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Trends in poverty rates by income support payment

PovertyHow has it changed?

This graph compares poverty rates among households in which at least one member receives a substantial income support payment (an income-tested payment for adults such as Newstart Allowance or Age Pension, as distinct from a supplementary payment such as Family Tax Benefit). Poverty rates for those receiving Newstart Allowance and Parenting Payment were consistently above the average, whilst the poverty rate for the Age Pension was consistently below average. The difference in poverty rates between these payments has increased since the Global Financial Crisis of 2007-08.

Poverty in income support households reliant on Newstart Alllowance declined from 61% in 1999-00 to 48% in 2003, and then rose in zigzag fashion to 78% in 2015-16. Among income support households reliant on most pension payments (Age Pension, Disability Support Pension and Carer Payment), poverty rose during 2003-07; declined sharply from 2007-09; and has continued to fall since then.

For households reliant on Parenting Payment, the trend was similar to the pension payments until 2007 but then changed. There was no decline in 2009 (as the pension increase did not extend to sole parents) and it rose over the last two years to 59% in 2015-16.

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