We call on the next Federal Government to raise the rate of Newstart by $75 a week to ensure recipients can focus on looking for work rather than dealing with financial crisis.
About 21,000 Tasmanians receive Newstart Allowance. At $15,000 a year it is an income that plunges people into poverty and keeps them there. Newstart needs to provide an adequate income to support people as they battle an employment system and a job market that often works against them. 65% of people in the jobactive system are on the payment for 12 months or more, and one in five for five or more years.
Older Tasmanians, people with disability and people in living in the regional areas, can find it particularly hard to get work because of lack of suitable, or any, jobs.
Newstart should be enough to cover the basics so that people can focus on getting a job. Similarly, the Youth Allowance payment for young people looking for work, studying or both, needs to be enough for young people to study and find employment without worrying about where their next meal will come from or how they will pay for rent.
Raising the rate will get Newstart and Youth Allowance working. It will deliver the support people need to get through tough times and into suitable employment.