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3 million Australians now live in poverty

By Cameron Micallef · February 21 2020
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egg

Invest

3 million Australians now live in poverty

By Cameron Micallef
February 21 2020
Reading:
egg
3 million Australians now live in poverty

3 million Australians now live in poverty

author image
By Cameron Micallef · February 21 2020
Reading:
egg
3 million Australians now live in poverty

One in eight Australian adults and one in six children are living in poverty, according to latest figures.

Statistics released by the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) and UNSW showed 3.24 million people, or 13.6 per cent of the population, are estimated to be living below the poverty line.

ACOSS chief executive Dr Cassandra Goldie said low welfare rates, the cost of housing and less jobs are locking Australians into poverty.

“People living in poverty include young people working to get their foot in the door of the competitive job market, single parents juggling caring responsibilities, and older people confronting age discrimination,” Dr Goldie said.

The report found the poverty line is $457 per week for a single adult, with poverty line being measured as 50 per cent of median income. 

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The single rate of Youth Allowance (plus Rent Assistance and Energy Supplement) is $168 per week below the poverty line. 

ACOSS is calling for a $95 per week increase to Newstart and Youth Allowance; a $20 per week increase to Rent Assistance (as a first step) and for these payments to be regularly indexed to wages, as is the case for the age pension.

“The low rate of Newstart, a lack of jobs and unaffordable housing are locking people in poverty. Not only has poverty remained consistently high in our wealthy country, the depth of poverty is getting worse, with households in poverty on average living 42 per cent below the poverty line, up from 35 per cent in 2007,” Dr Goldie continued.

Comparison-wise, Australia is falling further behind other developed nations, ACOSS found. 

The report’s lead researcher, UNSW Sydney associate professor Dr Bruce Bradbury said, “The poverty rate in Australia is worse than in most other wealthy countries, including New Zealand, Germany and Ireland.

3 million Australians now live in poverty
3 million Australians now live in poverty
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About the author

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. 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 leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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About the author

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. 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 leverage 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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