Members of Addison Road Community Organisation’s Inner West ‘Raise the Rate’ Group attended the Newstart Senate Inquiry today in Sydney.

There as individuals to tell their own stories – and express their various concerns about the low rate of Newstart – Mark, Brenton, Bev, Alyx and others spoke out against an abusive and highly inefficient system. A complete failure to adequately support efforts to find employment – along with the dubious and harassing activities of the so-called ‘job-providers’ – were put under the microscope.

The Newstart rate has not increased in real terms for a quarter of century. Currently the payment is $278 a week for an individual. Bonuses like rental assistance can best be described as nominal and limited.
Addi Road has been working on a campaign with the Australian Council of Social Service to see a rise in Newstart by at least $75 a week. Such a rise is barely the start of what is needed to lift the unemployed out of a vicious poverty trap – and free them from an iniquitous system that destroys all hope of existing, let alone actually finding a real job.
More power to everyone who spoke up today about their struggles and the abuses they have battled through.

For too long, the current system has endured because people are made to feel ashamed of their situation, a self-censoring condition that has helped suppress deep and profound criticism. Changes are urgently needed.

Please read story at Canberra Times here: