“We must therefore be focused on whether social security payments are enough to live on and properly support a person while they look for work, particularly for people who have barriers to getting back into employment and thus need more time.”
Ms Spark said social security payments should be at a level that took into account the needs of people who cannot work, students engaged in full-time learning and people caring for children and other loved ones.
“The current Newstart rate is not enough for a single person to pay rent alone and then there are unavoidable utility bills and food on top of that,” she said.
Ms Spark said staff at ac.care witnessed the impact of insufficient incomes on individuals and families in the Limestone Coast.
“The children of families on Newstart are not able to participate in school excursions, sport or other community activities, which causes them to become isolated from their peers, adding to disadvantage they already experience,” she explained.