Jake Dettmann with his Indue cashless welfare card.
Jake Dettmann with his Indue cashless welfare card. Alistair Brightman

Govt reveals how long Hinkler jobless stay on Newstart

NEW data released by the Department of Social Services to the Newsmail shows Bundaberg's Newstart recipients are on the payment for an average length of more than three years.

The average duration of a Newstart recipients payments in the Hinkler electorate is 159 weeks (which is three years and three weeks).

There are mounting calls to raise Newstart payments.

However, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has so far resisted these calls.

Last week he said the current Newstart payment was adequate and made the point that two thirds of recipients move on to a job within 12 months.

While the Hinkler figures do align with Treasurer Frydenberg's comments, with more thn 60 per cent of the region's recipients moving on to work within a 12 month period, many Newstart recipients are on the payment scheme much longer.

Former Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce wants Newstart payments to differ based on a recipients location.

"Newstart is a hard life,” Mr Joyce said.

The maximum payment leaves recipients with $40 per day, an amount that leaves many living in deep poverty.

Statistics released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show over 4000 Newstart recipients living in the 4670 postcode.

Long-term reliance on Newstart seems to be falling, according to data released by the Department of Social Services to the Newsmail.

Comparing the number of Newstart recipients in the Hinkler electorate between December 2017 and 2018, the Department said there was a decrease of 4.3 per cent, or 238 recipients.

Hinkler MP Keith Pitt last week said that a blanket raise to Newstart wasn't the best way forward for the Bundaberg region, instead intending to drive down the cost of living and begin more job-creating projects.



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