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A sign of things to come as Abbott takes $4 from our most vulnerable

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A sign of things to come as Abbott takes $4 from our most vulnerable

The Australian Greens said today that Tony Abbott's plan to scrap a $210 supplement payment for vulnerable people threatens to be the start of a harsh and unfair policy regime aimed at punishing the poorest Australians.

"By threatening to take this modest payment off people on Newstart, Youth Allowance and parenting payments, Tony Abbott is totally ignoring the threats and pressures being heaped on low income families and Australians on income support," Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

"Tony Abbott would rather snatch $4 per week out of the hands of people living more than $130 per week below the poverty line than take action to create a fairer mining tax. He is choosing to take $4 per week from our most vulnerable people to fund his expensive tax cut for big business.

"It is no exaggeration to say that people on Newstart and Youth Allowance cannot afford the basic essentials.

"Punishing people and leaving them mired in poverty makes it harder to find secure work or get the training or skills they need. The inadequacy of payments like Newstart is forcing people to increasingly go without meals and turn to the already-pressured community sector for support.

"This cut threatens to be just the start of a unfair approach to vulnerable people. The Coalition's voting record in Parliament shows they do not understand or care about the challenges being faced by jobseekers, students or single parents.

"Only the Greens have fully costed and fully funded policies on the table to fix the inequities in the mining tax and provide people on Newstart and Youth Allowance with a vital $50 per week payment increase, as well as provide additional support for single parents," Senator Siewert concluded.