The Greens have slammed the Labor Government’s refusal to substantially increase job seeker and rent assistance, despite the recommendations of the Economic Inclusion Advisory Committee.
Lines attributable to Leader of the Australian Greens, Adam Bandt MP:
"Labor is not a progressive government," Mr Bandt said.
"In a housing and cost of living crisis, Labor is forcing people to live in poverty while giving a $9,000 year tax cut to billionaires and politicians.
"Labor is spending over half a trillion dollars on Stage 3 tax cuts for the wealthy and on nuclear submarines while making the poor foot the bill.
"Labor’s not making ‘hard choices’ in this Budget, they’re making everyday people make hard choices, like whether to pay the rent or put food on the table.
"Labor says they ‘can’t fund every good idea’, but apparently they can fund plenty of bad ones, like Stage 3 tax cuts for the wealthy.
"There are single mums couchsurfing with kids right now, there are kids without enough healthy food to eat, and instead of lifting them out of poverty, Labor is choosing to spend billions on submarines, stage 3 tax cuts for the wealthy and handouts for fossil fuels.
"In a housing and cost of living crisis, Labor’s not making ‘hard choices’, they’re just making things harder.
"Labor is becoming a centre-right government, making economic decisions Scott Morrison would have been proud of.
"Labor must rethink this terrible decision and lift income support above the poverty line in the upcoming Budget, and at the very least substantially increase rent assistance."
Lines attributable to Greens Social Services spokesperson, Senator Janet Rice:
"Raising the rate of income support above the poverty line should be uncontroversial. People receiving payments have been calling for it. Social services organisations have been calling for it. The Greens have been calling for it and now the government’s own panel of experts are calling for it," Senator Rice said.
"Poverty is a policy choice. The Labor Government can’t keep burying their heads in the sand and continue to ignore the millions of renters, single parents, students, women, and people with a disability all doing it tough.
"Labor say they're on the side of struggling Australians - it's time they show it, and use the money they’re spending on submarines and Stage 3 tax cuts to make life a bit easier for people doing it tough."