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'Senseless cruelty': Peak welfare body pushes for $95-a-week increase to Newstart

Thu, 30 Jan 2020, 03:59 PM

Luke Henriques-Gomes, The Guardian, 30 January 2020

People on Newstart now receive only 75% of what is needed just to afford basic living costs, analysis shows, prompting a new call from campaigners for a nearly $100-a-week boost to the unemployment benefit.

Citing new analysis of the wage index between 2016 and 2018, the Australian Council of Social Service (Acoss) will reveal on Thursday that it is now calling for a $95 boost to the $279.50 weekly payment, up from a previous demand of $75 a week.

The proposal, contained in Acoss’ federal budget submission, aims to address the widening gap between the combined rate of Newstart and rent assistance and what the organisation says a single unemployed person needs to afford essentials such as food and shelter.

The Acoss chief executive, Cassandra Goldie, said the government must be willing to jettison the surplus to fund a Newstart increase, likening the situation to the prime minister’s recent pledge that the bushfire recovery would not be influenced by concerns about the budget bottom line.


Read: The full article at The Guardian



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