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New modelling by the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM) at the University of Canberra has detailed the alarming impact in Friday’s Australian Financial Review.
SACOSS Executive Director, Ross Womersley said,
“The modelling from NATSEM reinforces what SACOSS has been saying since the federal budget was handed down - the cuts that are proposed are going to impact much more on people on low to middle incomes”
South Australia has a bigger proportion of low and middle income households in comparison to states like NSW, and accordingly it will be these households which will pay a bigger price.
Mr Womersley continued,
“The federal budget contained some welcome measures that rightly ask individuals and families across Australia who are financially sound to make an extra contribution”
“But NATSEM’s modelling shows that by 2017-2018 people on the lowest 20 percent of incomes in Australia will lose around $1056, while those in the top 20 percent will lose $682 per family.”
“Decreasing disposable incomes in SA means families will have less money to spend in the economy and therefore in building the jobs we know are so vital into the future.”
SACOSS agrees with the Prime Minister that reforms that build and create jobs are vital.
SACOSS also agrees there is a crisis around youth unemployment in particular and nowhere is this more evident than in some areas of South Australia where youth unemployment is known to be as high as forty five percent.
Commenting on budget changes to income support for unemployed young people, Mr Womersley said,
“We are, however, at a loss to understand what Prime Minister Abbott, Treasurer Hockey and members of the government think unemployed young people are going to do when they have no income for 6 months while they wait to get on Youth Allowance or Newstart.”
“We do not accept that these young people are unemployed because they won’t get out of bed to get to work; there simply aren't the jobs in the economy.”
“Our job as a community is to provide support for as long as they are unemployed to help them remain as optimistic and positive about staying on the road that leads to employment.”
Commentators from all sides of politics have joined with ACOSS and the members of the COSS network in calling for the Newstart Allowance to be increased from the unliveable $36 per day.
Of great concern now is that young people will be left with no income at all, inevitably leaving them hungry and homeless, disengaged, depressed and desperate.
SACOSS calls on the federal government to seriously reconsider its range of measures that will push people already having the hardest time across our country into an even harder time.