Action and Advocacy

A report launched by The Australian Council of Social Services and UNSW titled ‘2020 Poverty in Australia Overview’ reveals that the current rate of Newstart is forcing many older Australians to live below the poverty line.

COTA Australia Chief Executive, Ian Yates, said the findings in the report was yet more evidence of the need to increase Newstart, with More than half of the 680,000 Australians receiving Newstart are older than 45, with one in four older than 55.

“As a result, older Australians on Newstart are living off a weekly allowance that’s more than $100 a week below the poverty line… with years to go until they qualify for the age pension.” Mr Yates said.

The report also highlights that the current age pension is set just below the poverty line. The aged pension itself has long been premised on home-ownership, which is a declining reality for an increasing number of older Western Australians.