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Everyone counts: Uncovering patterns of Newstart Allowance


Bowman, D and Banks, M and Whiteford, P and de Silva, A and Anantharama, N and Csereklyei, Z and Mallett, S, Everyone counts: Uncovering patterns of Newstart Allowance, Brotherhood of St. Laurence, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia, pp. 1-32. (2020) [Report Other]

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Our analysis of administrative social security data aimed to gain a clearer understanding of income volatility in Australia. The focus is on unemployed and underemployed Australians who received Newstart Allowance (NSA1) - a group of individuals highly exposed to the risks of financial insecurity.

The study drew on DOMINO (Data Over Multiple Individual Occurrences), a Department of Social Services database that records all interactions with Centrelink since 2001. This daily, event-based data provides an important opportunity to track individual patterns of NSA receipt over a 16-year period (2001-2016).

Our findings highlight some significant misunderstandings about the scale, scope and conditionality of Newstart Allowance receipt. While longer-term reliance on NSA is an important policy issue, short-term reliance is underestimated. An increasing share of recipients - especially women - are facing irregular payments due to suspensions. Our analysis raises questions about the extent to which the Australian social security system is fulfilling its mission to improve the lifetime wellbeing of individuals and families.

Item Details

Item Type:Report Other
Keywords:income volatility, social security payments, Newstart,
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Policy and administration
Research Field:Social policy
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Government and politics
Objective Field:Public services policy advice and analysis
UTAS Author:Banks, M (Dr Marcus Banks)
ID Code:150521
Year Published:2020
Deposited By:Management
Deposited On:2022-06-19
Last Modified:2022-10-14

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