Canberra, Oct 15: More than 2.2 million Australians, or one in eight people, are living below the internationally accepted poverty line, a report said Sunday.
The Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) said people who are unemployed, children, and people who depend only on social security payments, are most at risk.
Despite 20 years of economic growth, poverty has increased in Australia. ACOSS provides the most comprehensive study of poverty in Australia since 2006, Xinhua reported.
“In a wealthy country like Australia, this is simply inexcusable,” said ACOSS chief Cassandra Goldie.
“The Newstart Allowance has not been increased in real terms since 1994 so households relying on it have been falling further behind community living standards and into poverty,” the report said.
“Two thirds of people on Newstart have been unemployed for more than a year and they clearly need more help than they are getting now from employment services,” she said.
She added that the government’s parenting payment cuts are disturbing, given the report shows almost 300,000 children living in poverty are with sole parents.