<1>Swan should now undo damage and reverse Budget cuts: Bandt

Acting Australian Greens Leader, Adam Bandt, has written today to the Acting Prime Minister, Wayne Swan, calling on the government to reverse the harmful Budget cuts that have been made in the name of achieving the now abandoned surplus timeline.

Mr Bandt says cuts to the single parents payment and university research and the redirection of foreign aid to asylum seeker programs should be reversed.

In the letter, Mr Bandt commits the Australian Greens to working with the government on stimulus programs in the next Budget, including boosting Newstart by $50 per week, further moves to put dental into Medicare and building high speed rail.

"The Greens have consistently argued not just that there is a looming revenue crisis, but also that spending cuts would hurt people, small business and the economy more broadly," Mr Bandt said.

"I am pleased the Government has seen sense, agreed with the Greens and ditched the arbitrary surplus timeline."

"The government should now take the opportunity to repair the damage to the last Budget caused by their political surplus promise."

"The Treasurer should reverse the decision to push 150,000 single parents off the parenting payment on January 1 and reverse the cuts to uni research and overseas aid."

"We are ready to work with the government on boosting Newstart, getting more dental care into Medicare and building high speed rail."

"These measures would help stimulate a weakening economy, especially in south-eastern Australia, which is suffering from the pressures of the mining boom and an uncertain international outlook."

21 December 2012