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Comparisons to the general cohort

Housing status

Compared to the general cohort, similar proportion of people on Newstart Allowance were in private rental (44%) compared to the general survey population (42%). However, a significantly higher proportion of Newstart recipients were homeless or in unstable accommodation (26%) compare to the general survey population (14%). Over a third of people on DSP (37%) were in public housing compared to almost a quarter of the general cohort and 18 per cent of Newstart Allowance recipients (Chart 16, page 20). 

Chart 16 housing status

"I am renting, because it is so long to get into public housing. It is financially draining and I am finding it very difficult to keep putting food on the table." - Respondent comment

"Being on Newstart is a large disadvantage. Food is a major issue. There is just not enough funds to stretch out." - Respondent comment

Financial stress behaviours

In terms of the impact of financial and cost of living pressures, respondents in receipt of the Newstart Allowance are generally feeling the brunt of limited economic resources more than the general cohort or those on DSP as evidence in Chart 17 (page 21). Over 50 per cent of individuals in receipt of the Newstart Allowance were doing without meals (56%), and 63 per cent have had to cut down on basic necessities. Fifty-four per cent have asked family and/or friends for financial assistance or have sought assistance from community based services (61%). These numbers are higher than those of general survey cohort or DSP recipients (Chart 17).

As a significant proportion of Newstart allowance were in private rental (44%, Chart 16), it is not surprising that a higher proportion of this cohort have had to delay rent payment (34%) due to lower income support payment compared to 28 per cent of the general cohort (Chart 17).

Chart 17 Financial stress behaviours

 

"It’s been the toughest time in my life. I haven’t had anything left to sell. I just want to eat and be normal which isn’t happening lately. I am very depressed." - Respondent comment

"Just that there simply isn’t enough income from DSP to support a family. The cost of living is rising much faster than our Centrelink payments and no longer covering our basic needs." - Respondent comment

"It was alright to go without food when I was not working, but I don’t think it’s right that I am working (casual) but still going without food and clothing. I’ve not really got anything else to say – it’s too sad." - Respondent comment