We, residents of the city of Melbourne, petition Greater Dandenong City Council to note that the low rate of the Newstart Allowance is exacerbating poverty and homelessness and publically advocate in writing to the relevant federal ministers that Newstart be increased to the level of the Henderson Poverty Line.
Why is this important?
Newstart is $269 per week, which is $177 per week below the poverty line. It is less than 41% of the minimum wage and has not been increased in real terms in 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.
Australian Unemployed Workers Union
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