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Senate Committee The First Step To A Fairer Future

25 July 2019

The Salvation Army welcomes news that the Senate Community Affairs References Committee will conduct an inquiry into the impact of the level of the Newstart Allowance and related payments.

The inquiry will look at a number of issues concerning Newstart, including the adequacy of Newstart, the economic benefits of increasing Newstart and the structural causes of long-term unemployment in Australia. The Committee is due to report by 27 March 2020.

Secretary of Mission, Lieutenant-Colonel Lyn Edge, said, “We have known for some time that Newstart is too low.”

“The Salvation Army’s 2018 Economic and Social Impact Survey, a survey of people who call on The Salvation Army’s support, found that the average Newstart recipient is living on just $17 a day after housing expenses,” Lt-Col Edge said.

“The inadequacy of Newstart is a major and enduring contributor to social disadvantage.

“We need a solution that enables people looking for work to live with dignity. There are underlying structural issues with Newstart and other allowances that must be addressed, and we welcome this commitment to a thorough review.”

The Salvation Army’s Head of Government Relations, Major Brad Halse, said “The Salvation Army strongly supported an increase to the Newstart Allowance prior to the 2019 federal election.”

“We know that an increase to Newstart will not only help recipients – it will also provide a boost for the Australian economy,” Major Halse said

“We welcome the Senate’s decision to refer this important matter to the Economics References Committee and we call on the Government to support and engage with this review. We look forward to working with all interested parties.”

For further information, please contact The Salvation Army Media Office on (02) 9466 3143 or 0417 291398

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