Street Walk

Newstart Not Enough

September 25, 2019

Australia should be acting to support disadvantaged communities before they reach crisis point. However, even in a wealthy country such as Australia, our families and children continue to face the same cycle of poverty that entraps generation after generation.

Recent statistics from Homelessness Australia have indicated that the support systems aimed to break this cycle of disadvantage are failing people in need and the problem is only getting worse.

In the last six years, the number of people on Newstart payments accessing homelessness services has risen by 75 per cent. [1]

The Newstart payments have not been increased since 1994, yet the levels of homelessness and the overall cost of living have increased dramatically. These financial support services cannot hope to be effective unless they adapt alongside the changing demand for them.

Homelessness services are now turning away hundreds of people every day partly due to the fact they can’t cope with the increased demand from Newstart recipients. [1]

There is also a large proportion of youth who, despite receiving these payments, are not coping and have reached crisis point at our Inner West Youth Homelessness Services. These systems aimed to prevent crisis have failed them and increased the overall demand for homelessness services.

At Youth Off The Streets we continue to advocate to break the cycle of disadvantage facing our vulnerable young people. However, without the necessary investment into support services we are leaving our young people to face the same poverty and life opportunities that their parents have faced.

[1] Council to homeless persons media release 29 August

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