100 signatures reached
To: The Maribyrnong City Council
Increase to the Newstart payment
We did it comrades! The Maribyrnong Council was the 2nd Victorian council and the 12th nationally to support our calls for a $177 increase to the Newstart payment. The motion was carried unanimously (!)
We are calling upon the Maribyrnong City Council to support an $177 dollar increase to the Newstart payment for unemployed workers, bringing the payment into accord with the Henderson poverty-line.
Why is this important?
Newstart at $269 per week, is $177 per week below the poverty-line. It is less than 41 percent of the minimum wage, less than 18 percent of the average wage, and has not been raised in real terms for 23 years.
Even the Business Council of Australia has advocated to the government that the low rate of Newstart presents a barrier to employment and risks entrenching poverty.
Increasing Newstart would benefit local economies, by increasing the spending power of those on low incomes, whose extra funds would circulate through local businesses. It would also reduce the strain on Council community services assisting the growing number of people experiencing hardship.
Eleven local councils in South Australia and Victoria have added their voices to the chorus of business, union and welfare groups which have called for Newstart to be increased. The South Australian councils which have passed motions are Adelaide, Clare and Gilbert Valley, Copper Coast, Kangaroo Island, Mount Gambier, Onkaparinga, Playford, Port Adelaide Enfield, Salisbury, and Streaky Bay. In Victoria, the Moreland City Council has also passed a motion.
The inadequacy of the Newstart payment entrenches poverty and contributes to homelessness. With the growth of gentrification and development in Melbourne's inner west the Newstart payment is no longer providing the means for Maribyrnong's working-class and migrant population to live in the area.
The Maribyrnong City Council should support the motion to increase Newstart and protect the area's identity as being one of the most diverse and accessible places to live in Melbourne.