'Too low': Call for dole to be doubled

THE dole should be doubled. That's according to a group of jobless people who say it is forcing them to live under the poverty line.

Members of the Anti-Poverty Network fired off their first missive to the federal government today with a 500-strong petition handed in a Queensland local government meeting. 

 

More than 500 people signed the petition calling on the federal government to increase the Newstart allowance.
More than 500 people signed the petition calling on the federal government to increase the Newstart allowance.

 

Spokesman for the group Andrew Beitzel said the federal government had not increased the allowance since 1994.

Mr Beitzel said most people on the allowance were not eligible to receive the full amount of $545.80 a fortnight.

"We just want what's fair," he said. "With the little amount that the government gives, it is impossible to actively seek and find a job while also paying rent and other bills."

Anti-Poverty Network member Bill Smith shows the petition to Andrew Beitzel before it was handed to Logan’s Cr Jon Raven.
Anti-Poverty Network member Bill Smith shows the petition to Andrew Beitzel before it was handed to Logan’s Cr Jon Raven.

Mr Beitzel said he received $390 a week - as did most recipients and he wanted the government to double that amount.

Logan City councillor Jon Raven, who tabled the petition at today's full Logan City Council meeting, said most single people could get about $545.80 every two weeks but the amount depended on employment status, personal circumstances and savings.

"Newstart is too low. It's so low it's stopping people from getting jobs," he said.

"There needs to be to a root-and-branch review of Newstart and related payments and supports."

Cr Raven, a member of the Labor Party, said the federal government had tried to cut Newstart by scrapping the energy supplement for new recipients.

Forde MP Bert van Manen was contacted for comment.



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