Carers surviving on Newstart and other Allowances - a miracle?

Carers surviving on Newstart and other Allowances - a miracle?

Posted November 29, 2012

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Carers Australia said that today’s release of the Senate inquiry into the adequacy of Newstart and other allowances report backs up their call for an urgent and substantial increase in current income support payment rates for singles.

“The allowance rate of income support is of critical concern to a considerable group of carers, but we are not alone in calling for this increase.  We speak in partnership with welfare groups across the country who represent the diverse range of Australians reliant upon inadequate allowances,” said Ara Cresswell, CEO of Carers Australia.

While many carers receive a Carer Payment or other pension, many others are not eligible for this rate of assistance and must rely upon Newstart or other allowances for support while undertaking their caring responsibilities.

“Living on $35 a day is well-nigh impossible but when coupled with the increased costs associated with caring for another person, there are people out there whose survival is a miracle,” continued Ms Cresswell.

“Carers are not alone in facing considerable barriers in seeking to re-enter the workforce.  However, we welcome the recommendation that the government should develop targeted programs to help carers make the transition to paid employment at the end of the caring role, noting that this assistance should be available to all who face obstacles in accessing paid employment,” continued Ms Cresswell.

“We join Australians across the country today relieved that we finally have an acknowledgment of the inadequacy of Newstart and other allowances and seek an assurance that the poorest people in our country will be central in next year’s Budget,” Ms Cresswell said. 

The full report by the Senate Standing Committee on Education, Employment and Workplace Relations can be found here.

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