The level of severity of deprivation is pronounced for single parents on Newstart Allowance and those on the Disability Support Pension, with 83% and 80% respectively recording doing without five or more of the essential items simultaneously, indicating severe levels of deprivation.
The level of multiple deprivations for children in general is of significant concern. While a quarter of children in the general cohort were not deprived of any of the basic essentials, 20 per cent were missing out on at least one item and 12 per cent were missing out on five or six items, indicating severe deprivation.
Additionally, the children of parents on the Newstart Allowance are not fairing as well, with only 19 per cent not missing out on any items. Sixty three per cent were missing out on between one and three of the essential items.
Although the rates are low, the number of children who are missing out on all the items considered essential to everyday life is of considerable concern.
The data provides evidence that single parent families are experiencing the highest levels of disadvantage and more likely to be in less secure housing and are making significant restrictions on basic living needs. For many this is in the context of current substandard and inadequate living conditions. The resultant flow on effects and the impact of this level of deprivation on the children within families is of significant concern to The Salvation Army.