At last night’s Board meeting, Lismore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) decided to endorse the ACOSS Raise the Rate campaign – the campaign to raise Newstart and Youth Allowance – becoming the first chamber of commerce in Australia to advocate for an increase to Newstart.
LCCI joins several national business organisations who have advocated for an increase to Newstart, including the Business Council of Australia, the Australian Industry Group, and the Council for Small Business. It also joins Lismore City Council, one of over 30 local Councils across the country that have supported the campaign for a raise to Newstart.
When you consider that a quarter of households in the Lismore LGA have a weekly income of under $650 per week, Newstart recipients are expected to survive on less than half this amount. In the Lismore Council area there are 2,377 people on Newstart and 585 people on Youth Allowance (2,962 recipients in total) according to the Department of Social Services (December 2018) who have to keep a roof over their heads, pay their bills, and put food on the table, with only $40 a day. It also makes looking for paid work – which requires transport, internet and phone access, interview clothes/haircut, and the funds to be able to study/train – very difficult.
This causes a raft of issues not only for individuals, but it has a direct impact on the local business community who are also trying to survive, with many still recovering from the impacts of the 2017 flood.
Deloitte Access Economics found raising the rate of Newstart and similar payments would inject a much-needed financial boost to the local economy. Low-income earners are highly likely to spend any extra money they receive and this would offer an immediate benefit at the local level. Raising the rate would inject $4b into the Australian economy, around $60m to the Northern Rivers region, and a massive $11m into the Lismore economy alone – a boost that would most surely make a huge difference to individuals, business owners, and the overall well-being of the local community.
We call on the federal government to listen to the community – to listen to those who are on Newstart or Youth Allowance, and the diverse range of charities, business groups, trade unions, health groups, and regional organisations that are calling for a raise – and immediately act to raise the rate of Newstart or Youth Allowance by at least $75 a week.
For more information contact:
- Ellen Kronen, ph 0409 660 489
- Executive Officer, ph 0448 833 806
Raising Newstart and Youth Allowance would boost jobs, wages and inject millions into local communities (media release including link to Deloitte Access Economics report – Analysis of the impact of raising benefit rates (acoss.org.au/media-releases/?media_release=raisingnewstart-and-youth-allowance-would-boost-jobs-wages-and-inject-millions-into-localcommunities)