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Communities to receive multi-million dollar boost if Newstart is increased

ACOSS has commissioned a Deloitte report that found the economy will increase and employment statistics will rise if Newstart payments are increased

Regional communities could receive a multi-million dollar boost if Newstart payments are boosted, according to a new report by Deloitte.

The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) commissioned a report by Deloitte Access Economics to model the economic impact of raising Newstart, Youth Allowance and other related payments by $75 per week.

ACOSS CEO, Dr Cassandra Goldie, said: “This report confirms what we knew. An increase to Newstart and Youth Allowance will benefit every single community in Australia, particularly regional communities doing it tough.

“Raising the rate of Newstart and related payments will help hundreds of thousands of people struggling to put a roof over their head and food on the table with an income of less than $40 per day.”

The report found that introducing the boost of funds would have a range of “prosperity effects” that will increase the size of the economy and employment statistics with 12,000 people expected to work in 2020-21. It would also increase “fairness effects”.

While every region in Australia currently benefits from the government increasing the payments, some regional communities could be at the biggest advantage.

“The message from the economists at Deloitte is clear: lifting Newstart and reducing poverty and inequality is resoundingly good for the economy,” Goldie said.

“The injection of millions of dollars into regional communities will create new jobs, lift wages and profits as well as increase the incomes of people in the lowest 5 per cent, reducing inequality.”

More than two thirds of people support an increase to Newstart. It currently has the support of leading charities and community organisations and 14 local councils that support the increase. The National Assembly of Local Government have also passed a motion of support.

“We call on federal politicians to do what is right for our communities and increase Newstart and Youth Allowance by $75 per week as a matter of urgency,” Goldie said.

“Not only is it the right thing to do as a matter of social justice, it will provide the necessary economic boost regional economies so desperately need.”

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