MEDIA RELEASE: CWA backs calls to Raise the Rate of Newstart

Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) is visiting Cairns today to meet with local residents receiving the Newstart allowance and to call on Cairns Regional Council and federal political leaders to pledge their support for the Raise the Rate campaign.

The Country Women’s Association of Australia today expresses its support for the Raise the Rate campaign to increase Newstart and help people living in rural and regional Australia struggling to find paid work make ends meet.

ACOSS is available for interview from the CWA NSW Conference in Albury today, where the Prime Minister is speaking (details below).

CWAA President Tanya Cameron says:

“We support the Raise the Rate campaign to increase Newstart and other allowances because an increase will strengthen our communities and help people get through tough times.

“Rural and regional communities have been hit hard with drought and floods, with many of these areas experiencing high rates of unemployment.

“People in rural and regional Australia often struggle to find adequate employment, especially single parents, people who have been made redundant or people who have been without paid work for a long period because they’ve been caring for a loved one.

“It is impossible to live on $40 a day in rural and regional Australia. You cannot run a car, pay the rent and buy groceries with such little money.

“Raising the rate of Newstart and other allowances will help people focus on their futures rather than be totally consumed with their current situation of financial crisis.
ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie welcomed the support of the CWA for an increase to Newstart and related allowances, saying:

“The CWA knows that regional Australia stands to benefit most if Newstart and Youth Allowance is increased.

“Newstart has not been increased in real terms in 25 years, despite living costs for people on low incomes having gone through the roof.

“We urge the next government to immediately increase Newstart and related allowances by a minimum of $75 per week to help people get through tough times and into suitable employment.”

ACOSS is available for interview from the CWA NSW Conference at Albury Entertainment Centre, 525 Swift Street this morning.

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