“CPSA supports the findings in the Australian Council of Social Services’ study revealing that Australia’s most vulnerable citizens are missing out on essential goods and services,” said Amelia Christie, CPSA Research and Policy Officer.
“If pension payments are often simply not enough to cover living and accommodation expenses, resulting in bad general health, housing stress, social exclusion and poor mental health outcomes, then allowances like Newstart are woefully inadequate.
“With more than two-thirds of Newstart recipients having been on the payment for more than a year it is becoming clear that it is no longer a payment just to assist people between jobs.
“Increasingly pensioners and Newstart recipients are struggling in the private housing market and paying, on average, well over 30 per cent of their income on rent.
“CPSA calls on the Australian Government to reform income support in such a way that people forced to rely on it as their sole or principal source of income are able to pay for adequate food, shelter, utilities and healthcare.
“This could be in the form of the establishment of an Australian Entitlements Commission to set benchmarks on pensions and allowances so that people do not fall below the poverty line. This should operate like the Remuneration Tribunal that sets pay rates for politicians”, said Ms Christie.
Media Contact: Amelia Christie, Research and Policy
Mobile: 0410 612 182
CPSA represents pensioners of all ages, superannuants and low-income retirees. CPSA has 137 Branches and Affiliated Organisations, with a combined membership of 30,000 people.