10,000 signatures reached
To: Australian Federal Parliament
Change the Age: Lower the Age of Independence from 22 to 18
Change the Age of Independence from 22 to 18
Why is this important?
The Centrelink Age of Independence for Youth Allowance sits at 22. Young Australians can drink, smoke and drive at the age of 18 but are not considered independent. Even students moving out of home to attend university can be denied access to income support based on a parent or partner's income.
For students in the higher education sector, the global pandemic has meant that students are more vulnerable and poorer than ever before. Students are the victims of the casualised workforce, penalty rate cuts and the shutdown of industries predominantly worked in by young people due to COVID-19. With funding provided by Universities drying up and the Federal Government income support being reconsidered, anyone can see the impending impact on young people. .
The health crisis isn’t over and the economic crisis certainly isn’t over. We should be ensuring that Australia’s future is well protected by investing in young people to be able to live and study and not sending them through the cracks of our welfare system to potential lifetimes of poverty. We need to fund our future.
A liveable wage is essential so students are not skipping meals, going without medication, sleeping rough or couch surfing. Recognising that young people are independents from the age of 18 and the current age of independence makes life incredibly difficult in unstable households and for queer youth.
The Government must act to ensure that means testing is genuine and that we keep students out of poverty.
National Union of Students (NUS) Welfare Officer