'Fix Pension Poverty': Seniors advocates to stop inequality
NATIONAL Seniors Assocation together with The Benevolent Society are conducting a joint "Fix Pension Poverty' campaign. Last month the importance of their campaign was further highlighted with the release of the 2018 Hilda Report.
Started in 2001, the (HILDA) Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey is a household-based panel study that collects valuable information about economic and personal well-being, labour market dynamics and family life. The study surveys the same households and individuals each year. This way it can show how the lives of a cross-section of Australians are changing over time.
The survey, a record of how we live,shows researchers many things; for example, how economics affects our lives, or how choices made in the past lead to particular life outcomes.
The content provides policy-makers with unique insights about Australia, enabling them to make informed decisions across a range of policy areas, including health, education and social services.
It is published by the Melbourne Institute and funded by the Australian Government through the Department of Social Services.
NATIONAL Seniors chief advocate Ian Henschke said the recently released HILDA report highlighted inequality and poverty among older Australians.
Mr Henschke said the report reflected some key concerns voiced in the last year's National Seniors Advocacy Survey including the rising cost of energy and housing stress as growing concernes.
The 2018 Hilda Report also highlighted the growing issue of inequality among older Australians. It seems among seniors the gap between the 'have a lot' and the 'haven't much' is growing.
The over 65s age group is the only one where inequality has increased significantly over the past 15 years
Older single women, older single men and older couples are the three family types most likely to be experiencing income poverty in Australia
Older women have experienced the steepest increase in income poverty since 2015.
The latest Department of Social Services data reveals that more people aged 55-64 are on Newstart than those aged 25-34 and they are on the payment for much longer. They are also spending their retirement savings before they retire because they can't live on Newstart without experiencing financial hardship.
Average time a 60-64-year-old spends on Newtstart is 187 weeks (3.6 years)
Average time a 25-29-year-old spends on Newstart is 104 weeks (2 years)
Number of people aged 55-64 on Newstart 174,532
Number of people aged 25-34 on Newstart 156,664.
According to the OECD, 26 per cent of older Australians are experiencing poverty, compared to the OECD average of 13 per cent.
In the run-up to the federal election and beyond, National Seniors and The Benevolent society are calling on all Australians to support the Fix Pension Poverty campaign.