How Scott Ludlam voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should increase the Newstart Allowance rate to ensure that it covers basic living costs

Division Scott Ludlam Supporters vote Division outcome

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

Show detail

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.

Yes Yes Not passed by a modest majority

28th Jun 2013, 1:34 PM – Senate Social Security Amendment (Supporting More Australians into Work) Bill 2013 - Second Reading - Increase Newstart and support single parents

Show detail

The majority voted against an amendment introduced by Greens Senator Rachel Siewert to the original motion, which means that it was unsuccessful.

The original motion was "that the bill be read a second time", to which Senator Siewert suggested the following amendment:

At the end of the motion, add:

"and the Senate calls on the Government:

(a) to increase Newstart by $50 a week; and

(b) to provide additional financial support to single parents to lift them and their children out of poverty."

Background to the bill

The bill was introduced to amend the Social Security Act 1991 to implement several employment assistance initiatives announced by the Government in the 2013–14 Budget. The initiatives are to:

  • increase and also index the income test free area for allowance payments;
  • extend access to the Pensioner Education Supplement to Newstart Allowance recipients who are principal carers of at least one child and are not members of a couple; and
  • extend access to the Pensioner Concession Card for a single parent who loses access to the Card because they: have lost access to Parenting Payment-Single as their youngest child has turned eight years old; and no longer qualify for income support due to earnings from employment.(Read more about these initiatives in the bills digest.)
Yes Yes Not passed by a modest majority

1st Nov 2012, 12:24 PM – Senate Motions - Newstart - Increase

Show detail

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

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) resolves that Newstart payments are too low and should increase by $50 per week; and

(b) calls on the Government to find an appropriate savings measure to fund this increase.

Yes Yes Not passed by a modest majority

20th Sep 2012, 12:22 PM – Senate Motions - Newstart Allowance - Increase index rate

Show detail

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

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) today, due to the differences in the types of indexation, pensions will go up by $17.10 while allowances will only increase by $2.90, and

(ii) indexation against the consumer price index alone keeps Newstart so low it cannot adequately meet the true increases in the cost of living; and

(b) urges the Government to take immediate steps to appropriately index Newstart at the same rate as the pension to prevent an ever-widening gap.

Yes Yes Not passed by a modest majority

How "voted very strongly for" 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 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 4 40 40
MP voted against policy 0 0 0
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 40 40

*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 = 40 / 40 = 100%.

And then