Senate debates

Monday, 12 November 2018


Anti-Poverty Week

4:47 pm

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

Labor recognises the importance of Anti-Poverty Week and the unacceptable rates of poverty and inequality in Australia. We also know the rate of Newstart is too low. It's so low it's acting as a barrier to people finding work. Too many people living on Newstart are facing very real hardship, and the work being done by community leaders on this issue is incredibly important. That's why Bill Shorten has said that we want to see a root-and-branch review into the adequacy of Newstart. The fact is the government have tried to cut Newstart. For years, they have wanted to scrap the energy supplement for Newstart recipients. Labor opposed these cuts, and thankfully the government have backed down, but we know their cuts to Newstart and the pension will be back; there is no doubt about it. In government we will review the adequacy of Newstart and related supports—a thorough review that will look at what needs to change and how to pay for it. After all, that's how Labor delivered the biggest increase to the pension in history: after a proper review.


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