ACT Council of Social Service Inc.

Justice | Equity | Social Inclusion | Reconciliation

Media release: ACT would get $30 million boost from Newstart rise

17 September 2018


The ACT is set for a $30.51 million boost and would be in the top 20 local areas in Australia to benefit if the Federal Government raised Newstart, Youth Allowance and related payments by $75 per week according to economic analysis released today.

Modelling released by Deloitte Access Economics and commissioned by ACOSS shows that the ACT would benefit from an increase in total disposable income of $30.51 million. The report also shows that raising these payments for people looking for paid work or studying would deliver 12,000 new jobs across the country.

ACTCOSS Director, Ms Susan Helyar said, “People looking for paid work in Canberra are struggling to afford essentials like a roof over their head and three meals a day. Newstart Allowance is less than $40 per day and has not increased in real terms since 1994.

“The report shows both a social and prosperity dividend for Canberra. In the ACT we would see consumption grow by $42.81 million, and economic output increase by $18.67 million. This means higher takings in local cash registers, strengthening local wages and jobs. Everyone will benefit.

“A recent Essential Poll showed that more than two thirds of Australians support an increase to Newstart, as do leading charities, community organisations plus the Business Council of Australia, the Australia Council of Trade Unions, Committee for Economic Development of Australia, Deloitte Access Economics, KPMG, Australian Industry Group, and prominent Australians such as Ken Henry, John Howard, Benjamin Law, Jane Caro all back an increase, as do the Greens, Senators Tim Storer and Derryn Hinch.

“In the ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr MLA has become the first Chief Minister or Premier to speak in support of raising the rate, joined by Deputy Chief Minister Yvette Berry MLA and Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith MLA. There are now 14 Local Councils supporting an increase to Newstart, and the National Assembly of Local Government also passed a motion of support.

“We call on all Federal Politicians to join a growing chorus of fair minded Australians and do the right thing by increasing Newstart and other working age Allowances by $75 per week. It’s a huge opportunity to address inequality and make the right decision for thousands of Australians living in poverty while giving our economy a good shot in the arm. We encourage all Canberrans to get behind the ACOSS Raise the Rate campaign,” Ms Helyar concluded.

The report can be read at:

For more information or comment please contact
Susan Helyar, Director, on 0448 791 987 or 02 6202 7200.