yourtown strongly welcomes the Senate's inquiry into 'the adequacy of Newstart and related payments and alternative mechanisms to determine the level of income support payments in Australia'.
As a provider of a range of services to disadvantaged children, young people and families, we understand the transformational power of employment on young people's lives and, conversely, the long-lasting, detrimental effects that unemployment, underemployment, and particularly long-term unemployment, has on a wide range of life outcomes.
We strongly believe, therefore, that supporting people who can work into employment should be a key policy focus of all governments. At the same time, we see that care has to be taken to ensure that policies relating to income support empower people to find work rather than trap them through creating dependence.
In our experience, the current levels of income payments are so low that rather than providing a safety net which enables those in receipt to support themselves, their family and find work, they are contributing to the often many complex challenges welfare recipients face and are increasing their vulnerability.