Senate debates

Thursday, 16 August 2018



12:29 pm

Photo of Anthony ChisholmAnthony Chisholm (Queensland, Australian Labor Party) Share this | Hansard source

The rate of Newstart is too low. It is so low it is acting as a barrier to people finding work. That is why Bill Shorten has said that we want to see a root and branch review into the adequacy of Newstart. The fact is that this government actually wants to cut Newstart by scrapping the energy supplement for anyone who has started to receive Newstart since September 2016. Mr Turnbull wants to cut Newstart by $8.80 per fortnight. Labor opposes this, and we will reverse it.

Let's be very clear: this is a stunt by the Greens political party, and we've a seen a few of them today. It won't pass the parliament. The Greens know appropriation bills have to be introduced by a minister in the House. Labor isn't interested in stunts. We want to address this complex issue. We will review the adequacy of Newstart and related supports in government. After all, that is how the biggest increase to the pension in history came about—after a proper review by a Labor government.


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