Anti Poverty Week forces us to turn our attention to the fact that homelessness and poverty are inextricably linked.
Poverty impacts health and well being which in turn determines an individuals ability to participate in society, education, training and employment.
The Australian Council for Social Service 2016 Poverty in Australia Report states around 3 million people are living in poverty in Australia.
The aim of Anti Poverty week is to highlight the causes and consequences of poverty and encourage research, discussion and action to reduce poverty.
How can poverty be reduced?
The Australian Council of Social Service recommends:
- The creation of a National Anti-Poverty Plan to take coordinated action across all levels of government to meet targets which reduce poverty and alleviate the causes of poverty;
- an increase in the rates of the lowest social security payments (mainly those for unemployed people, students and lone parents) with new supplements for costs of disability and caring for children alone;
- additional employment assistance for long-term unemployed people to help them become ready for work;
- an adequate minimum wage to reduce poverty among working households;
- increased access to affordable housing including by an expansion of investment in social housing, improvements in private Rent Assistance, and expansion of the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS);
- improved affordability of essential health and community services such as dental care, child care, and respite care.