New­start rise would boost Val­ley: re­port

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - NEWS - JAMES KITTO

RAIS­ING New­start rates and other gov­ern­ment al­lowances for Tas­ma­ni­ans would pro­vide a huge eco­nomic boost to the econ­omy, re­search sug­gests.

A re­port by eco­nomic con­sul­tants Deloitte Ac­cess Eco­nom­ics found in­creas­ing New­start and Youth al­lowance pay­ments for low-in­come earn­ers by $75 per week would lift con­sumer spend­ing and boost the Der­went Val­ley’s econ­omy by $2 mil­lion.

The re­port, com­mis­sioned by the Aus­tralian Coun­cil of So­cial Ser­vice, shows the Der­went Val­ley would be one of the top 20 Tas­ma­nian lo­cal gov­ern­ment ar­eas to ben­e­fit from a rates rise.

“Our re­port finds that the in­tro­duc­tion of such a pol­icy would have a range of pros­per­ity ef­fects boost­ing the size of the econ­omy and the num­ber of peo­ple em­ployed,” Deloitte’s David Rum­bens said.

“It would re­sult in an ad­di­tional 12,000 peo­ple in work by 2020-21 na­tion­wide.”

TasCOSS CEO Kym Goodes said an in­crease to the New­start al­lowance would re­duce in­equal­i­ties in Tas­ma­nia.

“[The re­port] high­lights the po­ten­tial of each of those job­seek­ers to par­tic­i­pate and be able to af­ford the ba­sics needed to live and also af­ford to look for work,” Ms Goodes said.

“Tas­ma­nia has high lev­els of in­equal­ity and in­equal­ity leads to lower eco­nomic growth and greater in­equal­ity short­ens the pe­riod of eco­nomic growth.

“Tas­ma­nia needs to re­duce in­equal­ity to en­sure sus­tain­able growth.”

The re­port found putting more tax­payer dol­lars into the New­start pro­gram would cost the fed­eral gov­ern­ment $3.3 bil­lion per year.

But the re­port found a higher wel­fare pay­ment would likely cre­ate bet­ter national health out­comes and re­duce crime.

Der­went Val­ley Deputy Mayor Ben Shaw said a raise to the New­start al­lowance would be ben­e­fi­cial for eco­nomic growth in the Val­ley.

“Any­thing that raises the ledger and al­lows low-in­come earn­ers to live bet­ter and con­trib­ute more to the com­mu­nity is some­thing I wel­come,” he said.

“From a spend­ing point of view, it would cre­ate more jobs, more in­dus­try and ide­ally lead to more train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties in the Der­went Val­ley.”

Op­po­si­tion Leader Bill Shorten com­mit­ted to re­view­ing the New­start pay­ment if La­bor wins gov­ern­ment.

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