Lives changing and communities growing by care through Jesus Christ

Newstart should give a Freshstart

ANGLICARE Sydney welcomes the acknowledgment today by the Senate Committee examining allowance payments that Newstart does not provide an adequate standard of living for jobseekers.

“The Senate Committee clearly found that Newstart is too low. It is currently below the poverty line and does not successfully help the long term unemployed get jobs”, said Sue King, Director Advocacy at ANGLICARE Sydney.

“Given that over 60 percent of people on Newstart are on it for over a year, Newstart needs to help people gain stability over the medium term while they become job-ready.

“We welcome the Welfare Bonus announced today by Minister Shorten, and also the recommendation by Labor Senators on the Committee that Newstart be raised by $50 per week for singles”, said Ms King.

In its submission to the Senate Committee ANGLICARE Sydney highlighted evidence for food insecurity among households receiving Newstart.

“We found that 76 percent of households receiving Newstart were severely food insecure, and adults are regularly missing meals every week.

“Combined with high private rental prices and rising utility bills, jobseekers face significant obstacles to keep food on the table and be in a position to get back to work”, said Ms King.

ANGLICARE Sydney welcomes the Committee’s focus on job-readiness and the recommendation that Newstart recipients be allowed to earn more before their payment is reduced.

While the Federal Government provides excellent support for young single mothers before their children go to school, the Committee rightly found that older job seekers need more support.

“People over 45 who are trying to get back into the workforce need better help to regain skills and find employment – older single women are particularly vulnerable.

“Government and Business have an opportunity to deliver more opportunities for stable employment for older people and single parents. This will be most effective in helping households gain a fresh start, and break cycles of welfare dependency”, said Ms King.

[ENDS]

Media Contacts:

Angus Belling, Public Affairs Officer, 0411 779 337

Janine Jones, Manager Public Affairs, 0407 066 813