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What’s it like living on Newstart?

By Cameron Micallef · November 29 2019
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egg

Earn

What’s it like living on Newstart?

By Cameron Micallef
November 29 2019
Reading:
egg
Living on Newstart

What’s it like living on Newstart?

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By Cameron Micallef · November 29 2019
Reading:
egg
Living on Newstart

Skipping meals, living in cars and a lack of access to essential medical services are all common experiences for youth on Newstart, new research has revealed.

According to the latest Australian Council of Social Service survey, after paying their rent, 60 per cent of respondents have less than $14 a day.

Newstart provides recipients with $280 a week, while Youth Allowance for single without children is $225.10 a week.

Co-founder of Young Org Cat Nadel believes living a normal healthy life is impossible on these lower wages.

“Newstart and Youth Allowance is supposed to be a safety net that allows us to focus on our studies or on finding paid work. Instead, it is holding us in poverty,” she explained.

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The report found that, to get by, over half of respondents couch-surf or use other unstable forms of accommodation.

More than nine in 10 have reported skipping meals as a way to save money, while one in three has withdrawn from studies due to a lack of funds.

In addition, 73 per cent  of participants said they struggled accessing essential services, such as filling prescriptions, or seeing much-needed specialists. Meanwhile, 74 per cent  of participants said it had been over a year since they saw a dentist.

“We are hearing stories of young people skipping their antidepressants and birth control because they can’t afford it on Youth Allowance,” Ms Nadel said.

One respondent, a 19-year-old on Youth Allowance, said: “I am currently on a waiting list to have all four of my wisdom teeth removed via surgery as they were causing an immense amount of pain. The medication prescribed for this was very expensive, but the surgery itself exceeded $4,000. Which I couldn’t pay, so I now have to wait a minimum of 1.5 years.”

What’s it like living on Newstart?
Living on Newstart
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About the author

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leveraging their insights to grow your portfolio.

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About the author

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leveraging their insights to grow your portfolio.

Join The Nest Egg community

We Translate Complicated Financial Jargon Into Easy-To-Understand Information For Australians

Your email address will be shared with nestegg and subject to our Privacy Policy

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