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Govt must stop pre-empting cashless welfare card success to spruik broader rollout: Greens

Comments by the Government about rolling out the cashless welfare card more broadly come as no surprise, as that has been their agenda all along, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“The Government needs to stop hinting at an extended rollout of the cashless welfare card until the trials have been independently evaluated following the completion of the full trial period.

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Government misses deadline imposed by the Senate for details of shoddy cashless welfare card report

The Government has failed to comply with an order of the Senate for a production of documents pertaining to the cashless welfare card ‘progress report’.

“The Government was given a week to table the documents and statistics used to prepare the shoddy and premature cashless welfare card report, which was produced in a week and a half. The deadline to produce these documents was COB on Wednesday November 16, it  has now been missed”, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

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Government need to show leadership on out of home care

The Government need to take last night’s harrowing Four Corners report seriously and act to address the flawed out of home care system that often hurts kids rather than helping, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“The Government knows full well about the major systemic problems with the out of home care system around Australia and have done little to address it.

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Senate gives Government a week to table documents and statistics used for shoddy cashless welfare card report

The Australian Greens have secured Senate support for an Order of Production of Documents pertaining to the cashless welfare card progress report, which was produced by the Department of Social Services a week and a half after admitting in Senate estimates that a report didn’t exist.

“Repeatedly over the last few months we have seen the Minister drip feed mostly anecdotal data to media as a means of promoting the cashless welfare card trials.  We have also seen media that mentions a ‘confidential report’.

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Nearly 3500 people with disability off the DSP onto Newstart or Youth Allowance in one year

Estimates has revealed that from June 2015 to June 2016 nearly 3500 people with disability were moved off the Disability Support Pension (DSP) onto Newstart or Youth Allowance. The Department of Social Services could not reveal how many people had sought temporary incapacity or partial capacity exemption from mutual obligations because due to their disability they are unable to complete these obligations.

“Thousands of people with disability across the country are now on the lower Newstart payment or Youth Allowance”, Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

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DSS unable to provide data on cashless card repeatedly cited by Minister Tudge to media outlets

The Department of Social Services have said in estimates that they have not produced a report with evidence of the cashless welfare card working so far, despite the Minister Tudge repeatedly citing figures to media about the card’s alleged success.

“Repeatedly over the last few months we have seen the Minister drip feed mostly anecdotal data to media as a means of promoting the cashless welfare card trials.  We have also seen media that mentions a ‘confidential report’.

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People thrown off DSP onto Newstart struggling to meet harsh requirements

Estimates has revealed the number of people temporarily suspended for medical reason from having to meet requirements as a job seeker under JobActive has jumped from 20% to 25%.

In addition the number of people receiving suspension from mutual obligations has also increased, so the number of people with medical suspension has increased significantly.

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Highest level of complaints to Human Rights Commission is on disability discrimination

The Australian Human Rights Commission has confirmed in Senate Estimates that disability discrimination continues to be the highest level of complaints received across the board to the Commission.

“Almost two thirds of complaints received to the commission are either related to employment or goods and services. This percentage is reflected in the disability space, but the numbers are much higher than other cohorts, with no signs of decreasing. This must be urgently addressed”, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

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Years of eroding the social security system has hurt our children, it is time to stop harsh cuts

New figures released at the start of Anti-Poverty Week showing 730,000 Australian kids are living below the poverty line should send a clear message to Government that cuts to funding, and harsh, demonising, paternalistic approaches to social security is not working,  Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“After years of successive governments eroding different income support recipient payments and services, how can we not expect more children to be worse off and living under the poverty line?

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