It’s Time! Raise Newstart!

The movement to raise Newstart payments is taking off. Here are four actions you can take.

1. Sign the petition (click here to sign)

Ask Bill Shorten to commit to increasing Newstart to the poverty line.

Anyone with a sense of justice and humanity realises It’s Time to raise Newstart payments. Except Bill Shorten. He wants a “root and branch review of Newstart.” We don’t need a review to be sure living 30% below the poverty line is stressful, isolating, and a daily grind.

Let Shorten know what it’s like to survive on a Newstart payment of $40 per day. Assure him he doesn’t need a review, he simply needs to commit to raising the rate.

More than 3,000 people have already signed. We need thousands more. Add your signature too.

2. Lobby your Local Council

Sign up to our National Newstart Action Group to help us lobby the ALP, trade unions, and city councils over the coming months. We will help you with this process. Read about how AUWU members and allies are already successfully lobbying their local councils.

3. Sing along to the Newstart Choir video clip, and share it far and wide

Based in South Australia, unemployed people, pensioners, single parents, and workers who all support a raise to Newstart, formed the Newstart Choir. They offer a rousing reworked rendition of the iconic “It’s Time” jingle, used by the Labor Party and Gough Whitlam in the 1972 federal election. Brilliant work by our friends at Anti-Poverty Network SA, and everyone else involved!

It’s time for changing, not deck-chair rearranging,
Time for poor folk, not rich folk
It’s time for us folk, yes it’s time
It’s time for Newstart, to give a real start,
One hundred more a week start, yes it’s time.

Friday, 14th December, 2018: Radio Adelaide

Claudia Lenco, the Anti-Poverty Network State Coordinator, joins Zoe Kounadis and Tom Mann to discuss the need to raise Newstart, ahead of the Labor Party Conference in Adelaide.

4. Contact the offices of Bill Shorten and Jenny Macklin

Ask them why the ALP has not yet committed to increasing Newstart to the poverty line (contact details below). Maybe Jenny would like to add this act of basic fairness to her legacy before she exits party politics. Jenny, time is ticking!

The Rate of Newstart is a National Disgrace.

Australia’s unemployment benefit – known as the Newstart Allowance – is $355 per fortnight below the poverty line according to the Melbourne Institute, making Australia’s unemployment benefit one of the lowest in the developed world.

This is a national disgrace.

Newstart rate to 2014

It has been more than two decades since the Newstart Allowance was increased in real terms. The wait has to end — It’s Time!

Hundreds of thousands of unemployed Australians are suffering as a result of the low rate of Newstart.

An Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) report shows 40% of those on Newstart can’t afford to pay bills on time and 36% spend more money than they receive every week. 55% on Newstart live below the poverty line.

Nearly half can’t afford to go out once a fortnight, have friends over just once a month, can’t afford hobbies and, can’t afford to buy new clothes. If this were not challenge enough, 25% of those on Newstart have to manage a significant disability.

In some cases, as shown in a recent ABC investigation, the low rate of Newstart forces people into homelessness.

The government suggests this low rate of Newstart is necessary to push people into work. This is a lie.

According to the government’s own numbers (from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Department of Jobs and Small Business), Australia has record high ratios of job seekers to job vacancies (around 16:1).

Exactly how are the unemployed meant to find work in this situation?

As a result of the complete lack of jobs, 7 out of 10 people receiving Newstart have been unemployed for more than a year, up from 6 out of 10 three years ago.

Why Isn’t the Government listening when so many are calling for a raise?

