Today, the Greens Senator Rachel Siewert introduced a Bill to increase Newstart and Youth Allowance by $75 per week and lift the incomes of people currently living on less than $40 per day.
ACOSS welcomes Social Services Legislation Amendment (Ending the Poverty Trap) Bill 2018, and calls on the Federal Parliament to support the proposed increase.
ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said “the last time Newstart increased above inflation was in 1994”.
“The Federal Parliament must decide how much longer it is happy for people to live on totally inadequate incomes.
“We call on the Federal Parliament to support this Bill, and lift the incomes of more than 750,000 people who are struggling to find paid work, studying, caring for children, have an illness or disability.
“People cannot live on less than $40 per day. People skip meals, don’t use heating in winter and struggle to keep a roof over their head.
“We need to increase Newstart and other allowances, and index the payments to wages so that people can eat three meals a day, keep the lights on and put a roof over their head.
“More than two thirds of voters support an increase in Newstart. It’s time to raise the rate of Newstart, Youth Allowance and related payments to reduce poverty, and change people’s lives.