Senate debates

Thursday, 20 September 2012


Newstart Allowance

12:19 pm

Photo of Rachel SiewertRachel Siewert (WA, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

Of those people living on Newstart, 62 per cent have been on it for longer than 12 months. Therefore, it puts paid to the argument that it is a short-term payment. I lived on Newstart for a week in April. I bought a basket of goods. I repriced that basket of goods—exactly the same basket in exactly the same shop—last Saturday and the price of goods had gone up $7.38. That is far above the $1.45 per week indexation that kicks in today to those living on Newstart. Clearly the indexation currently available for Newstart does not match the real cost of living to those trying to survive Newstart, of which 62 per cent are trying to do it for over 12 months. There is clearly a need for action right now, because those living on pensions are getting $17.10—rightly so. Why aren't those living on Newstart, who have virtually exactly the same cost of living? (Time expired)


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