  • Friday November 16, 2018: ACOSS can confirm that all of the crossbenchers of the Lower House of federal Parliament and key Senate crossbenchers now support an increase to Newstart.
    “When Adam Bandt, Cathy McGowan, Kerryn Phelps, Andrew Wilkie, Rebekha Sharkie, and Bob Katter all agree, it’s time to stop talking and act,” said ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie.
  • More than two thirds of ordinary Australians support an increase to the Newstart allowance, (once they understand how low it is)
  • The Business Council of Australia (BCA) called for “increasing the inadequate Newstart allowance”
  • Multinational accounting company, KPMG described Newstart as “inadequate” and called for it to be raised by $50 a week
  • The Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) wants Newstart lifted by $75 per week, as do:
    • ACT Council of Social Service
    • Northern Territory Council of Social Service
    • NSW Council of Social Service
    • Queensland Council of Social Service
    • South Australian Council of Social Service
    • Tasmanian Council of Social Service
    • Victorian Council of Social Service
    • WA Council of Social Service
  • Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox said the rate is too low
  • Former opposition leader, John Hewson AM calls for an increase “to at least an accepted poverty line”
  • Former PM John Howard says, “the [rate] freeze has probably gone on too long”
  • The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) supports an increase in Newstart
  • The Council of Small Business (COSBOA) has called for an increase
  • Deloitte Access Economics senior partner Chris Richardson calls for fixing the “unnecessarily cruel” Newstart rate with an increase of $50 a week
  • A.C.T. Chief Minister Andrew Barr broke ranks with federal Labor to urge an immediate increase
  • The Greens are pushing for an increase of $75 a week
  • Former Treasury Secretary, Dr Ken Henry, ­questions the adequacy of the unemployment benefit
    In 2009, the Henry review of taxation recommended the benefit be increased by about $50 per week. Bill Shorten’s “root and branch” comment suggests he is hearkening back to this review. The message is unclear. Is he signalling a more comprehensive review of all social security payments, or is he signalling the need to find ways to pay for it? C’mon Bill, all you have to do is decree that it be so, and we promise the sky wont fall in. Perhaps he wants this review to run its course.
  • South Australian independent senator Tim Storer backs a raise by $75
  • National Council of Single Mothers and their Children

The Australian Unemployment Union demands that the Federal Government:

(1) Increase the Newstart Allowance and related payments to the Henderson poverty line (50% of median income).

(2) Change the current indexation arrangements of all working age payments (Newstart Allowance, Youth Allowance, and Parenting Payment) to be in line with average male wage growth.

Beginning with the election of the Fraser Government in 1975, successive federal governments have chosen to increase Newstart in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI), rather than average wage growth. This has led to the current low rate of the Newstart Allowance at $259.40 per fortnight. As one wag put it, “If you want to destroy a social security benefit, index it to the CPI!”


  1. Stop treating people who are unemployed as some form of cancer on society, in my case I have 5 chronic illnesses, refused DSP twice due to the new changes. Yet my health is deteriorating and Aboriginal, they talk about closing the gap for Indigenous people, but the gap is widening with social welfare crackdowns and it is difficult to live modestly on New Start.
    I also potentially could be homeless in the near future due to my personal circumstances.

    1. I agree, I am the same, deteriorating health as a result of long-term unemployment and long-term injuries that cannot be fixed or reversed. I also fear long-term homelessness, or ongoing permanent poverty. So much for the temporary leg-up the government thinks it’s giving us, this shouldn’t be our burden to accept this as the only option in a country that claims it is of the first world. Trying to stay positive whilst wondering if I will ever reach age 50 is a hard uphill battle. Selfishness and privatisation are further widening the gap. I take solace that I’m not the only one who keeps fighting.

  2. The longer someone is unemployed, the less likely they are to find work. The psychological damage that living so far under the poverty line causes to these persons can make it significantly more difficult to find work.

  3. I have now been looking for work for nearly twelve months, in that time I have had two interviews and plently of letters telling myself what great experience I have but we have someone who is more aligned with are job specs. I am registerd with Newstart and have a job agency were I go to to complete your job plan. This is just dishearting. I have had up to five different case mangers and the last two vists I have seen no one. I have been around and I am older there is a real basis towards older workers in this country. THEY DONT WANT US. So if you are fifty and older go open a business you wont get past the blockers, who are the blockers? HR. They think they know everthing they dont, when an HR dept gets structed into a business thats the begining of the end for that business, I have experienced this on three occasions. Losing good experienced people who dont fit the crita. you know the drill you have to re-apply for your role. Until the culture in the Goverment changes and they see all voters as an asset and not a lilabilty currentlly we dont have to many people fiting in our corner, nothing else will change espically in HR.

  4. It has been six month tomorrow for me. I have always worked, alas, it has been on the lower end of the scale. Right now I have that many bills it is t funny. Most of my accounts have been sent to debt collectors and everything just keeps going up in price. I am borderline about to have my electricity cut off, water cut off. I cannot pay my council rates and my mobile phone and internet are about to be cut off as well (which I need to look for work). All these companies are trying to force me onto payment plans that would wipe out my Newstart payment and that is before buying food, putting fuel in my car and paying my car insurance. The more job rejections I get, the further I slip into depression . I am just a useless piece of shit.

    1. My god the despair you mist be under. I am in the same situation. It defies belief dosnt it. Will it change to help us in time I dont think so? My boys & I are headed for certain homelessness. How sad

  5. I’ve been unemployed for two years. After the first year I’d used up the credit on my cards and now can no longer pay even the interest and have debt collectors chasing me. I’ve been driving an unregistered, uninsured car for the past year. I have no credit on my mobile phone – people can ring me but I can’t return calls Sometimes I don’t go out for days because I have to conserve my petrol in case I have to go to a job interview. The dole needs to be raised by at least another $200 per fortnight.

