The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) released a new report on 16 October 2016 showing that 731,300 children or 17.4% of all children in Australia are living in poverty, an increase of 2 percentage points over the past 10 years (from 2004-2014).
In a media release, the report finds that nearly three million people were living in poverty in Australia in 2014, or 13.3% of the general population.
“The overall picture from the last decade is one of persistent and entrenched poverty across the community with an increase in child poverty. It is a national shame that after 25 years of economic growth, we have not done better at changing this trajectory and ensuring our most precious national resource, our children, are given the best possible start in life,” said ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie.
“Our report shows those doing it the toughest are overwhelmingly people living on the $38 a day Newstart payment, 55% of whom are in poverty. This is followed by families on Parenting Payment (51.5%), the majority of whom are lone parents with children.
“This report is a further wake up call to the Government to address the inadequacy of the lowest income support payments and bolster support to low income families through the family payments system. It is also a reminder that housing remains the biggest cost of living issue for households and must be addressed as a policy priority."
(Image from the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council)