Anti Poverty Week
When Ashlie lost her full-time job in her late 50s, she quickly found that the low rate of income support did not allow her to live decently.
“ I had to go without at least seven meals in order to afford a haircut. Seeing a medical specialist was now out of the question, let alone a dentist. I had a couple of friends who provided me with some food so I could pay my rent.”
In April 2020, Ashlie was unable to afford a private rental, and she became homeless. Since then, Ashlie has transitioned between emergency accommodation and staying with friends for short periods of time.
Ashlie’s story is familiar to so many people struggling to get by on income support. The punitively low rate of income support, along with skyrocketing rental costs, and a shortage of social and affordable housing, is creating financial distress and forcing people into homelessness.
As one of the wealthiest countries in the world, it’s just not right that 1 in 6 of our children grow up in poverty, diminishing their lives now and in the future. If we’re going to ensure that people experiencing poverty and unemployment have the confidence to rebuild their lives, begin new careers and retrain and look for paid work, we need to improve the social safety net.
That’s why, in the lead up to Anti-Poverty Week which starts on 17 October, Everybody’s Home, Raise the Rate for Good, and Anti-Poverty Week are calling on the Federal Government to increase Jobseeker and other income support payments and invest in social housing so that everyone can cover the basics and keep a safe roof over their head.
Everyone should have a safe home, and enough to cover the basics. But right now, people struggling to get by on the $44 a day Jobseeker rate are being forced to make heartbreaking decisions between paying their rent, putting food on the table, and paying their bills.
And with the cost of housing soaring, and the demand for social and affordable rental properties outstripping supply, it’s never been harder for those on the lowest incomes to keep a safe roof over their head.
That’s why we’re calling on you to immediately increase JobSeeker and related income support to at least $67 per day, increase Commonwealth Rent Assistance by 50%, and make an urgent investment in social housing.
By signing this petition you agree to allow your data to be shared with the Australian Council of Social Service including for the Raise the Rate for Good campaign.