MEDIA RELEASE 

4 May 2018

No amount of spin before the Budget will make Allowances liveable

The St Vincent de Paul Society National Council has released a briefing paper today that rejects claims by the Government that the small supplements some people receive justifies the low levels of Newstart and other allowances.

This follows past claims to this effect made by Minister Tehan.

Dr John Falzon, CEO of the St Vincent de Paul National Council said, “The reality is that the major supplement people may get, the Commonwealth Rent Allowance (CRA), is itself far too low and no longer comes close to making a real difference in off-setting sky-rocketing rents.”

“The facts of the matter are that most people surviving on Newstart Allowance, Youth Allowance or Austudy are living below the poverty line, and inadequate supplements like the CRA or the energy supplement don’t get them above it” he said.

“In a wealthy country like ours we can afford to pay Allowances at above the poverty line. To leave people below the poverty line is a political choice, not an economic necessity.”

“We need to stop using the rate of allowances as a political wedge and instead hand over the decision on the rate to an independent payments review commission or tribunal to regularly assess the adequacy of all social security payments.”

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Len Baglow 0400 845 492 or media@svdp.org.au