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Poverty 10-09.indd


Poverty 10-09.indd

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									facts at a glance
last updated October 2009                                                                          HOPE IS HERE. SA.

  Poverty and disadvantage
What is Poverty?                                                        poverty, such as 95% of
                                                                                                       Our Position Statemen
                                                                        unemployed households,                                        t
Poverty takes on many forms and has many causes. Poverty is                                             Anglicare SA
                                                                        almost half of single adults
affected by access to work and income, education, housing,                                              acknowledges and
                                                                         over 65 years.
health and community services. A recent Australian Council                                              actively promotes th
                                                                    • In South Australia in                                    e
of Social Services report focussed on three yardsticks to                                              right of all people
                                                                         2008, when faced with
compare the living standards and well being of low income                                              to adequate income
                                                                         a shortage of money,
households: deprivation of essential items (such as a decent                                           to achieve the basic
                                                                         40.5% of welfare
and secure home and access to dental treatment), income                                               essentials of life
                                                                         recipients went without      including nutritious fo
poverty, and budget standards. These three dimensions                                                                           od;
                                                                         food when hungry and         accommodation and
provide a more comprehensive picture of poverty in Australia
                                                                         49.4% had to seek help       access to services wh
than only looking at income.                                                                                                  ich
                                                                         from a welfare agency.      are appropriate to th
Deprivation                                                                                          needs and circumstan
                                                                    Budget standards                                          ces.
Deprivation, or lacking the ‘essentials of life’ such as a decent                                    To uphold this right,
                                                                    A third yardstick to measure
and secure home and access to dental treatment, is the                                               Anglicare works to
                                                                    hardship is Budget Standards
first yardstick. One study showed a huge number of people                                             prevent poverty thro
                                                                    — these are household                                   ugh
without access to the 26 items identified as basic essentials.                                       economic participation
                                                                    budgets developed by            and support people
‘Multiple deprivation’ — where people cannot afford at least
                                                                    experts to measure what         to maintain or secure
three of the 26 essential items — affects one in five South
                                                                    is required to meet basic      appropriate resource
Australians.                                                                                                               s,
                                                                    needs and restricted to        including income.
Income poverty                                                      essential items. People on
A second yardstick to measure hardship is income poverty, or        Parenting Payment (mainly
having an income that falls below an acknowledged poverty           sole parents), Newstart Allowance (unemployed people), and
line set at minimum income levels considered necessary to           Disability Support Pension stood out as being well over twice
achieve a decent standard of living.                                as likely as the general community to go without most of
• Social security payments remain well below typical                these items.
     community incomes.
• In July 2009, a sole parent with two school age children          Factors affecting poverty
     on Parenting Payment receives $585.06 per week                 •   If you live in the outlying suburbs to the north and
     (including Family Tax Benefit A &B).                                south of metropolitan Adelaide or in some regional areas
• The average weekly (ordinary time) earnings for a full                of South Australia, you are more likely to experience
     time worker in South Australia of $1127.10.                        poverty and disadvantage.
• Just over 28% of households in South Australia have               •   An increasing number of women are dependent on
     their principal source of income from government                   government benefits.
     pensions and allowances compared to a national average         •   Education, housing and health care (including dentistry)
     of 23.2%.                                                          costs are increasing well beyond the rate of increase in
• From 1993–94 to 2005–06 the number of South                           household incomes.
     Australians living in poverty rose from 6.7% to 12.3%.         •   The global financial crisis has resulted in a spike in the
     This is based on number of people living on less than              unemployment rate for South Australia from 4.6%
     50% of median disposable income, making South                      in August 2008 to 5.8% in August 2009 (equal to the
     Australia one of the poorest states in the nation. Median          national rate).
     income is the level of income which divides a group into       •   One in seven children grows up in a household with no
     two equal parts, one half above the median and the                 employed adult.
     other half below the median.                                   •   Long term unemployment remains a significant issue for
• Particular groups are at much higher risk of being in                 South Australia, with men in South Australia remaining
    unemployed on average 14 weeks            The emerging poor                               Jenny
    longer than the national average.         Here behind the comfortable facades           came to Anglicare at the
•   South Australians are strongly            of beautiful Adelaide, there are families
                                                                                     es    Mission. She had six ch
                                                                                                                        ildren and was
    dependent on informal child care          sleeping in cars; there are children         living in a tent in someo
