TONIGHT: Antipoverty Centre to launch housing payment proposal at election briefing event
Social security system needs major overhaul to support people into work and out of unsafe homes.
The Antipoverty Centre invites people living in poverty, our allies, election candidates and media to join us for an overview of our policy priorities for politicians and post-election plans.
We will launch a new proposal to transform Commonwealth Rent Assistance to meaningfully address housing cost pressures facing people on the lowest incomes, make it easier for people to escape unsafe living situations and provide better support for people to move to an area with better job opportunities. We will also invite people who rely on a welfare payment to survive and those on low incomes to reflect on how our proposals would affect them and their opportunities.
The program for the evening and background statistics on social security and poverty are included below. More information about previously announced proposals is available here.
Election candidates and media who are unable to attend can contact email@example.com with enquiries or to arrange a briefing.
The event will be presented by JobSeeker recipient Jay Coonan and DSP recipient Kristin O’Connell.
When: 7:30pm AEST
Where: online (link to be provided after registration)
Register here: https://election22btpm.eventbrite.com.au
Introduction to the Antipoverty Centre and highlights from our first year
Overview of proposals for a truly safe safety net including income control programs, changes to Centrelink processes and debt collection practices, how much people on payments can earn and others
Major policy: a new measure of poverty fit-for-purpose in the 21st century
Major policy: overhauling rent assistance to provide meaningful support with the cost of housing
Major policy: a plan to transition away from Work for the Dole and abolish coercive labour programs
How we win: what to do before and after the election to get make the changes we need
Background and key statistics
Click here to download a more in-depth background document containing additional statistics and links to all sources for data included in this section.
Only 39% of people on the JobSeeker payment are accessing rent assistance. The maximum assistance available is $48 per week for someone living in a share house or $73 for someone living alone.
We have compared DSS data to show that the number of people who rely on JobSeeker (formerly Newstart) has increased by 41% to 786,139 people (83.84% of all people on JobSeeker) compared to 557,395 before the pandemic.
Antipoverty Centre analysis of ABS and Department of Social Services data shows that while the unemployment rate has not been this low since before the global financial crisis in 2008 when it was also 4%, the proportion of working age people who rely on an unemployment payment has nearly doubled – from 3.3% in mid-2008 compared to about 5.9% today.
A November 2021 Ipsos poll found 65–74% support for JobSeeker payments to be above the poverty line in Liberal-held marginal electorates. The electorates polled were Boothby, Swan, Longman, Blair and Dobell. Between 49% and 60% of voters in the five seats said they would consider changing their vote to a party that would lift the rate above $69 a day – an increase of 50% on the current rate.
About the Antipoverty Centre
The Antipoverty Centre was established in May 2021 by people living on Centrelink payments to counter problems with academics, think tanks and others in the political class making harmful decisions on behalf of people they purport to represent.
We have deep expertise in poverty, disadvantage and unemployment, because we live it. Our goal is to help ensure the voices and rights of people living in poverty are at the centre of social policy development and discourse. We believe there should be no decision made about us without us.
The Antipoverty Centre is not aligned with any political party and does not accept funding that places political constraints on our work.