Welfare recipients will be the target of Cathy McGowan during the next sitting period of Federal Parliament; the Indi MP wants to help fix cracks in the system to help people break out of poverty.
Speaking in Canberra on Monday, Ms McGowan signalled her intention to introduce measures to address what she called “failures” in the government’s social service legislation.
“An increasing reliance on social services puts those already in a vulnerable position in a more vulnerable position, makes them more marginalised and ultimately less-valued members of our society,” she said.
A bill calling for a “social security commission” will be tabled in Parliament next Monday, which Ms McGowan said was needed to provide independent advice, considering if current welfare payments are enough.
She said the system was supposed to be a safety net but low payments made it difficult for people to break out of an increased reliance on the system.
Those who responded to the MP’s budget survey in recent months stated welfare as one of their top issues, with one person saying politicians “don’t understand our unique situation, nor do they care”.
The first “crack” in legislation to be tackled by Ms McGowan was the availability of payday loans, used as a quick way to get cash, but with high interest rates.
“A number of constituents have contacted my office about the problems experienced by the borrowers of these products and the targeting of the most vulnerable,” she said on Monday.
“Cash advances continue to trap people in the cycle of debt and my constituents are concerned that payday loans will continue to be inappropriately handed to low-income and vulnerable Australians while the delay in presenting this legislation to Parliament.”
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