Council to back call for Newstart increase
Bass Coast Shire Council will advocate to the Federal Government to increase Newstart Allowance payments.
This decision was made at the March Council Meeting, after a petition was tabled in February asking for Council’s support.
Council will now write to the major parties in the lead up to this year’s Federal Election, outlining its support for an increase to the Allowance to a level that will lift those dependent on it out of poverty.
The petition stated that the current allowance was insufficient as an income support payment to people who are unemployed. Currently, a single person with no children receives about $160 per week below the poverty line (50 per cent of median income) and $178 per week less than pension.
Bass Coast Shire Cr Geoff Ellis said according to the Victorian Council of Social Services, 17 per cent or 2,700 people in Bass Coast are living in poverty.
“Low income has been recognised as one of the key drivers of homelessness,” Cr Ellis said.
“Addressing the root causes of homelessness, including poverty is consistent with Council’s advocacy for improved funding and support services towards homelessness and emergency housing.
“Bass Coast is experiencing an increase in the amount of people facing homelessness or being at risk of homelessness.
“With the costs of living increasing and housing affordability also challenging many people, an increase in the Newstart allowance could go a long way,” Cr Ellis concluded.