Three million Australians Living in Poverty, nearly 40% have a disability
Thu 18 October 2018
A new report published in Anti-Poverty Week and on the eve of the UN Day for the Eradication of Poverty found that more than 3 million Australians are living in poverty and nearly 40% of them have a disability.
While the overall poverty rate in Australia was just over 13%, people with disability had a poverty rate of 17%. This is mainly because most people with disability are not working and are reliant on income support. The ACOSS Poverty in Australia 2018 report stated over one third of people receiving the Disability Support Pension, and more than half (55%) of people with disability receiving Newstart Allowance, are living in poverty. These findings confirm the Productivity Report on Inequality research paper published in August 2018 that said people with disability are one of four groups most likely to be at risk of multiple deprivation and to be stuck in poverty for a long period of time.
It also confirms a 2017 report by the OECD which stated people with disability “have not benefitted from the positive employment trend in Australia over the last two decades…and that employment is the most important factor in reducing poverty risks.” The Australian Network on Disability has long argued for policies to increase the employment of people with disability and to ensure a fair wage is paid. Not only does this reduce poverty for people with disability, we know that people with disability have considerable talents and skills that make a great contribution to organisations.
Today’s report is a salient reminder to redouble our work with our members to increase employment for people with disability.