Poverty lines: Australia

7 Aug 2006

Many Australians receiving government welfare benefits are still living below the poverty line, according to the latest issue of Poverty Lines: Australia conducted by Roger Wilkins. Figures in the March 2006 quarter, released this week, show that single adults on unemployment benefits fare worst, receiving around $77.09 less than the poverty line per week. Unemployed couples without children are living on around $28.23 per week less than the poverty line, while couples with children are receiving up to $31.39 less than the poverty line on a weekly basis. Singles and couples on pensions, as well as single parents with children, are the only welfare recipients to rise above the poverty line.

Poverty Lines: Australia is a quarterly newsletter that updates the Henderson Poverty Line as defined in the 1973 Commonwealth Commission of Inquiry into Poverty. The Poverty Lines are standard reference material for those concerned with social welfare policy in Australia. Poverty lines are presented for a range of family sizes, giving the minimum income required by a family in order to avoid a situation of poverty. The updated Poverty Lines take into account changes in the average income level of all Australians, reflecting the idea that poverty is relative. Each issue includes a table indicating changes in the purchasing power of the poverty line.

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