The Government has been determined to hose down any hope for an increase. And in doing so, it has embarked on a deliberate media strategy that seeks to cast doubt on the need for and legitimacy of a lift to the Newstart rate. Our challenge is to make the case for change to “everyday” Australians and to ensure Minister Ruston’s stereotype of a Newstart recipient is called out for what it is, says Joe Zabar, Deputy CEO CSSA.
The Senate Community Affairs References Committee’s inquiry into the adequacy of Newstart is now under way, with some 70 submissions received. The Committee chair, Senator Rachel Siewert, is by any measure one of the most seasoned and consistent advocates for disadvantaged Australians. As formidable a campaigner as she is, her committee is facing an enormous task in convincing the Government to lift the level of Newstart, regardless of the evidence presented.