Greens candidate for Macquarie Danielle Wheeler said today that the old parties’ heartless approach to poverty in Australia is crushing the families in the Hawkesbury who struggle to make ends meet.
Ms Wheeler said the Greens were committed to delivering a $50 per week rise to Newstart and boosting support for single parents.
"There are unaddressed poverty traps in the Hawkesbury. Employment opportunities are limited and not everyone can afford the travel costs or time to work out of the area. This is particularly true of single parents.
“Single parents forced onto Newstart by the Labor Government in January and bound by the Welfare to Work regime introduced by the Howard Government, have had $60 to $100 taken from their weekly welfare payments,” Ms Wheeler said.
“The base rate of Newstart is $130 below the poverty line. It is a totally inadequate payment that leaves them skipping meals and going without other essentials to provide for their kids.
Ms Wheeler pledged that, “As well as the $50 increase to Newstart, the Greens will provide a $40 per week supplement for single parents.
“A higher income-free threshold will allow parents on Newstart to earn the same amount as they could on the single parenting payment before their income support starts to reduce. Our policy is fully costed and ready to be implemented.”
Greens lead Candidate for the Senate Cate Faerhmann said, “We are also committed to helping people into secure work, including older Australians. Our initiative offers better job services to help people find suitable work and also gives single parents and carers enforceable rights to ask for flexible working conditions.
“The old parties are not talking about poverty because they don’t have anything to say. Neither Mr Abbott nor Mr Rudd has the courage to commit to the strong and compassionate policies needed to cut poverty and help jobseekers and single parents.
“Labor originally opposed welfare to work but changed their tune in pursuit of a budget surplus. Tony Abbott has already signalled his intention to take a harder-line on income support payments while abolishing the super-profits mining tax on the fabulously rich.
“The best way to stand up for the most vulnerable people in our society is to vote Greens this Saturday. A vote for the Greens in the Senate is critical to preventing the consolidation of power by one party that will inevitably be used to further erode help for people trapped in poverty.”