Cost of Living Inquiry evidence is clear: Labor must raise the rate


The Greens have urged Labor to lift all income support above the poverty line in the upcoming budget, with the weight of evidence given to a Senate inquiry into Australia’s cost of living crisis calling for an immediate increase to Centrelink payments.

In dissenting comments to the Liberal-controlled Select Committee on Cost of Living’s second interim report, the Greens have quoted more than 50 organisations that are all singing from the same song sheet when it comes to raising JobSeeker and Youth Allowance.

Comments attributable to Greens Social Services spokesperson Senator Penny Allman-Payne:

“We’re now 18 months into this inquiry, and the most consistent and frequent recommendation the committee has received in 190 written submissions and 17 public hearings is that income support must be raised.

“The overwhelming evidence we have heard is that by keeping Centrelink payments well below the poverty line, Labor is keeping millions in poverty and insecurity and putting lives at risk. 

“The Liberals’ minority report, which has been rejected by both the Greens and Labor, ignores the weight of testimony provided to the inquiry and reads more like an IPA wishlist than a serious attempt to parse the evidence.

“But the evidence was clear: the single most effective way to tackle the cost of living crisis is to raise the rate of income support payments. 

“How many more reports and inquiries and recommendations from hundreds of experts and organisations and people with lived experience will this government ignore? 

“Labor have got to get their priorities in order. Tax breaks for property investors, giving hundreds of billions of dollars to billionaires and corporations and the fossil fuel industry doesn’t help the average Australian get through this cost of living crisis, and does nothing for the millions struggling to survive on Centrelink poverty-payments.”