Raise the Rate

Decision Maker: Council

Decision status: Recommendations Determined


Moved by Councillor Thalis, seconded by Councillor Scott –

It is resolved that:

(A)        Council note:

(i)          Australia’s income support system should support vulnerable people, assist people into suitable paid work, and avoid homelessness;

(ii)         the NSW Council of Social Service (NCOSS) reports that the current average fortnightly rent paid by those on Newstart is $456.45 and a single person without children on Newstart gets $555.70 per fortnight;

(iii)        according to the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS), there are approximately 5,300 residents on Newstart and Youth Allowance in the City’s local area;

(iv)       the City of Sydney’s Social Sustainability Policy and Action Plan – A City for All highlights:

(a)        an inclusive city offering everyone an equal chance in life as a key strategic direction;

(b)        issues such as entrenched poverty and growing homelessness in a prosperous city like Sydney are the result of government policy failures, not a lack of resources; and

(c)         Governments, the private and not-for-profit sectors and the wider community have an important role to play in responding to the impacts of rising inequality;

(v)         the Newstart rate has not been increased in real terms for 25 years, while living costs continue to grow;

(vi)       in 2018, Deloitte Access Economics reported that if Newstart and related allowances were increased by $75 per week, the NSW economy would be boosted by $907 million in the first year and the City of Sydney’s economy alone would be boosted by $19.13 million; and

(vii)      this Council supports the ACOSS campaign to raise the rate of Newstart and Youth Allowance by at least $75 per week; and

(B)        the Lord Mayor be requested to write to the Minister for Families and Social Services and Shadow Minister for Families and Social Services calling on the Federal Government to immediately raise the rate of Newstart and Youth Allowance by at least $75 per week.

The motion was carried on the following show of hands –

Ayes (8)          The Lord Mayor, Councillors Kok, Miller, Phelps, Scott, Scully, Thalis and Vithoulkas

Noes (2)          Councillors Chung and Forster.

Motion carried.



Report author: Sheena McGuire

Publication date: 24/06/2019

Date of decision: 24/06/2019

Decided at meeting: 24/06/2019 - Council

Accompanying Documents: