Australia

Australians support ramping up efforts to end poverty

A homeless woman sits on a street corner in central Brisbane. Source: AAP

New research shows Australians want more done for those living in poverty.

A survey conducted by Anglicare Australia and Ipsos found 86 per cent of respondents believe nobody deserves to live in poverty.

Seventy-nine per cent also agreed anybody can end up in poverty through no fault of their own.

It comes as the government remains firm on its plans to not increase welfare payments, such as the Newstart payment, which is currently $275.10 a week .

Anglicare Australia's Executive Director Kasy Chambers said the research proves Australians want Newstart and other payments to be bigger.

"Whether it be lowering the rate or making them wait longer or making them spend out more of their savings before they can get it, whether it be drug testing," she said.

"It seems like that governments think this is a popular measure. We don't know how that's got so far out of step with Australians.

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"This research shows us that it has. This research shows us that people don't want that to be happening. They actually want a decent society where everyone can live properly."

Ms Chambers said she would like to see an independent body established to determine how much money those on welfare should receive.

Of the 1236 Australians surveyed nationally, 16 per cent said they could not afford a basic necessity in the last year.

Just 11 per cent of those surveyed agreed that people who rely on government support deserve to live in poverty - with 70 per cent of participants rejecting the statement.

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