Income Support, Poverty and Debt - Why Australia needs a proper safety net.
The dignity of every Australian means honouring their rights and empowering them to reach their life potential, whatever their background, circumstances or beliefs.
Australia’s economic growth for almost 30 years has improved the living standards for the average household. Yet over 3.3 million people, including 761,000 children, have been left behind and are living in persistent poverty. Last year, 2 million households (21%) did not have enough to eat.
Households relying on income support are five times more likely to experience poverty and struggle to make ends meet. Young people, single parents, Australia’s First Nations People, the long-term unemployed and those living with disability or ill-health are particularly vulnerable.
We are committed to alleviating suffering and promoting human dignity and personal integrity. We provide over $50 million per year in emergency relief to cover the essentials in life. We also provide support, companionship and connection at the individual and community level to help people build their social support networks. Requests for assistance are increasing month on month, with many people asking for help for the first time. Most of those we assist are on JobSeeker, Parenting Payment, the Disability Support Pension or Youth Allowance.
We are strong advocates for improvements to the income support system. Around 830,000 people on JobSeeker are living $150 below the poverty line each fortnight. Many live with disability and ill health.
We call for:
We commissioned ANU’s Centre for Social Research & Methods to prepare a research report on reform of our tax and welfare system.
The report examines how our tax and welfare system could be reformed to reduce inequality and lower the number of people living in poverty and financial stress.