The Australian Council of Social Service is alarmed by a report today that the Government intervened in a Parliamentary Inquiry to remove a recommendation to increase Newstart.
ACOSS Acting CEO Jacqueline Phillips said: “It’s outrageous that a Government Minister would step in and change a Parliamentary Inquiry’s recommendations, which should be based purely on evidence presented to the Inquiry.
“Rather than trying to avoid the issue, the Government should listen to the clear calls from the community, business sector and economists, for an increase to Newstart, which would reduce poverty, stimulate the economy and create jobs.
“It’s telling that a Parliamentary Inquiry, made up of members from the Coalition, Labor and the crossbench, appears to have come to the conclusion, before the election, that Newstart needs to be increased.
“This shows that we can achieve bipartisan support on increasing Newstart, as does the growing consensus across Parliament, including agreement from majority of Nationals MPs.
“We call on the Government to urgently reconsider its position. The time to act on Newstart is now.
“By increasing Newstart now, the Government would provide immediate assistance to people doing it really tough while they look for paid work and would provide needed economic stimulus, creating jobs.”
The final report, without the reported recommendation, included the below recommendation:
Recommendation 14 The Committee recommends the Australian Government review the effects of government policy, including the adequacy of payments, on young people and single parent families in the 46th Parliament.