Call for Input: Senate Inquiry into Newstart

On 25 July 2019, the Senate referred an inquiry into the adequacy of Newstart and related payments and alternative mechanisms to determine the level of income support payments in Australia to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by 27 March 2020.

Newstart is more than $100 per week below the poverty line and less than 40% of the minimum wage. The announcement of the Senate Inquiry follows the release of results from a recent ACOSS survey of Newstart and Youth Allowance participants, which found how people manage with very finite resources and the lengths they go to cover the cost of essentials like housing or bills.

More than 84% of respondents said that they skip meals to save money and nearly 50% said that they skipped more than eight meals per week. Two thirds of respondents said they didn’t use heating in winter or cooling in summer. More than 50% don’t buy fresh produce.

The results of the survey are alarming. TasCOSS strongly encourages organisations and individuals with lived experience of Newstart and related payments to make a Submission to the Senate Inquiry.

Submissions are open until Friday 13 September 2019.