New research has found that the dole needs to increase by nearly $300 a fortnight in order to reduce the poverty gap by 11 per cent.
The study, undertaken by the Australian National University’s Centre for Social Research and Methods, has analysed five welfare payments and suggested how the government could restructure their values to reduce the poverty gap.
The research found that income unity poverty could be reduced by 11 per cent if payment rates are adjusted within the current budget of $100 billion per annum.
The analysis found that Newstart for unemployed should increase by $270 per fortnight, the Age Pension by $11 and rent assistance by about $10.
These increases would be made possible by reducing Family Tax benefits by around $60 or more, and single parent payments by more than $30.
These payment adjustments would reduce the poverty gap for households on allowances by 68 per cent, while single parents would face an increase in their poverty gap on average from $97 per year to $382.
“The reductions for family payments suggests that these payments are currently paid to many households and income units that are either not in poverty or have low poverty gaps,” the research paper says.
“FTB can go to families, admittedly at a tapered rate, with incomes over $100,000. From a poverty perspective, it is perhaps not as well targeted with respect to income as allowances and pensions.”
The research follows a pledge from the Labor party to increase the “shamefully low” dole level if it wins the next election.
According to The Courier Mail, Labor is seeking to go further and deliver “a substantial increase to Newstart payments in the first term of an elected Federal Labor Government”.
Currently there are 705,658 Aussies on the Newstart allowance across the nation.
According to Yahoo! Finance, single adults without children receive $275.10 a week. A $75 increase would mean recipients would instead get $350.10 a week.
Do you agree with these dole increases? Let us know in the comments below.
Article created in partnership with Over60.