  6. Understanding that, the way they do it|} Makes sense: really early caution that you need to order another cartridge – and a lockout that you can’t discount, keeping you from having a really bad day in the future.

  7. I am unemployed homeless living in a tent and makeshift cover in the scrub, I am also taking a course of medication to hopefully clear me of Hepatitus C which has plagued my health for over 30 yrs, now I am being told that I must attend work for the dole activity approximately 30 kilometers from my makeshift accomodation. Not once has my JNP offered help for fuel for job interviews or even enquired about my living arrangements. I asked if they can pay for fuel to attend work for the dole and was told “no we dont do that”, and told we can give you a referal to a charity that can supply cheap food. Fair enough if I had refrigeration or even a cupboard to store food in safely. at present I buy food on a daily basis which is a very expensive way of living. Now I have received text messages saying that my newstart has been suspended aagh looks like its back to a life of crime for me to survive

    1. How do you mentally cope? I wouldnt be able to if I was in your predicament how depressing! I am trying desperately to avoid this (your circumstances) by actively lobbying the government….I have a year before my boys & I know a life so foreign and frightening from the one we have now 🙁

    2. You seem like an invisible person. You’d think someone would crack onto a story like this! Yours is much worse than average!

  8. I certainly can’t survive on a meagre $300 pw, although I’m lucky in that I have a housemate to share expenses. Otherwise I’d be in a shelter or homeless. I’m 55 and am employed casually, but since me employer can’t get a wage sub thru for me, my hours have been severely reduced. I’m wondering why would a person want to work under these conditions, but I do want to because the Newstart allowance is so low! If I was on my own, I’d be paying $260 pw rent with $40 pw left to buy food, pay bills and put fuel in the car. On Newstart alone, I couldn’t do it.

    I find this shameful and insulting to someone who’s always been employed, but who is now too old for employers to want to employ unless they can get a wage sub, which would mean I become what I call a Centrelink puppet for six months, then probably thrown back on the scrap heap after that.

    So much for working and paying my taxes all these years. Its disgusting!!

  9. Please check the figures in this article. There are several contradictions or basic additions are incorrect. I was looking for accurate information. Getting the figures wrong affects your credibility.

  10. I am 63 unable to renew my RN license while I was having major heart issues on sickness benefits and major back pain which had me kicked off of ‘sickness’ benefits because it was diagnosed as permanent illness, now I am on new start payments that only cover my rent of $640 a fortnight with $120 left to pay electric, heart medications, food, water, phone, rego. I worked for 40 years caring for people. Centre link tells me to go to charities to pay my overdue bills, each has given me another list of charities to contact, at ‘St’ vinnes I sat waiting watching women getting vouchers and food, I get a sympathy ear and not even a can of beans, every one else has no appointments available, I am seriously thinking of becoming a trans -gender

  11. In 2005 rent was 25 -30% of the dole In 2018 my rent is 72% of the dole. After rent & elect I hav e $48 a week to live on . That money is used for food petrol and clothes.I don’t drink or smoke or go anywhere and only get coffee when I do 15 hrs a week volunteering which you have to do to get the dole. I get an extra $10 a week on the dole for that vplunteering as well as attending meetings at work provider once a week and 20 obs a month jobaearch .Also have done 7 courses with 3 callbacks in 5 Years of attending coirse sfter course after course.Yesf is a struggle .
    I have so many certificates but no job yes please put the dole up.


  12. I am ashamed to call myself an Australian when I read so many sad stories of people struggling to survive on the pittance thats called newstart. I’ve seen it first hand in my own family. Older people who cant work through illness but don’t qualify for a disability pensipn. My heart goes out to all of you. All I can do is lobby the politicians to increase the amount which I am doing but I doubt that it will help.

    1. When you do work for dole, a lot of people there will whinge, but how many of them know about the unemployed workers union or acoss? There is growing poverty in this country and it’s about time as a collective group for a variety of reasons to make a bigger noise.

      We ought to contact our MP’s, petitions online, phone or whatever.

      Australia brings in a lot of immigrants but can’t care for the people already here! I hear you with your comment!

  13. What are people doing about the human rights abuse of the unemployed? There are many people like myself that help out family members on a regular basis. We don’t sit around watching TV or Internet all day!

    If politicians say they can’t live on welfare, why isn’t anything being done about it? The budget is a disgrace and Australia is just a shameful country — pensioners are looked upon as with halos on their heads and unemployed are not recognized for contributions they are not credited for in this country.

    When will facts triumph over feelings of miserable governments and workers in comfortable jobs? WHAT WILL THEY DO WHEN THE ROBOTS TAKE OVER!?

  14. Listen “Children”… the Fact is… we have been waiting for our Politicians to do the “Right Thing” by us… and they haven’t… ON PURPOSE. Because they CHOOSE NOT TO – either out of outright Ignorance and Misinformation, and/or by Design/Intentionally. Because WE are “meant” to suffer, “meant” to be “Victims” of “The System” – “SACRIFICES” to the “Gods” of Profit, Greed, and Lust for Power. That is why we are being “demonised” in the Press as “dole bludgers”, while being forced to endure more and more restrictions, to “jump through more and more hoops” in order to get a welfare payment that is impossible to live on, to move forward with, or to rebuild our Lives with. Benefits that haven’t been responsibly raised for about 25 years (?) according to my online Research. We are being purposely “blanked” – “marginalised” – “pushed” further and further to the “Edge of Nothing”, until we cannot help but “fall over the Edge” – unless we are very, very lucky and manage to find suitable employment before it is “Too Late”. “Herded like complacent cattle over a cliff” to be harvested, slaughtered and “consumed”. That is what happens when a Government tries to run itself like a Business, instead of a Government of ALL of the People, for the Benefit of ALL the People – not just the “Chosen Ones”. They don’t consider us as “People” anymore, but rather as “Resources and Assets to be managed”, cultivated, herded, harvested when the Times are “right” to do so. From Birth to Death, and after – they have set up the “System” to make money off of us, even after we die. We don’t live in a True Democracy, only the “appearance” of one, to lull the majority of us into a false sense of Security, until we “stumble”, or are “pushed” by “Unfortunate Circumstances” into one of their Social “Poverty Traps”. The Fact is… there are all kinds of Other Businesses, that have been set up to prey upon our weakened, and weakening “position” in Society. To “cultivate” and profit from our Pain, Suffering, Misery, Disadvantage and eventual Deaths. The longer it takes for us to suffer and die, the more Profit they can “milk us” for what we are “worth” to them. I believe the correct Business Term is “Negative Gearing”. Think about that. If you want them to treat us with the Respect, Support and Consideration that we DESERVE… then we are going to have to TEACH THEM RESPECT (and a healthy dose of Fear of losing their cushy “Public Service”Jobs, if not serving Time in Prison, as well for Exposed Corruptions). Yes, a Petition seems like the Best Way to let them know we are expecting them to “Do the Right Thing”… BUT… it is also Something, they can CHOOSE TO IGNORE, as they have been doing for a very long time – which has been working out quite for them hasn’t it? We are being “blanked” remember? There is a Saying… actually, I have made it up. PEOPLE WILL PUSH YOU AS FAR AS YOU LET THEM. Remember what Bugs Bunny said when “pushed into a corner”?? “Of course you realise… this means War!!” What the Politicians CAN’T AFFORD TO IGNORE, DARE NOT IGNORE… would be a Class Action Lawsuit against the Australian Government on behalf of ALL NewStart Recipients (to start with) who the Politicians have been repeatedly neglecting, abusing, and systematically victimising, through willfully ignoring their Duty of Care towards the Most Vulnerable Members of this Society for Decades now. I guarantee you… a Class Action Lawsuit that we could ALL sign up for, that demands a minimum of $1,000,000AU per Victim that is well-publicised… WILL become Front Page News on EVERY Public Newspaper, Newsmedia and WILL become EVERY Politician’s “Worst Nightmare Come True”, and WILL FORCE them to RE-EVALUATE their “Position” on raising the NewStart Benefits to an acceptable and realistic amount REAL FAST. Elections are coming up. Time for some “Heads to Roll” don’t you think?? I say, every Politician that could have “DONE the Right Thing” and CHOSE not to… needs to spend some Time on the Unemployment Line. Don’t you think? Obviously, they have their “fingers” in all kinds of “Money Pies”. They most likely will NOT suffer financially, emotionally, mentally, physically as much as we have been made to do. HOWEVER… we can sure as Hell, hit them where it will hurt them them most… take away their Jobs, drain their bank accounts fighting legal claims for years maybe, ruin their carefully cultivated Public Reputations as “Good, Responsible Public Citizens” and “Public Servants “. EXPOSE THEM FOR THE SOCIAL AND FINANCIAL PREDATORS THAT THEY ARE. I’m sure that between ALL of us, COLLECTIVELY… we have an overwhelming abundance of Incriminating Evidence, Documentation, and Witnesses to substantiate Our Claim in ANY High Court. Hells Bells… my late husband John went through a period of extended unemployment for 8 months after he was unfairly dismissed from his job… when he was going to Work Solutions(?), Work Directions(?)