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Essentials of life - Newstart and DSP

What I don't have

The general rates of deprivation have remained fairly consistent over two of the ESIS survey periods 2013-2014, indicating entrenched disadvantaged for a core group within our communities (Chart 13). Further, there is a cohort with Australian society who appear to be experiencing greater deprivation due to severely restricted socioeconomic resources, notably those on Newstart Allowance and the Disability Support Pension (Chart 18a). 

Overall, the findings indicate that those in receipt of the Newstart Allowance are doing without more of the essential items than those in the general cohort or those on DSP (Chart 18a). Most notably, Newstart Allowance recipients are more likely to be doing without insurance coverage and health care, and have a poorer quality of life and living circumstances (Chart 18a).

"Life is getting harder and harder, when it comes to bills and food. As soon as you think you’re on top of things, something happens. Being on a pension it’s just too hard to save and afford the random expenses (prescriptions and surprises)." - Respondent comment

Chart 18 The essentials of life

What children are doing without

Similar to the adult cohort, the children of Newstart Allowance recipients were also missing out on more essential everyday items compared to children in other cohorts (Chart 18b). As discussed previously, a parent’s financial inability to provide these essential items for their children might impact the children’s schooling performance, social and recreational access and participation. Consequently, it might reduce the children’s social skills and their ability to secure future employment and lead a flourishing life. 

Chart 18b Essentials of life for children

Levels of multiple deprivation

Interestingly, the level of multiple deprivations (five to 20 deprivations) was slightly higher for those on DSP (79%) than those in receipt of the Newstart Allowance (75%) (Chart 19). This suggests that there was a subgroup of DSP recipients who might have limited access to these essential items simultaneously, perhaps due to a higher disability level, greater social and service exclusion, and inadequate financial supports to access necessary technology or services for improving their quality of life. However, further research is needed to confirm this hypothesis.

Chart  19 Levels of deprivation