The Greens have the guts to be the voice of Australia's poorest families. Our plan for a caring Australia puts the needs of people in poverty ahead of billionaire mining companies.
Newstart recipients are trying to survive on a base rate of less than $250 a week. This is more than $130 below the poverty line and less than 45% of the minimum wage. After rent, most Newstart recipients have less than $17 a day to pay for everything else in their life - which almost certainly guarantees they'll end up in poverty.
The number of people on Newstart in WA rose 14% between December 2012 and March 2013. A rise in people living in poverty has occurred in both the urban and remote areas as single parents who were previously on Parenting Payment have had their payments cuts. Perth is also one of the most expensive rental markets in Australia. The Anglicare rental affordability snapshot looked at available rentals in Perth in April of 2013. The survey found that none of the properties advertised for rent were both affordable and appropriate for people living on Youth and NewStart Allowances or the Parenting Payment.
While some were affordable for families with children on NewStart Allowance, they were not appropriate due to limited space (1 bedroom in a shared house).
The Greens plan to raise Newstart and effectively reverse the impact of the cuts to Parenting Payment will reduce the pressure on our most vulnerable families. Our fully costed plan includes:
• A $50 per week increase to the single rate of Newstart and the Youth Allowance single living away from home rate;
• Better indexation of all allowance payments that reflects the changes to the cost of living for these households;
• Additional $40 per week supplement for all single parents on Newstart, which together with the $50 increase to Newstart reverses the impact of the parenting payment cuts and will immediately help lift single parents out of poverty;
• A higher income free threshold for single parents that allows them to earn the same as they did on Parenting Payment Single; and
• Better job services for everyone that help people into suitable, secure work and an enforceable right to ask for flexible working conditions, for single parents and carers.
CARE FOR PEOPLE