Newstart is not working - BPW Australia joins the campaign to Raise the Rate

29 Dec 2019 9:03 PM | Angela Tomazos (Administrator)

BPW Australia (the Australian Federation of Business and Professional Women) supports the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) “Raise the Rate” national campaign. The campaign urges the Morrison Government to immediately lift the single rate of Newstart, Youth Allowance and other related payments by at least $75 per week, and index Allowances to wages. The current allowance of $40 a day is too low to give people the support they need to get through tough times and into suitable work. Most people receiving Newstart live below the poverty line.

The Australian Council of Social Service is a national advocate for action to reduce poverty and inequality and the peak body for the community services sector in Australia.  ACOSS launched the national campaign “Raise the rate” as part of Anti-Poverty week earlier this year with over 100 community organisations signed up as supporters since its launch.

“Newstart’s purpose, to assist people back into work, is being undermined by the limited resources people on Newstart have. If we as a country wish to encourage everybody to undertake meaningful work, we should endeavour to provide a benefit program that supports this”, Jacqueline Graham, BPW Australia President said.

“More than 100,000 parents’ on Newstart are single women who are being disproportionately impacted by the level of Newstart payments. The difficulty in entering the world of work impacts these women at the moment of their greatest need and continues to impact through their prime working lives, with concomitant effects on the broader economy and continued dependence on assistance. Just as single mother of 3 boys, Juanita, is experiencing with her story on the campaign page” Jacqueline said.

A report issued in 2018 by Deloitte Access Economics that was commissioned by ACOSS, considers the impact of proposed policy change as a ‘catch up increase’ of $75 a week – an extra $10.71 a day that would be received by around 770,000 Australians. 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.

“For over 70 years, BPW Australia has supported, encouraged and educated women and girls by succeeding in our lobbying efforts to influence local and national governments to address women’s issues. BPW Australia advocates for women at work, women who have worked and for women that  want to work. With over 75% of our membership in Regional Australia, the work of ACOSS highlights the necessary economic & well-being boost our society needs,” Jacqueline said.

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