… I remember learning that it was the one that Kevin Rudd’s wife owned. He tried for months searching for a job. Didn’t even get one call back. After 8 months of going this Charade… I suddenly realised “Something Wasn’t Right”. John and I talked about it… I told him, he should at least be getting a phone call!! Told him to check his resume he had in their files, that he was sending out twice a week for 8 months remember. Next time he went in, checked his resume… turns out, it wasn’t the New Resume he had uploaded onto their System, but instead, was an Old Resume of his, from 4 years before, from the last time he had been unemployed for awhile… that had incorrect contact details, because we had moved, etc. So even if any Employer had wanted to hire him, interview him, they couldn’t possibly contact him to offer him a Job. When he confronted the Staff there, they said “Oh, clerical error”. So, he replaced the Old Resume with his New Resume, and sent out copies to prospective Employers , responding to Ads, etc. The next time before he left Home, to return to Job Service Provider, my Intuition was still going “ding,ding, ding”… I told him to check his Resume AGAIN… just in case. Sure enough… when he got there and checked his Resume… someone in the Office had removed his New Resume and replaced it with his Old Resume!!! ON PURPOSE. When he discovered this, again he confronted the Staff… this time, one of the Guys that worked there, took John aside and said “Look Mate, we don’t want you to get a job right now. Because if we place someone who has been unemployed on a short-term basis, we get paid a $500 Bonus from the Govt. But… if we place someone who has been unemployed for over a year… we get paid a $5,000 bonus”!!! This Job Service Provider was owned by Kevin Rudd’s wife remember. So… I had been made redundant during that 8 months that John was unemployed. But my Permanent Residency application hadn’t been approved yet, and I wasn’t able to find another job, because no one was willing to hire me without my Permanent Residency. So, Centrelink refused to acknowledge me as a Person. As far as they were concerned.. I did not exist… and we were living on John’s SINGLE Person’s New Start Benefits for 8 MONTHS!!! Every time he got paid, I would pay a week’s worth of rent, and we would fall behind by 1 week… I would buy 1 week’s worth of food, and somehow stretch it to last us for two weeks. We had to borrow money from our Families occasionally, to get caught up on rent before we were evicted during that Terrible 8 month Period. Mostly my Family, who didn’t have much money to spare, but helped us when they could afford to. So, our Pain, Suffering, Misery and Disadvantage, and being regularly put at Risk to become Homeless… was being actively “cultivated”, along with every other “Sucker” that was seeking employment through the Job Service Provider that Kevin Rudd’s wife owned – who was already getting paid by the Government to “help jobseekers” find employment… so that Kevin Rudd’s wife and Kevin Rudd (by association) could also “harvest” those $5,000 employment bonuses from the same Government that Kevin Rudd worked for from the jobseekers they successfully managed to sabotage their jobseeking efforts for a year or more. When we complained what we discovered to be the Hidden Truth… to Centrelink about this blatant abuse of power, corruption, neglect of duty of care, victimisation, etc…. nothing happened. No criminal investigation, no one fined, no compensation offered to us. NOTHING. John shifted to another Job Service Provider, but I found him a job within 2 weeks after that… which he had for 3 years before “New Management” bought that 65 year old company, and “managed to run it into the ground within a year’s time” and made him redundant. But that’s “Another Story, for Another Time”. “Food For Thought, Boys and Girls”… what the Politicians say means NOTHING… it is what they DON’T SAY, WHAT THEY DO, AND DON’T DO that means EVERYTHING. Their Words are just Words. We have been socially conditioned to accept what our Politicians tell us as TRUTH. To go by their Appearances of “Rightness”, “Decency”, “Respectability”. As a General Rule… you can’t rely on what they say or promise, or how they look… you can only go by WHAT THEY DO, AND DO NOT. They have judged us as being inconsequential. They have decided that our Lives, Livelihoods and Happiness don’t matter. As far as they are concerned… neither does our health and welfare, as well as the health and welfare of our Loved Ones who depend us matter either. Are you going to continue to wait for them to “DO the Right Things” until you have been made Homeless, or are so weakened by malnutrition and accompanying illnesses or die from their Neglect?? OR ARE ALL OF YOU READY TO FIGHT NOW, FOR WHAT IS RIGHT??? Time to talk to a Class Action Lawyer I think!!!

