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Scott Morrison and his Liberal National Government continue to stigmatise and demean welfare recipients.
Senator Smith has labelled comments by Social Services Minister Anne Ruston at a forum in Murray Bridge as “complete nonsense, not to mention hurtful and demeaning” that “fly in the face of all evidence”.
“Instead of stigmatising and demeaning Newstart recipients, the Government should be coming up with a plan for our economy. We have stagnant wages, rising costs and the economy is growing at its slowest pace in a decade.

An increase to Newstart would not only help people doing it tough, it would provide much needed economic stimulus, especially in regional and rural South Australia.” Senator Smith said.
In rural and regional South Australia there are 19,633 people on Newstart.
If the Government is serious about boosting the economy in rural and regional areas it would increase Newstart.
“I am out in rural and regional South Australia regularly, just yesterday I was in Ceduna, Scotdesco and Koonibba and on the weekend I was in Murray Bridge. People living in places like Ceduna and Murray Bridge are crying out for economic stimulus in their towns. They are crying out for investment and they are crying out for more jobs. An increase to Newstart could help deliver this,” Senator Smith said.
“Boosting Newstart would provide much needed economic stimulus in our regions. This isn’t just a social policy issue – it’s about growing our economy,” Senator Smith said.
“The Government keeps talking about their plans to boost the economy and the importance of regional Australia, yet there is a policy at their fingertips that offers an immediate and localised economic stimulus – and they are refusing to consider it in favour of peddling further stigmatisation of welfare recipients,” Senator Smith said.
One in five Newstart recipients have a job, but don’t earn enough or receive enough hours to get off Newstart.
This Government is out of touch with rural and regional South Australia.