                                                                                                                         ne’s backyard.
    as the cost of child care is beyond       going hungry each night; and there          She had arrived in Adela
                                                                                                                          ide several
    the reach for many low–medium             are people silently crying out for help.    months previously, havin
                                                                                                                          g escaped
    income households. Those with             In the current global financial crisis       domestic violence in he
                                                                                                                       r own state.
    special needs, such as care for           Anglicare is seeing an increase in the      She had no clothes, no
                                                                                                                       furniture, no
    children with autism, remain a            number of people in need of assistance ce  household items: and as
                                                                                                                         the weather
    problem for many parents.                 — such as those families where one or    r was getting colder she
                                                                                                                      had worn out
                                            more members have lost their job or          her welcome with the
                                                                                                                    family who
Stimulus payments                                                                        had taken her in. She wa
                                            experienced reduced working hours.                                           s advised
Contrary to the perception of some in       The impact of the global financial           she was not considered
                                                                                                                      homeless and
the community that the government’s         crisis on jobs and on those relying on      in urgent need by publi
                                                                                                                     c housing as
stimulus payments were ‘free’ money         savings and superannuation income is       she had a tent and a ba
                                                                                                                     ckyard to live
and would not make any difference,          resulting in a new group of people at      in. Anglicare helped Jen
                                                                                                                     ny to gain
through Anglicare SA’s financial literacy    risk of poverty — the emerging poor.       private rental, provided
                                                                                                                    assistance to
services, many clients advised that         Past experience of recessions shows       obtain a bond and two
                                                                                                                    weeks rent
the stimulus payment was quite life         that if these people are not helped       from Housing SA and a
                                                                                                                    package of
changing. Many clients on low income        now and the battle is lost for these      furniture and househo
                                                                                                                  ld items from
remain in poverty as they never have        new emerging poor, the social and        West Works. She boug
                                                                                                                   ht a fridge and
the opportunity to improve their assets.    emotional toll will be great and long- washing machine with a No Interest
For many clients the payment was used       lasting.                                 Loan. Jenny paid back
                                                                                                                  the loan at
to pay off credit cards; fix or service                                              an affordable $20 per
                                                                                                                 fortnight. The
their car, bought new whitegoods or                                                 family were also suppo
                                                                                                                 rted with
brought rent or bills up to date.                                                   financial counselling an
                                                                                                                  d set up direct
                                                                                    debit payment for the
Anglicare and advocacy                                                             to avoid future hassles.
                                                                                                                rent and utilities
                                                                                                                  Jenny no
Anglicare SA speaks out on issues affecting people experiencing poverty and        longer has contact with
                                                                                                                   Anglicare as
hardship through participation in a number of organisations and advocacy           she has been able to ov
                                                                                                                 ercome most
groups of campaigns, including:                                                    of her initial problems
                                                                                                               — and she is
     • South Australian Council of Social Services (SACOSS) working
                                                                                                part time.
     • Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS)
     • Anti-poverty week

How can you help?
    •   Through donations: monetary, food, clothing, household items.
    •   Volunteering to help Anglicare.
    •   Using the services of Anglicare’s economic participation programs.
    •   If you are interested in becoming involved in Anglicare SA’s advocacy work, email

‘Working poor in Australia An analysis of poverty among households in which a member is employed’. Payne, Alicia. Family Matters, 2009,
Issue 81, p15-24
Davidson, P. ‘Who is missing out? Hardship among low income Australians’, Australian Council of Social Service, 2008.
Australian Bureau of Statistics, 1345.4 - SA Stats, Sep 2008, INCOMES
Australian Bureau of Statistics, 1345.4 - SA Stats, Sep 2008, Feature Article: ‘Adelaide's Advantaged and Disadvantaged Suburbs’
Australian Bureau of Statistics, August 2009, 6523.0 Household income and income distribution 2007-08
Australian Bureau of Statistics, August 2009, 6202.0 - Labour Force, Australia, Aug 2009

                                           Anglicare fact sheets are produced by our Public Affairs and Media Bureau,
                                           and may be reproduced or quoted with permission.
                                           For more information
                                           Sophie Larsen, Media and Communications Officer
                                           18 King William Rd, North Adelaide, SA, 5006
                                           Tel 8305 9200

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