Increase Newstart to above the poverty line

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On 26 September 2018, Scott Morrison made the grossly inhumane decision not to increase the Newstart allowance saying the budget is still in deficit. Yet the LNP have millions to donate to their preferred funds or to overseas countries, while leaving Australians to suffer.

In a recent Parliamentary speech with the Hon Paul Fletcher dated 6 September 2018, The Hon Sarah Henderson declared:

“People with a disability will now have a greater opportunity to be part of the debate, conversation and policy-making for a more inclusive Australia.”

However, those persons whose medical conditions are not yet ‘fully diagnosed, treated and stable’ are excluded from the Disability Support Pension, and left to languish on Newstart. 

The right to an adequate standard of living is contained in article 11(1) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), on the Attorney-General’s webpage. According to DFAT, this treaty was ratified on 10 December 1975, and made entry into force in Australia on 10 March 1976.

Moreover, even under the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS), which is designed for low to middle-income earners; one cannot afford one of these rental houses on Newstart.

The NRAS Federal funding is reportedly due to end this year, placing thousands of vulnerable people at risk of homelessness.


Newstart has not been increased incrementally to adjust to the rising cost of living in a quarter of a century. 

This is inhumane, and in gross violation of the ICESCR Treaty.

Newstart is only around 35% of the average weekly wage, and keeps those on it in a perpetual state of poverty. How can one thrive when they are struggling to merely survive?!

Citizens are unable to contribute to society if they are kept in poverty.

According to the Disability Discrimination Act 1992; Section 24 Goods, services and facilities:

“Section 24 covers the provision of goods, services and facilities and states that it is unlawful to refuse to provide goods, services or facilities to a person because of their disability or to impose discriminatory terms or conditions on the delivery of those goods, services or facilities.

Where housing is being provided as a publicly funded or not-for-profit service, a failure to provide equitable access for people with disabilities to those services or facilities could also be subject to a complaint of discrimination.”