The GDP figures released today further the strong case for increasing Newstart and investing in social housing in order to stimulate the economy, while acting on poverty and homelessness.
“The Government can effectively work to boost the flagging economy by acting on poverty and homelessness,” ACOSS Director of Policy Jacqueline Phillips said.
“An increase to Newstart would immediately boost the economy by providing stimulus where it is needed most, including in struggling regional communities.
“People on Newstart have to spend every cent in order to get by – they don’t have the option of saving – so an increase to Newstart would immediately stimulate the economy while supporting people to get through tough times.
“The RBA Governor has confirmed that increasing Newstart would provide helpful economic stimulus and leading economists and business groups support raising the payment after 25 years without a real increase.
“Social housing investment is the most effective way to reduce homelessness, due to its affordable rents, security of tenure, and other supports that are not available to people in the private rental market.
“Every dollar invested in social housing, is estimated to boost GDP by $1.30. Importantly, housing construction can be undertaken more quickly than major road or rail projects.
“Political leaders must stop ignoring people on low incomes in the economic debate – acting on poverty and homelessness are some of the most effective ways we can provide the timely stimulus the economy needs,” Ms Phillips said.