Six-month waiting periods for young people to access Newstart will lead to an increase in youth homelessness and mental health issues while putting pressure on families and communities, AnglicareSA CEO The Reverend Peter Sandeman says.
“Families on welfare bear the brunt for the whole community. These are families right in the heartland of need,” The Reverend Sandeman says.
“These changes to the Youth Allowance and Newstart will force young people to stay at home for longer, putting pressure on families, especially if they are themselves already on income support.
“The people who are least able to pay stand to lose the most.
“It’s fine to suggest young people need to earn or learn, but where are the jobs for them to apply for? Where is the support for educational institutions – and what careers will there be at the end of that education?
“AnglicareSA is bracing for more demand for our services in homelessness, relationship counselling, employment services, emergency assistance and our mental health programs.”
The Reverend Sandeman is also concerned about cuts to the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS).
“AnglicareSA’s National Rental Affordability Snapshot, conducted last month, revealed there was no affordable and appropriate housing for single people on Newstart or Youth Allowance.
“A secure and stable home is a basic human right. Without support from NRAS, private investors are not going to see any benefit to investing in houses which will provide affordable rental properties for people on low incomes. That puts added pressure on organisations likes ours.
The Reverend Sandeman welcomes the extension of the National Partnership Agreement for Homelessness Services, which funds AnglicareSA’s homelessness services in northern Adelaide.
“However, we expect this is one of our programs which will see increased demand after the changes to Newstart come into force,” he says.
“All in all, there’s not much good news for low income earners. They’ll need AnglicareSA more than ever, and we’ll need South Australians to support us as we stand with people in need.”