Morrison sabotages Newstart

Published:

Newstart Tearout 1 

A shocking report this morning claims that former Social Services Minister Paul Fletcher intervened on the eve of the Federal election to erase a bipartisan recommendation to increase Newstart.1 

The rate of Newstart is so low that recipients are forced to skip meals or forego medications just to survive. The payment is so dire that everyone from John Howard, Barnaby Joyce and the Business Council of Australia agree it needs an immediate increase.2,3,4,5 

Deliberately erasing a bipartisan recommendation isn't just a political scandal – it's a decision that could cost the lives of people who have struggled for decades below the poverty line. It needs to be urgently, and overwhelmingly condemned. 

This morning's news shows that there's already consensus in parliament to raise the rate so it meets basic living standards – but it's being blocked by a narrow group at the top of the Government. 

Let's make sure that our leaders hear from all of us right now, demanding that they raise the rate. With a huge outcry we can tip the balance, and force Morrison to listen to the bipartisan agreement within Parliament to lift people out of needless poverty. 

SIGN NOW: Politicians need to hear from our communities – raise the rate! 

Even the country's most senior economist has said that raising Newstart would boost the economy.6 Because when we lift people out of poverty, we lift the whole nation. 

Newstart is more than budgetary line item. It's food on the table. It's clothes and books for school. It's tests or specialists not covered by Medicare. It's hot water, a cold fridge, a place to live. And more than 40% of people on Newstart are over the age of 45 – locked out of work for months by rampant age discrimination.7 

And right now – for the first time in 25 years – there is a coalition of conscience emerging in Parliament, with backbenchers on both sides breaking from their party leadership to demand immediate action. But they need our help. 

If our leaders can't find moral clarity, we will show them. If they can't see the popular support for compassion and decency, we will bring it to their doorstep. 

Sign the petition to let our politicians know that hunger can't wait – we demand an immediate increase to Newstart. 

If our politicians are looking for evidence that Newstart needs an urgent increase, they could just Google it. Two decades of advocacy by unemployed activists and peak bodies has lifted up countless heart-wrenching stories. 

Newstart Image 2 

But people in this country are proud to support each other when times are tough, no matter what a person's postcode, age, or the colour of their skin. That's who we are. 

It's high time that we create a social safety net we can all be proud of. 

Sign here! We all deserves to live in dignity – no matter our postcode, our job status or the colour of our skin. 

When politicians want tax cuts for their wealthy mates, or when their staffers need a pay-rise, no one tells them it's unaffordable. We now need to come together and demand they extend the same political urgency to people doing it the hardest. 

In solidarity, 

Ed, Roj, Jai – for the GetUp team 

References: 
[1] "Push to lift Newstart 'erased' before election", Sydney Morning Herald, 23 July 2019 
[2] "Scott Morrison hits out after Barnaby Joyce calls for Newstart payment increase", Daily Telegrah, 18 July 2019 
[3] "Two Liberal backbenchers urge dole rise", The In Daily, 22 July 2019 
[4] "Barnaby Joyce joins calls to increase Newstart allowance", ABC, 19 July 2019 
[5] "'Freeze has gone on too long': John Howard calls for dole increase", Sydney Morning Herald, 9 May 2018 
[6] "Does anyone in Australia think Newstart is adequate?", Crikey, 3 April 2019 
[7] "Reserve Bank governor suggests Newstart increase would be 'good for the economy'", Guardian, 21 June 2019 
[8] "Keep Newstart low so young beach bums don't stay on it? That's laughable", Guardian, 18 Septembber 2019 
 
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