Report shows Australians want an end to poverty

Media statement from the Anglicare Australia network, of which Samaritans is a member organisation.

Anglicare Australia has released a survey showing that Australians want an end to poverty and more support for people on government payments. It was conducted by Ipsos for Anglicare Australia’s 2018 State of the Family Report, The real story: What Australians think about poverty and how we shape the debate.

“We are led to believe that Australians are apathetic about poverty. Our research shows that couldn’t be further from the truth,” said Anglicare Australia Executive Director Kasy Chambers.

“86% of the people we surveyed believe that nobody deserves to live in poverty, and 79% agree that anybody can end up in poverty through no fault of their own.

“Our research makes a nonsense of the idea that Australians want Newstart and other payments to be at such low rates.

“Only 11% agreed that people on income support should live in poverty. 70% reject that idea absolutely, and a staggering 85% want Australia to be a country that looks after those in need.

“We also found that many people have had their own recent experiences of poverty. 16% of Australians couldn’t afford a basic necessity like food or shelter in the last year,” Ms Chambers said.

Released on November 19, The real story is a study of social attitudes about poverty. It also looks at how the conversation about poverty can be changed.

Ms Chambers said the results show that anti-poverty advocates must reclaim the debate.

“For years governments have said that they won’t increase Newstart and other payments because it wouldn’t pass the ‘pub test’. This report tells us that they are the ones who are out of step with the community.

“Most importantly, these results show that we should be speaking directly to the community. We now have the opportunity to turn this strong public support into a call for action,” Ms Chambers said.

From a nationally representative sample of 1,236 Australians, the Anglicare Australia-Ipsos survey found:

– 16% couldn’t afford a basic necessity in the last 12 months

– 79% agreed that people can experience poverty through no fault of their own

– 85% agreed that nobody who works full-time should live in poverty

– 85% agreed that Australia should be a country that looks after those in need

– 85% agreed that nobody deserves to live in poverty

– Just 11% agreed that those who rely on government support deserve to live in poverty. 70% rejected the statement.