How Michaelia Cash voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should increase the Youth Allowance rate to ensure that it covers basic living costs

Division Michaelia Cash Supporters vote Division outcome

24th Jul 2019, 3:55 PM – Senate Motions - Newstart Allowance, Youth Allowance - Increase

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by WA Senator Rachel Siewert (Greens), which means it passed. Motions like these don't make any legal changes on their own but are politically influential because they represent the will of the Senate.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

(i) that the rate of Newstart for single people without children is $555.70 per fortnight,

(ii) that the Federal Government has taken action to address deeming rates acknowledging that part-pensioners were struggling,

(iii) that the Salvation Army's 2018 Economic and Social Impact Survey found that after paying for accommodation, Newstart recipients were left with $17 a day,

(iv) the findings of an analysis by the Australian National University's Professor Peter Whiteford, that Newstart is the second lowest unemployment payment in the OECD if we look at the replacement rate, and

(v) that the Anglicare Rental Affordability Snapshot 2019 found there were zero affordable rentals for a single person on Newstart or Youth Allowance in any major Australian city; and

(b) urges the Federal Government to immediately increase the single rate of Newstart and Youth Allowance.

absent Yes Passed by a small majority

4th Jul 2019, 5:33 PM – Senate Treasury Laws Amendment (Tax Relief So Working Australians Keep More of Their Money) Bill 2019 - Second Reading - Government should increase Newstart & Youth Allowance

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by WA Senator Rachel Siewert (Greens), which means it failed.

Motion text

At the end of the motion, add:

", but the Senate:

(a) notes that the bill does nothing to assist people receiving newstart allowance or youth allowance; and

(b) calls upon the Government to introduce legislation to amend the Social Security Act 1991 to increase the maximum single rates of newstart allowance and youth allowance by $150 per fortnight".

No Yes Not passed by a large majority

4th Jul 2019, 12:31 PM – Senate Motions - Newstart and Youth Allowance - Raise by $75 a week

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by West Australian Senator Rachel Siewert (Greens), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) there are approximately 3 million people in Australia living in poverty, including over 700,000 children,

(ii) Australia has no poverty reduction plan and, despite economic growth, poverty levels have remained high,

(iii) Newstart and Youth Allowance have not had an increase in real terms for over 25 years,

(iv) recipients of these income support payments are unable to cover basic living costs such as housing, food, transport, healthcare and utilities,

(v) income inequality and poverty has significant negative effects on individuals' physical and mental wellbeing and society, and

(vi) poverty in early childhood can lead to poorer life outcomes; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to make it a priority to help address poverty in Australia by raising Newstart and Youth Allowance by $75 a week.

absent Yes Not passed by a modest majority

12th Nov 2018, 4:57 PM – Senate Motions - Anti-Poverty Week - Increase Newstart & Youth Allowance

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The majority voted against part of a motion introduced by Greens Senator Rachel Siewert (WA), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

[...]

(c) calls on the Federal Government to increase Newstart and Youth Allowance by $75 a week.

absent Yes Not passed by a modest majority

20th Jun 2018, 11:40 AM – Senate Treasury Laws Amendment (Personal Income Tax Plan) Bill 2018 - Second Reading - Raise minimum wage, Newstart and Youth Allowance

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Victorian Senator Richard Di Natale, which means it failed.

Motion text

At the end of the motion, add:

", but the Senate is of the opinion that:

(a) the bill should not be considered until the minimum wage is lifted to 60% of the median wage, and Newstart, Youth Allowance and related allowances are increased by $75 a week; and

(b) the revenue used to fund the government's Tax Cut Plan should be invested in health and education services, public infrastructure and the social safety net, instead of being used to fund tax cuts."

No Yes Not passed by a large majority

10th May 2018, 12:10 PM – Senate Motions - Pensions and Benefits - Increase single rate of Newstart and Youth Allowance

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by the Greens Senator Rachel Siewert (WA), which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) recognises that single rates of unemployment payments are completely inadequate to cover basic living costs;

(b) acknowledges that our social safety net currently fails to protect jobseekers from falling into poverty;

(c) notes that:

(i) the Australian Council of Social Service has called for an increase of $75 a week to allowance payments for single people from 1 January 2019, and

(ii) the 2018-19 Budget did not increase any allowance payments, including Newstart or Youth Allowance; and

(d) urges the Federal Government to increase the single rate of Newstart and Youth Allowance by $75 a week.

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

14th Aug 2017, 10:08 AM – Senate Social Security Amendment (Caring for People on Newstart) Bill 2017 - Second Reading - Agree with the bill's main idea

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The majority voted against a motion to agree with the bill's main idea. In parliamentary jargon, they voted against reading the bill for a second time. This means that the bill has been rejected and won't be considered any further.

What was the bill's main idea?

The bill was introduced to increase the single rate of newstart and single independent rate of youth allowance by $110 a week.

absent Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

14th Oct 2015, 3:51 PM – Senate Motions - Anti-Poverty Week - Address poverty

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The majority voted against this motion, which means it failed.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the week beginning 11 October 2015 is Anti-Poverty Week,

(ii) the main aims of Anti-Poverty Week are to strengthen public understanding, and encourage research, discussion and action to address these problems, and

(iii) poverty and severe hardship affect more than a million Australians;

(b) acknowledges the very important work undertaken by a large number of organisations across Australia in providing crucial services, such as food-banks, housing, social services, counselling and legal support among others, which make an invaluable contribution to Australian society; and

(c) calls on the government to:

(i) increase Newstart and youth allowance payments by at least $50 a week,

(ii) provide adequate support to people struggling with poverty, including young people accessing income support,

(iii) provide appropriate support to service delivery agencies, including stable and adequate funding, and

(iv) develop a national anti-poverty plan with clear targets and measures to address poverty in Australia.

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

How "voted moderately against" is worked out

The MP's votes count towards a weighted average where the most important votes get 50 points, less important votes get 10 points, and less important votes for which the MP was absent get 2 points. In important votes the MP gets awarded the full 50 points for voting the same as the policy, 0 points for voting against the policy, and 25 points for not voting. In less important votes, the MP gets 10 points for voting with the policy, 0 points for voting against, and 1 (out of 2) if absent.

Then, the number gets converted to a simple english language phrase based on the range of values it's within.

No of votes Points Out of
Most important votes (50 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
MP absent 1 25 50
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 4 0 40
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 3 3 6
Total: 28 96

*Pressure of other work means MPs or Senators are not always available to vote – it does not always indicate they have abstained. Therefore, being absent on a less important vote makes a disproportionatly small difference.

Agreement score = MP's points / total points = 28 / 96 = 29%.

And then