Raise the rate

Supermarket Checkout to highlight the cost of living

Anglicare has contacted Tasmania’s Federal Members of Parliament urging them to take action to ensure all Australians have an income adequate to live with dignity.

We are calling for the rate of Newstart and Youth Allowance to be raised.

Anglicare wants to see:

  • the establishment of an independent Social Security Commission with the power to set income support payments based on the cost of living and job seeking; and
  • an immediate increase of $96 a week to the Newstart and Youth Allowance. This would give much needed relief while a Commission is created and the rates are reviewed. Not only would this improve the wellbeing of three quarters of a million Australians, every cent would return to local communities.

In our state, Anglicare is regularly responding to poverty linked to the low rate of Newstart and Youth Allowance. Our financial counselling team helps many Tasmanians find their way out of debt or other difficulties. But what our skilled team is seeing right now are people on incomes so low they’re struggling to manage. Even with excellent budgeting skills, these everyday Tasmanians simply can’t meet the cost of essentials like rent, power and groceries.

Here are some recent examples from our financial counsellors:

I am working with a client on Newstart who has no debts, just weekly expenses. After preparing a budget of all fortnightly expenses, this person has $85 a fortnight left over for food. He is eating crackers for meals and still struggling to make ends meet.

Things were okay for my client until her flat mate died. They’d been sharing costs in a private rental. The rent is $580 a fortnight and her income is $716. Once she pays for electricity, her phone and bus-fare, she has nothing left. She is now selling things and getting food from charity. The client is looking for somewhere cheaper to live but has very little chance of finding anything.

My client has an income of only $559 a fortnight. He has no choice but to live with a house-mate but is still barely able to pay for essentials and has no capacity at all to save any emergency funds. There is not enough money to meet his health needs. And he can’t afford to register or insure his car. He’s seeking employment but the lack of transport doesn’t help.

You can find out more about Anglicare’s Financial Counselling services here.

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