Newstart rise would boost Valley: report
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.