The launch of the petition comes a week before submissions to the parliamentary inquiry into the adequacy of Newstart close on Monday.
And last week, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released its labour force figures which showed unemployment rising to a 16 month high, at 716,800, and underemployment rising to a record high of 1,167,300.
Almost one in five Newstart recipients – or over 130,000 – have a job, but don’t receive enough hours or earn enough income to come off the payment.
And the largest cohort of Newstart recipients – those aged 55 and over – has increased by a staggering 45 per cent over the past five years under the Liberals.
Newstart is so low that it stopping people from re-entering the workforce. They are unable to afford the basics and essentials, let alone items necessary to attend job interviews such as new clothes, transport or internet bills.
This week, the Governor of the Reserve Bank warned of further rate cuts. Under Scott Morrison the economy is weak and getting weaker.
An increase to Newstart would be an important boost to the economy, and regions that need it the most. It would also help to lift people out of poverty.
It is clear to everyone except Scott Morrison, Michael McCormack and Josh Frydenberg, that Newstart is inadequate and needs to increase:
- Former Liberal Prime Minister John Howard
- Former Nationals Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce
- Deputy Nationals Leader Senator Matt Canavan
- Liberal Senator Dean Smith
- Liberal MP Russel Broadbent
- Liberal National MP Andrew Wallace
- Former Liberal Senator Arthur Sinodinos
- Former Liberal MP Fiona Scott
- The Business Council of Australia
- Deloitte Access Economics
- KPMG Chief Economist Brendan Rynne
- The Australian Council of Social Services
- Council of the Ageing
- National Seniors Australia
- St Vincent De Paul
- Catholic Social Services Australia
- Brotherhood of St Laurence
- University of NSW Social Policy Research Centre
And you can add your voice by signing the petition here.