    1. What this very smart lady is saying is spot on! I wonder if there is a lawyer good enough to take up a case like this? Maybe University under graduates could make it a project? Its a human rights violation! Surely there is someone out there with the heart and influence to make make this type of lawsuit happen? Or at least make some noise to give these thieving politicians a scare. We certainly have the numbers (and factual stories) to back it. The numbers of Elite politicians are a minority compared to the numbers of voters. We must make OUR government accountable for these crimes against humanity (it’s basically a form of genocide) doled out by rich politicians and their friends. After all, don’t we employ them?

    2. Really Class Action Lawsuit? There are only around 760k people on Centrelink. Its hard to find a Lawyer who will work pro bono for this.

      I agree with you about the corruption on Kevin Rudd’s Wife job seeking provider. That should have been regarded as a conflict of interest and that company should been dissolved before Kevin entered parliament as a member let alone prime minister!

      Job seeker providers are all a scam! None of them should exist, they all profit from misleading the unemployed to either finding unsuitable work or no work at all. They should be set up to help people with their resumes, provide advice for both phone and face to face interviews and re-training at a tertiary level to skill up with societies demands. Not be the direct liaison between employer and employee and get paid to land people work plus payment for consultation.

      Finding the job, applying for the job should solely be the responsibility of the person whom is unemployed.

      At the time you were not a Permanent Resident, you were on a working class visa, I mean this with no offence, you cannot expect the Australian government to take care of you as a migrant, if Australia did that, we would have migrants left and right coming, crying about how they lost their jobs and need financial support. It is simply not fair to the working joe schmo who pays his taxes, raises kids, pay his house mortgage, worked full time to be made redundant, only to be told by Centrelink if you want financial support sell your house because it is your biggest asset and we cannot support someone who worked for their house they have too much wealth.

      Yes you went through hard times, yes it is probably not fair, but there are others who work full time, own struggling business and cannot keep their heads above water financially.

      We recently went through income tax cuts to middle class, who bear the brunt of the cost of the taxation system demands. When you look at Australia everything is over taxed, alcohol, cigarettes, gambling, excise on oil, stamp duties for properties, cars and boats at the state level, council land rates, and add GST to everything! The government simply cannot manage its revenue effectively because we are always in deficit and accrue our debt with interest with foreign countries.

      You tell me, how the hell can you expect the Australian Taxpayer to provide $50 to $75 extra per week to people on Newstart? Don’t tell me to finance it through cuts to politicians wages! Their job may look easy but you think about it, its not, everything you do is in the public eye some people love you for what you stand for, others hate you, every day you have to represent a group of people and push for their benefit, every three years you have to fight for your job otherwise you lose your relevance and end up out of politics! I am not saying there is no working life after a political stint but those who stepped into office love this line of work! So it is more of a personal loss over financial!

      Another thing about some not all people on Newstart, I know people who trade services on the side for cash, don’t honestly report it to the government, earn extra cash they don’t lose a dollar from a benefit over or pay a dime in taxes on it. Thats not fair, every dollar I earn, I am forced to pay tax on, I don’t claim anything from the government, I am self employed and struggling to make ends meet. If I was full time employee, the pay is so low I could barely afford to live.

      Like I said before its not everyone on Newstart but it does happen! The people who are over the age of 60 should be placed on an early pension, they paid all of their taxes all of their lives. The people under 59 to 50 could find work if they re-skill, I have seen it before in the work place, I seen guys come out of two year retirements to run programs in big companies. Everybody under the age of 49 should also re-skill and find demanded work!

      Dont tell me it cant be done, dont tell me you would rather live elsewhere in the world when Australia has been a very stable country in all aspects, dont tell me that we are backwards because we dont pay you enough on benefits. I know people in developing countries who work 2 or 3 jobs and still cannot survive, they dont run to their government and ask for pensions, Newstart or any other allowance. Be grateful for what you got, and stop whinging!

      1. I agree totally, so many whingers on here. They should all visit a third world country and try living on a dollar a day!
        I work part-time and earn less than $280 per week and manage to get by. It can be done. The biggest problem is that people don’t know how to handle money.

