“Pensioners have one simple message to their federal politicians: raise the rate of Newstart, because it’s too low for everyone, including 185,000 Australians over-55, many of whom will never be able find work again”, said CPSA Policy Manager Paul Versteege.
“Despite the Government’s claim to the contrary, Newstart is overwhelmingly a long-term social security payment. Two-thirds of Newstart recipients are on the payment for longer than one year. Half are on it for longer than two years. One-fifth are on it for longer than five years. Only one-third of Newstart recipients are on the payment for less than one year.
“Newstart has become an underclass Age Pension.
“Older people, people with disability and single parents face challenges and discrimination in finding paid work and this is part of the reason why the average time spent on Newstart is three years.
“The reality for people on Newstart is that they are in living in deep financial crisis that severely restricts their chance of finding paid work”, said Versteege.