This Anti-poverty Week, Opportunity Child commends the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) for its strong advocacy for the one in six Australian children – 731,000 children under 15 – living below the poverty line.
Shockingly, the level of child poverty has risen from 8% in 1990 to 17 per cent in 2014.
This is especially appalling, given Australia has experienced 20 years of sustained economic growth and remains one of the wealthiest countries in the world.
Opportunity Child supports ACOSS’s call on government to take swift and determined action to reduce child poverty by:
1. Committing to reducing poverty by at least 50 per cent by 2030, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals
2. Increasing Newstart Allowance, including for single parents
3. Establishing a single parent supplement that increases as children grow older and they cost more to support
4. Indexing working age and family payments to wage movements as well as prices
5. Improving employment and training programs for single parents, including career counselling and vocational training
6. Guaranteeing secure affordable housing, including working with state and territory governments to abolish no-cause evictions
7. Restoring two days of weekly subsidised child care available to parents not in paid employment.
Opportunity Child is working together with communities and national organisations to create a big impact on the lives of the one in five vulnerable Australian children starting school each year. Together we are ready to align our individual strategies for shared early childhood outcomes, using a collective impact approach to develop new ways of working together towards systems change.
We believe that’s the best way to disrupt the cycle of social issues that affect all Australians.