What are we doing to directly reduce child poverty in Budget 2021?
To have a significant effect on measured child poverty rates, we need to improve the resources available to families living in poverty - either by increasing incomes, reducing housing costs or reducing other demands on household budgets.
In Budget 2021, to tackle inequality and child poverty, we are lifting weekly main benefit rates by between $32 and $55 per adult, to bring these rates in line with a key recommendation of the WEAG and provide an additional boost to families with children.
This will be achieved through the following:
- The increases will be implemented in two stages, with an immediate $20 per adult per week increase on 1 July 2021.
- The second increase will be on 1 April 2022 to lift rates to align with a key recommendation from WEAG. In addition, for families with children, we are increasing main benefit rates by a further $15 per adult per week in order to continue to make progress towards our child poverty targets.
109,000 sole parents and couples with children will be, on average, $175 per week better off as a result of changes made by the Government since late 2017, rising to $207 per week from 1 May to 1 October with the Winter Energy Payment.
These families are estimated to be better off by an average of $40 per week from the Budget 2021 benefit increases.
These changes will directly impact children living in poverty by putting more money in the pockets of parents. Other initiatives have a more indirect impact and are designed to ease the pressures faced by families - such as changes to health, housing and education settings. These are outlined later in this report.