The 2018 Economic and Social Impact Survey (ESIS), a survey of 1,267 people who call on Salvation Army services, has found the average Newstart recipient is living on just $17.00 a day after accommodation expenses*.
The survey, released to coincide with the Salvos Red Shield Appeal, included stories of people fighting to survive on a Newstart allowance, which has failed to rise with inflation for 24 years.
The Salvation Army’s Major Paul Moulds says the research confirms the Federal budget failed Australians doing it tough.
“It is simply inhumane that corporations and wealthy households are handed a tax cut, while the most disadvantaged and marginalised people in this country continue to be ignored,” Major Moulds said.
“It is widely acknowledged it will take a minimum increase of $75 a week just to ensure people can live on the poverty line – let alone above it.”
The survey also revealed:
- 81% of respondents who are privately renting or paying a mortgage are living under extreme housing stress, paying more than half of their income towards housing. Households with children are worse off with more than 90% under extreme housing stress.
- More than two out of five households with children are experiencing food insecurity, and are unable to afford either three meals a day, fresh fruit/vegetables every day, or at least one meal a day with meat, chicken or vegetables equivalent.
- 49% of respondents moved house in the past 12 months, with 25% moving due to family violence and 18% moving due to community safety reasons.
- More than half of respondents say their financial situation has become worse over the past 12 months.
- 28% of job seekers say the high cost of transport and/or lack of availability is one of the main barriers for finding employment.