of evidence to our senate inquiry on the level of violence, abuse and neglect of people with disability in institutional and residential care.

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Comments on Budget 2017

“If you’re under the age of 35, you’ve been screwed over in this budget - whether it’s the gouging of higher education, the lack of action on climate change or the refusal to tackle housing affordability,” Leader of the Australian Greens Dr Richard Di Natale said.

“It’s clear that the Government finally understands you can’t just keep cutting spending without raising revenue. But this is a budget with no vision or direction for the country. It isn’t a roadmap for the future, it’s a highway to nowhere,” Dr Di Natale said. 

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Government trying to raise money from most vulnerable again

It appears that once again the Government will be picking on the most vulnerable members of our community in the Budget, the Australian Greens said today.

“Introducing a demerit system for Australians who are accessing the social safety net and struggle to meet the harsh requirements for help is just another cruel swipe at people in the community who are vulnerable.

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Funding for the NDIS cannot come from our most vulnerable: Greens

“The Greens support a fully funded NDIS, but it cannot come from our most vulnerable through cuts to the social safety net and the social security portfolio”, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“This is robbing Peter to pay Paul and I’m sure people with disability and their carers would be uncomfortable that the scheme came off the back of people who are struggling.

“I urge the Government to turn to revenue raising measures that have repeatedly been flagged by the Greens and others, such as addressing negative gearing and capital gains tax”.

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$20 million trialling the cashless card could be much better spent on services for people struggling: Greens

The Government should abandon the punitive cashless welfare card and invest the money in programs that really work, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

"This card is an ideological waste of money by the Government. Any sensible analysis of the interim evaluation shows very clearly that the Government is spinning the results – but even they can't spin the fact that half the people surveyed said their life was worse off.

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A strong social safety net is not ‘bad debt’, it is a duty of care and an investment

Treasurer Scott Morrison’s speech to economists today that refers to ‘bad debt’ as ‘racking up debts’ for welfare payments shows his lack of understanding of our social safety net and that he is still set on vilifying Australia’s most vulnerable rather than fixing burgeoning inequality, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“Spending public money on a strong social safety net that supports people when they are out of work, sick or have a disability should not be framed as ‘bad debt’ by the Federal Government. It is duty of care and an investment in the future.

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Nation’s most disadvantaged can now barely get into the rental market, let’s address that in the Federal budget: Greens

Dismally low statistics that show the nation’s most poorest and disadvantaged are almost completely locked out of the rental market shows a widening gap between the well off and the poor in Australia that must urgently be addressed, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“In the survey by Anglicare only eight properties in the whole country were affordable for a single person over 18 on youth allowance. What a disastrous figure.

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