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Poverty in Australia 2020

The latest Poverty in Australia 2020 report has just been released and paints a grim picture of persistent and deepening poverty in Australia.

The report by The Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) and the UNSW Sydney used data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showing that despite Australia’s relatively high national wealth, poverty has remained at the same level for the past decade. It shows that 3.24 million people are estimated to be living below the poverty line which is $457 per week. For a couple with two children it is $960 per week. Child poverty has consistently risen with nearly 18% of Australian children in poverty.

Executive Manager of Member & Volunteer Services Andrew York says that here in Western Australia the demand on Vinnies services continues to grow with people experiencing poverty and hardship.

“Poverty in Western Australia is of great concern to the St Vincent de Paul Society as we witness people every day who are not able to make ends meet. In 2018/2020 it is estimated the Society will provide services to 65,000 people. It is unacceptable that poverty rates have remained at this level for the past decade.”

Lack of job growth, unaffordable housing and income support payments such as Newstart contributes to increased poverty with Vinnies National Council CEO Toby oConnor saying that people have little chance without more government intervention.

“The next generation is set up for failure because of increased housing costs and failed policy around social housing, stagnant rates of income support and slow wage growth,” he said. “The Government can reduce poverty by boosting jobs growth, increasing Newstart and Rent Assistance and investing in social housing.”

You can read the full report here