  15. Governments have a lot to answer to the people of Australia in the last ten years or so. I will be 60 in ten weeks and find myself unemployed with chronic conditions and unable to get help of any kind. The pittance I get on Newstart barely covers my rent and bills, let alone food. Some fortnights I don’t shop at all because I have to pay a bill. This is after 30 plus years of working and paying tax so that I could have some self esteem. I am forced to do 15 hours volunteer work per week, which exacerbates my condition and puts me in more and more pain by the day. I am hoping to hear about a knee replacement in the next little while and then intend to look for work. That in itself is a joke. No one is going to want to employ a 60 year old with a bung leg. It’s a catch 22 situation for all of us who are ” over the hill”!

  16. I have suffered from sciatica for almost 20 years which has resulted in nerve damage causing me to lose the use of my foot, I also have arthritis in my spine and a curved spine which makes it difficult to walk and causes pain every day I applied for a disability pension and was given two explanations to why I was rejected, one being not disabled enough and the other was not providing enough information which was ridiculous just one look at me and you can see there is something wrong. Trying to survive on $536 a fortnight is impossible when you have to pay everything yourself. Newstart must be raised because I fear like I’m sure many others do about ending up homeless and in my condition I’d never survive on the street. So the government needs to get off their backsides and help people like me who are barely surviving.

  17. I left employment as such, to care for my Mother who had Ovarian Cancer. After she passed away my Father then needed care from me. Now my Dad has passed and I have been unable to find employment as my health and aptitude has deteriorated during that time I cared for my parents. I own my own place but not the ground it is on and have to pay $402 per fortnight rent on the land. It is not possible to live on what I receive from Newstart.

  18. Im nearly 50 and worked in the fruit/vege industry for 25 years rain hail shine from dusk through to 3am so picking, packing in sheds, was long hours 7 days a week. I am now full of oesteo arthritis due to damage throughout the body from this long hard work. My hands are so painful Im on pain killers and seeing a specialist where I need an operation that will cost for one hand $5 to 8k and because Im unemployed and cant pay it the specialist has ignored me. But I’m expected to work 15h to 23h p/w in an office where Ive never done office work as my office has always been outdoors. To get a job in office they want someone with experience, have done a course, but employers are not interested in me and also won’t hire me with stuffed hands and in pain but HR don’t care. I go no where as I cant afford to, like everyone else on newstart, worked my insides out from the day I left school year 10 back in the 80s when there was so much work available so jumped from job to job. When seasonal wasn’t on I found work in other places temporary. But no don’t look at history at workers from the past and yes treat us like we are bludgers. Would like to see these politicians in the paddock to do a hard days job. If it wasn’t for people like me they wouldn’t be eating fresh fruit and vege Now I’m buggered and struggling in pain they don’t care. Just cop threats get a job or we will suspend your pay, its so wrong when there under paying us now.

  19. Why don’t we do some big protest marches? On a Saturday so we can’t be accused of protesting when we should be doing 20 job applications. Why don’t we campaign against sitting government members in marginal seats? Come on people! There are hundreds of thousands of us, and the way to repudiate the shame is to be out and proud as people first, unemployed second, abused by the system third. Nothing will change if we don’t do something different.

  20. I’m 23 and feel like I have no hope for the future. I studied hard, graduated with a bachelor of science because “we need people in science! we need women in science!” but after nearly 2 years of looking for work, nothing. I feel like a complete failure.

    Living in shared rental, 175/pw, 50 debt repayment/pw, what little remains has to cover bills, food, fuel… (<13/day)

    I have complied with everything JSPs have thrown at me, been assigned with 4 different ones now due to previous ones being shut down for losing their contracts. I signed up and did a path internship for 3 months, admin/reception, had a great opportunity to offer up extra skills in photoshop and designed posters, roll-up event banners and all sorts for them only to be kicked out by the end of the internship as they hired the book keepers daughter.

    Then work for the dole started and I was getting sent to a salvos two trains and a 30min walk away (no buses), 4 days a week with the extra 20/fortnight not even covering public transport costs. It was costing me money to do 27hrs of folding sheets and colour-sorting clothes and 9hrs of travel to "help" me find work. Have huge problems with dust and none of that seemed to matter. Fire exit out the back was blocked and padlocked (, when raised didn't seem to matter. No one mattered.

    I feel like I don't matter.

    It's not like I'm short on skills either, with a bachelors degree, 9 months of volunteer work in enviro sectors for local government, 3 months admin/reception 'interning'. After getting turned away from jobs due to having a degree I've now got to leave it out but that's also not helping. Have a 6k centrelink debt ontop of it all. Great fucking way to start life.

  21. Its clear that Scott Morrison does not car about me and the feeling is mutual. Scott Morrison is a greedy religious nutcase who attends a church where completely deranged people yap is nonsensical languages and who hopefully will be swept from power at the next election so severely he will land in the Pacific Ocean just short of Chile.

