Most recent factsheets
ACOSS' briefing and analysis of the Federal Government's announcement on dental reform.
To mark Anti-Poverty Week,, ACOSS has updated its Poverty Report bringing together all the latest publically available measurements of inequality and poverty in Australa. ACOSS is using the update to call on the Commonwealth Government to commit to increase income support allowances like Newstart as recommended by the Henry Review, in order to tackle the growing gap between the haves and have-nots in Australia. ACOSS CEO, Dr Cassandra Goldie said, "The evidence is mounting of a growing divide with more people hitting hard times and falling into poverty.
"There is widespread consensus that the paltry payment levels for allowances such as Newstart, Parenting Payment Single, and Youth Allowance is one of the principle reasons for increasing hardship and poverty in our rich country. This was highlighted at the recent Tax Forum in Canberra where participants almost unanimously agreed that the Newstart Allowance of $35 a day is simply not enough to live on.
Indicators of Inequality provides Australian inequality statistics within five main areas: poverty, income support, cost of living, community services and health.
The Australian Government has introduced legislation into Parliament to establish a national compulsory income management scheme for certain groups of social security recipients. This will restrict their right to decide how they spend their social security payments.
The current family payments system is fairly well targeted to those most in need and relatively effective at addressing child poverty. The basic structure is well-designed to reduce child poverty without undermining work incentives. This is achieved by paying the same amount of Family Tax Benefit (Part A) to low income jobless and working families.
However, there are a number of problems which should be addressed through reform of the system to reduce child poverty, particularly for low income families with older children and sole parent families.
The national, state and territory Councils of Social Service have prepared this factsheet on the award modernisation process for our members in the social and community service sectors.
Key issues include: who will be affected by the modern award, within what timeframes, and how it sits with the pay equity test case announced recently. The fact sheet will be updated in light of industrial developments in the sector.
Analysis of proposed changes to FTB indexation
Proposed changes to the Family Tax Benefit made in the 2009 Budget will mean a loss of income over time for families who can least afford it and will almost inevitably lead to an increase in child poverty.
ACOSS is concerned that low income families who can least bear the cost will in this way be made to pay the price of the pension increase.
Could you raise two children alone on $550 a week?
Sole parent families and the pension increase.
The Government is planning to lift single age pensions in the May Budget by around $30 per week and it is very likely that disability and carer pensions will also receive this increase.
However, no similar commitment has been made to the 360,000 sole parents on Parenting Payment Single, which is also a pension payment. They would normally get any increase in the pension but ACOSS is concerned that the automatic link between this payment and other pensions (which has been in place for over 30 years) may be broken in this Budget.
ACOSS estimates that two million people live in poverty today - one in ten Australians. This factsheet includes statistics and information about poverty in Australia.
Arguments to support the current Welfare to Work Bill (2005) include the view that putting people onto lower payments with increased activity requirements will result in more people finding work. This factsheet looks at payment levels and unemployment levels in Australia and other countries.