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Senate inquiry shows Centrelink recipients feel bullied and threatened by the Government

The last two days of evidence to the senate inquiry into Centrelink’s automated debt recovery system has raised a myriad of issues and suggests recipients feel bullied by the Government who are pursuing a debt that people may not owe.

“Many people are being affected including pensioners, single parents, students, carers and jobseekers. Lots of these people are effectively putting their lives on hold to prove their innocence”, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

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Backbench fighting to keep Work for the Dole shows politicians not thinking of outcomes for the unemployed: Greens

News today that Coalition backbenchers are lobbying to keep Work for the Dole in the upcoming budget because it is ‘red meat for the base’ shows that Liberal politicians are more worried about their own jobs than helping jobseekers find meaningful employment, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

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Government must fast-track non-specific option on DHS forms so that non-binary students can continue to receive youth allowance: Greens

The Government’s failure to promptly roll out an unspecified gender option for government-issued forms has had a tangible effect on non-binary university students, who are having their youth allowance payments cut off, Australian Greens senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“Including a non-specific option in internal Government systems like Centrelink is not just symbolic, transgender and non-binary people need this option to receive income support payments.

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Coalition and Labor push on with cashless welfare card

The Coalition and the Labor party have voted down a Greens disallowance motion that would have stopped the cashless welfare card trial extensions.   

“When the yearlong trials of the cashless welfare card were passed into legislation with the help of Labor, we feared that this would lead to an extended rollout. Unfortunately this has happened. 

“I am disappointed that the Labor party have continuously backed the Government on the cashless welfare card trials. They claim to care for vulnerable people but actions speak louder than words.

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Abuse of people with disability is not going to stop, we need a Royal Commission

Following the Four Corners report that showed more harrowing footage of people with disability living in group care, both the Coalition and the Labor Party have voted against a Greens senate motion calling on the Government to reconsider its decision and commit to a Royal Commission.

“It is really disappointing that both the old parties voted against the Government instigating a Royal Commission”, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

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The Government should not have Accenture ‘transforming’ Centrelink, recipients have been through enough

Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has expressed concern that the company behind the bungled Tax Office overhaul has been selected to ‘transform’ the Centrelink system, saying that Centrelink recipients have been through enough.

“Centrelink recipients, some of which have just had their payments cut by legislation passed yesterday, should not be subject to anymore poorly operating systems.

“They have a track record of taking a system and making it worse for many users, this was demonstrated by the bungled Tax Office rollout.

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The Government is still cutting payments from vulnerable people to pay for childcare and it should not be supported: Greens

The legislation announced by the Government today will take money out of the pockets of average Australians who rely on a decent social safety net, said Leader of the Australian Greens Dr Richard Di Natale.

“This grubby little deal between the Government, One Nation and Nick Xenophon’s senators will strip nearly $2 billion from the people who need it the most.

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