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ACOSS Calls for Anti-Poverty Plan


Thursday, 28th October 2010 at 9:24 am
Lina Caneva, Editor
ACOSS calls for a National Anti-Poverty Plan as the Not for Profit sector reflects on the outcomes of Anti-Poverty Week.

Thursday, 28th October 2010
at 9:24 am
Lina Caneva, Editor


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ACOSS Calls for Anti-Poverty Plan
Thursday, 28th October 2010 at 9:24 am

The national peak body for the welfare sector, ACOSS has called for a National Anti-Poverty Plan, as the Not for Profit sector reflects on the outcomes of Anti-Poverty Week.

The Australian Council of Social Service, ACOSS released a report at the end of Poverty Week showing that despite the current economic conditions, poverty remains a real and widespread problem with one in ten people continuing to struggle with the daily realities of poverty.

The Report, Poverty and Its Causes, calls for a National Anti-Poverty Plan to take coordinated action across all levels of government to
meet targets which reduce poverty and alleviate the causes of poverty.

The report also recommends:
  • an increase in the rates of the lowest social security payments (mainly those for unemployed people, students and lone parents) with new supplements for costs of disability and caring for children alone;
  • additional employment assistance for long-term unemployed people to help them become ready for work;
  • an adequate minimum wage to reduce poverty among working households;
  • increased access to affordable housing including by an expansion of investment in social housing, improvements in private Rent Assistance, and expansion of the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS);
  • improved affordability of essential health and community services such as dental care, child care, and respite care.

ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie says the report found that the relatively low levels of pensions and benefits was one of the major causes of poverty.
 
Dr Goldie says Australia spends only 3.2% of GDP on income support, which is less than half the OECD average of 6.5%. Yet for 73% of households with the lowest incomes, these government pensions and allowances are their main source of income.

The Report also provides a fact sheet with the most up-to-date statistics on poverty in Australia, including the on-going effects of the Global Financial Crisis. The five causes of poverty include inequalities in work and income, education, housing, health and services. 

The report can be downloaded at http://acoss.org.au/images/uploads/ACOSS_poverty_report_October_2010.pdf


Lina Caneva  |  Editor |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years, and Editor of Pro Bono Australia News since it was founded in 2000.

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