    Bill Shorten is being a complete gutless political fool if he really thinks we need any review of the matter. He is hedging his bets to attempt to retain not gain votes.

    An increase in Newstart can be financed by 1. Dramatically reducing all politicians outrageous salaries and lurks and perks Scott Morrison is not worth over half a million dollars a year infact he is not worth 50 grand a year 2. Stop involving Australia in American started wars and no we do not need an Australian war ship parked off the east coast of Africa seizing cannabis.3. End the war on drugs now because that war was lost decades ago and will never be won.

  22. Rohit Gurunath Sharma is an Indian international cricketer who is the vice-captain of the India national team in limited-overs formats. He is a right-handed batsman and was an occasional right-arm off break bowler. He plays for Mumbai in domestic cricket and captains Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League

  23. As a jobseeker without access to a computer or even mobile tablet the ability to customise job applications and adequately apply for work is greatly impeded. My job agency Max Employment Bondi Junction used to be my go to place for computer use for jobsearching and applications but since their relocation and apparent downsizing, computer access is no longer available. With local libraries offering only 15-30min time limits on computer use and forced timeouts and shutdowns, the ability to adequately complete my jobseeking requirements has been made excrutiatingly difficult.

  24. I know only too well how ludicrous this system is. I had always been employed full time until my mid 30’s and around three years ago due to a few personal issues and an employer that went bust I ended up on this lousy payment. I was initially put through as stream A even though at the time I had no fixed address and I was sent of to a jobactive “provider”. They don’t even acknowledge that you have personal issues, let alone even give a toss about helping you to try and deal with them. Eventually after changing provider I was sent for an ESAT and switched over to stream C. All they did then was keep hounding me to go back and do security work but they would not assist with the training and licensing cost of $1000 as my licence had expired and I did not have the funds to do it myself. Then it was all about doing an aged care certificate as there were “plenty” of jobs according to the jobactive provider. I did complete the course and found casual work that bounced around from 15 to 20 hours a week. Within the aged care industry it is a case of buyer beware as it is a very physically demanding and even more mentally draining workplace and if you dare to question how things are done then you will feel the wrath of the management, or even worse end up with a manual handling injury and trying to fight for workers compensation. In the end I was lucky to get 8 hours a week after six months (apparently they were receiving some kind of wage subsidy for me). So with minimal hours and few other job prospects then it is back to jobactive and the enlightening world of the annual activity requirement. I am one of the lucky ones as I have had family and friends that have helped me out but if you don’t have any of these supports in place then in reality you are screwed. Renting privately isn’t an option and it costs too much to relocate interstate so really what options do you have? Hilariously after the wage subsidy for the aged care place ran out in September I was given a maximum time transfer and flicked over to another provider.

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  26. I am nearly 65 and have had my superannuation and investment funds for retirement embezzled by my financial advisor. This was because of the inadequate legislation to safe guard peoples money. I have worked and paid taxes for 46 years yet I am now on Newstart as I cannot get a job because of my age, despite my degree and qualifications, but am also working for the dole 15 hours per week to receive $245 per week which equates to $16.50 per hour lower that the minimum wage for teenagers!
    This is a disgrace and demeaning to be treated this way for a person who has congributed to the taxes of this country.

  27. I would like to know how many immigrants with “permanent residency visas” are on Newstart payments? I have tried to find out. But the statistics seem to be deliberately withheld from the Australian public. “The reason that Newstart payments have been frozen may be in the answer!”

    Under Australia’s DOORS WIDE OPEN POLICY, immigrants with Permanent Residency Visas can receive Newstart, medicare benefits, and can even apply for the First Home Owners Grants. Yet the actual statistics relating to the numbers and scale of their benefits are not accessible to the Australian public.

    We are twenty years ahead of the population projections! That means we are twenty years behind the infrastructure needed to support the
    globalization policies forced on the Australians. The few Australian owned companies left, and the working populations are financially supporting this Doors Wide Open Lunacy. So hiding statistical figures and the scale of the immigrant burden seems a crime of royal proportions.

    Can someone please post the figures?

    The poo detective.

    1. You sound American (globalisation is spelled with an S in this country). And if so, take your immigration fears and shove them. Political power, personal greed, the royally disproportionate favouring of business interests over those of the people: these are the places from which our problems stem.

  28. I’m on new start but I should be on disability but I can’t afford the paperwork for my diagnosis as today s standard you are not given any paper work to prove even turning up to centre link or any other welfare agency. Not giving people on this income proof of any thing you do,makes you feel you don’t even exist.

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