Monday, 01 July 2013 12:05

Report Highlights Shortfall of Newstart

UnitingCare Australia released a report today showing Australians who are experiencing financial hardship are not able to make ends meet because welfare payments are too low.

The report found that the majority of people seeking emergency relief and financial counselling from UnitingCare agencies across Australia were recipients of Newstart Allowance, and were unable to afford food and energy bills.

National Director, Lin Hatfield Dodds said inadequate support is forcing vulnerable people into deeper poverty, entrenching their disadvantage, and making it increasingly difficult for them to get a job.

“The current rate of unemployment payments barely covers housing and energy bills, let alone rising costs of food and education, or the costs of seeking work.

“Parents feel their children are missing out on healthy food, school materials and sporting activities.

“People want to work or increase their hours but are held back by the costs of transport and childcare.

“As we face the upcoming election we call upon all parties to commit to an increase in Newstart Allowance and fund the supports that struggling families need to participate fully in our community.”