Petition update

A cause for hope

Linda Hannah

Dec 10, 2019 — 

Dear supporters,

I am pleased to share some good news with you all this week. On 3rd December Senator Nick McKim raised a Matter of Urgency in parliament regarding the plight of Newstart recipients at Christmas. It seems that my relentless letters to politicians were not in vain! He said:

"That people on Newstart and Youth Allowance do not enjoy the same Christmas spirit as other Australians and struggle during the summer holidays due to the low rates of the payments and the Government's punitive compliance programs."

His statement was followed by speeches by six Senators who spoke for the motion and two LNP Senators who spoke against it. An interesting thing I noted was that more than the usual number of Senators wanted to speak on this but the time allocated wouldn’t have allowed it.

The senators acknowledged that Newstart and other benefits were way too low and basically quoted everything I’ve been saying in my letters.

On 4th December, Senator Siewert’s moved a motion to increase Newstart. Her speech included all of the points in my letters. The motion was passed. After months of campaigning, we’re starting to get somewhere.

Another recent exciting development is that Eric Abetz, LNP Tasmania Senator, personally emailed me, conceding that he would support an increase in Newstart once a budget surplus is assured.

I am feeling optimistic about 2020. I believe we have a real chance to finally get an increase in Newstart in the new year. In the meantime, I wish you all a safe and happy Christmas.

Our family will be donating to charities - I will be giving to Vinnies and the Salvos. On Christmas, we like to help those less fortunate rather than buying presents for each other. I encourage all of you who are able, to do the same.

And those of you struggling - don’t be too proud to ask for help. Please believe, that I will continue fighting for you.

Sending you all love and best wishes.

Keep fighting for people power!

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