Raising Newstart and Youth Allowance would boost jobs, wages and inject millions into local communities

17 September 2018

Regional communities would receive a multi-million dollar boost if government raised the rate of Newstart, Youth Allowance and related payments through an increase in consumer spending, a new report by Deloitte has found.

ACOSS commissioned Deloitte Access Economics to model the economic impact of raising Newstart and related payments by $75 per week.

The report finds that increasing these payments will boost wellbeing in regional communities doing it the toughest, lifting the incomes of people most in need, as well as delivering 12,000 new jobs.

ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie, says “the message from the economists at Deloitte is clear: lifting Newstart and reducing poverty and inequality is resoundingly good for the economy.”

“The injection of millions of dollars into regional communities will create new jobs, lift wages and profits as well as increase the incomes of people in the lowest 5%, reducing inequality.

While every region in Australia benefits from the government increasing these payments, some regions doing it toughest will be clear winners from this boost to the economy.

Total disposable incomes will increase across all local governments, including:

  • Townsville, QLD ($35 million)
  • Morton Bay, QLD ($65m)
  • Central Coast, NSW ($46m)
  • Wanneroo, WA ($28m)
  • Brisbane, QLD ($134m)
  • Fairfield, NSW ($51m)
  • Launceston, TAS  ($16m)
  • Alice Springs, NT ($7m)
  • Playford, SA ($28m)
  • Mornington Peninsula, VIC ($16m)

“This report confirms what we knew. An increase to Newstart and Youth Allowance will benefit every single community in Australia, particularly regional communities doing it tough.

“Raising the rate of Newstart and related payments will help hundreds of thousands of people struggling to put a roof over their head and food on the table with an income of less than $40 per day.

More than two thirds of people support an increase to Newstart, as do all the leading charities, community organisations, the Committee for Economic Development, Deloitte Access Economics, KPMG, Australian Industry Group, and the Business Council of Australia. Benjamin Law, Jane Caro, John Howard, Ken Henry all back an increase, as do the Greens, Senators Tim Storer and Derryn Hinch and the ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr. There are now 14 Local Councils supporting an increase to Newstart, and the National Assembly of Local Government also passed a motion of support.

“We call on all Federal Politicians to do what is right for our communities, and increase Newstart and Youth Allowance by $75 per week as a matter of urgency. Not only is it the right thing to do as a matter of social justice, it will provide the necessary economic boost regional economies so desperately need,” said Dr Goldie.

Access the report here