Nearly 1 million Australians are living in severe poverty, impacting women much more severely than men, a new report has revealed.
The report released by Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre, shows how the pandemic has seen housing costs in Australia rise to “unmanageable levels”, a situation that has left many struggling to pay for basics like food and household bills.
High rents have increased poverty levels among renters, with the poorest families in Australia scraping by on less than $150 per week after housing costs. An investment in social housing is one of the most important decisions governments could make to fight poverty, according to the report. The report states that an increase of $25 per day in the JobSeeker base rate combined with $30 per week extra in rent assistance “would virtually eliminate severe poverty” in Australia.