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New report shows punitive income support system directly impacting child poverty, Newstart increase more urgent than ever

The latest Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) report reveals the need for an urgent increase in Newstart.

"Our woefully low income support payment rates and punitive unemployment framework are having a direct impact on child poverty, Senator Rachel Siewert, spokesperson on Family and Community said today.

"The urgency of raising Newstart becomes more stark with report after report showing how inadequate Newstart is and the impact it is having on our community.

"The Coalition have framed unemployment as a personal moral failing instead of assisting people with the barriers they face to unemployment.

"We need to be looking after families when they fall on tough times, it could happen to anyone.

"Poverty in early childhood leads to poorer outcomes and if we don't address this now, we are condemning members of our community to poor health and education outcomes.

"In 2006, the Howard Government started moving sole parents from the Parenting Payment to Newstart once their youngest child turned 8 and in 2013, 80,000 sole parents (who were grandfathered) were transferred by the Gillard Government to the lower Newstart Allowance. We now see that the poverty rate for sole parents has risen from 35% in 2013 to 59% in 2015, a stark increase.

"The the major parties should stop trying to appease their corporate donor mates and commit to serious measures to addressing poverty starting with an increase to Newstart."

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Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie: 0418 401 180

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