Senate debates

Thursday, 18 March 2021


Social Services Legislation Amendment (Strengthening Income Support) Bill 2021; Second Reading

2:50 pm

Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | Hansard source

I will now deal with the second reading amendment circulated by the opposition. The question is that the second reading amendment on sheet 1243 be agreed to.

Opposition's circulated second reading amendment—

At the end of the motion, add: ", but the Senate:

(a) notes that:

  (i) the effect of this Bill will be to cut unemployment payments by $100 per fortnight at the end of March, at the same time as JobKeeper is ending, and

  (ii) over 1.3 million people are relying on unemployment payments – almost twice as many as before the pandemic; and

(b) calls on the Government to:

  (i) abandon its counterproductive and punitive plans for a dob-in-a-jobseeker hotline that will only make life harder for job seekers and employers by further increasing mutual obligation requirements at a time when unemployment and underemployment is high,

  (ii) consider allowing people to keep more of their earnings from part-time, casual or seasonal work, to help people move into employment, and

  (iii) do more to support Australians facing poverty and hardship – through adequate payments to those who need them, housing, addressing child poverty, and better health and education services".


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