The Transforming Australia: SDG Progress Report tracking Australia’s progress to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals has reported that a person on Newstart, who would have been near the poverty line in 2000, is now 25% below the poverty line.
“Newstart hasn’t increased since 1994, it is unacceptable that people looking for work are condemned to poverty because the Government refuses to take action, Australian Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Rachel Siewert said.
“We have been hearing from the social services sector, the business sector and even John Howard that this woefully low payment needs to be increased. Now, even the UN has something to say about Newstart.
“The major parties should be less focussed on tax cuts for the wealthy and make sure that those trying to survive on income support are not living in poverty.
“It is not good enough that despite strong economic growth since 2000, Australia’s income inequality did not improve and wealth inequality got worse.
“I will be introducing a Bill to increase Newstart by $75 a week next week. This is a simple first step to addressing income inequality and I hope that I will have the major parties support."
Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie 0418 401 180