The ACTU supports an increase of $75 a week to Newstart payments, with further staged increases to lift the rate above the poverty line so no Australian worker, whether they have a job or are trying to get one, has to live in poverty.
An Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) and Deloitte Access Economics report released today calls for three quarters of a million Australians on Newstart to receive an additional payment of $75 a week.
The report finds Newstart allowances haven’t risen in line with the cost of living in the past 25 years. All Australians should have access to secure jobs, fair pay and deserve to live in a society where inequality and not being able to make ends meet are horrors of the past.
A $75 increase to Newstart allowances will be both a win for workers and the economy: It will lead to the creation of 12,000 extra jobs, generate an extra $1 billion in tax revenue for the Government, lift wages, and the $3.3 billion it will cost to provide the increase a year will be reinjected back into the economy as spending by consumers.
Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:
“Too many people in Australia are struggling to make ends meet. Whether people are in work or not, we need to change the rules so that no-one lives in poverty.
“Too many Australians, working, or not working, are struggling to make ends meet – we need fair pay, secure jobs, and those without jobs need adequate support in order to keep their heads above water and the opportunity to gain a job they can count on.
“This Government needs to end the cycle of unemployment, underemployment, insecure work, and low wages that is hurting families and communities across Australia.”