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Senate committee recommends an increase to JobSeeker, Youth Allowance and Parenting Payment 

The Senate Community Affairs References committee has recommended an increase to the JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance and Parenting Payment  rates to ensure people do not live in poverty.

"This report clearly indicates that the pre-covid payment rates for Jobseekers, Youth Allowance and Parenting Payment do not support an acceptable minimum standard of living", Senator Rachel Siewert said. 

"According to a Parliamentary Budget Office costing a fortnightly income of at least $1012 per fortnight was required to ensure an income support recipient does not live below the OECD relative measure of poverty. 

"This inquiry process has been a scathing assessment of our income support system and how we support people in our community. 

"There is clear evidence that the income support system itself is acting as a key barrier to employment because of the inadequate payment rates that force people into poverty. 

"The Government needs to listen to the people who bravely gave evidence of their lived experience at this inquiry. It is their voices that need to be heard.

"It must not be Government policy for people to live below the poverty line. 

"The committee recommended that our income support system be underpinned by a series of principles, including that social security is a human right that aims to reduce poverty, is an investment in people and that respect and dignity of the individual is at the heart of the social security system.

"This extensive report which includes research and advice from well respected institutions and think tanks and most importantly income support recipients themselves highlights the urgent need for a major reform of the social security system 

"I never again want to see people in our community denied dignity, forced to live on $40 a day because the jobs are simply not there."

The full report into the Adequacy of Newstart and related payments and alternative mechanisms to determine the level of income support payments in Australia can be found here.

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Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie: 0418 401 180

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