From Phil Bradley's press release as a Parramatta Councilor on 23rd July 2019
The Parramatta Greens wholeheartedly support ACOSS in its call for an urgent $75/wk increase in Newstart from an abysmal $277/wk or $282/wk with the Energy Supplement. This is now nearly 40% below the poverty line. Along with an increase in related allowances, data analysis by Deloitte for the City of Parramatta LGA has estimated that these benefit increases would give a local spending boost of at least $23.5 million each year.
Parramatta Greens Councillor, Phil Bradley and benefit recipients visited Federal Member for Parramatta Julie Owens this week to urge her to publicly support ACOSS and many other public figures calling for a significant increase to Newstart and related benefits such as the even lower Youth Allowance, Austudy and Abstudy. Others supporting an increase include former PM John Howard and former Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce.
Anglicare Australia found that of the 69,000 rental properties surveyed, just two properties Australia-wide were affordable for a single person receiving Newstart. Also most receiving Newstart are older people who experience much greater difficulty in finding employment.
Councillor Bradley said, ‘’Newstart and related payments are obviously totally inadequate to ensure that people can put food on the table while they are without paid work. Newstart is too low to even enable the recipients to pay multiple transport and other costs related to job seeking. Even if they can go to a job interview, statistics suggest that there are about 16 job seekers for every job, so they usually face repeated rejection.
“In Parramatta LGA there are about 1,000 homeless people, 4,700 on Newstart and 5,500 unoccupied unaffordable dwellings.
“This problem must be fixed by the Morrison government - Raise the Rates!”