The number of children living below the poverty line has increased in the past decade, according to research by the University of New South Wales’ Social Policy Research Centre.
According to The 2016 Poverty Report, 17.4% or 731, 300 of all children in Australia, are living in poverty.
Between 2004 and 2014, the number increased by 2 percentage points.
“Almost 731, 300 children are living in families below the poverty line after taking account of housing costs and many will bear the scars of unmet need, exclusion, and limited opportunities into their youth and adult hood” says researcher for the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) in a UNSW report, Professor Peter Saunders.
The research also found that 40.6% of children in lone parent families are more than 3 times more likely to be living in poverty than those from couple families.
Australia’s 2014 poverty economic rate ranked 14th highest out of 36 OECD countries.
“It is a shame that after 25 years of economic growth, we have not done better at changing this trajectory and ensuring our most precious nation resource, our children, are given the best possible start in life” says CEO of ACOSS in a media release, Dr. Cassandra Goldie.
57.3% of people below the poverty line rely on social security as their main income, while 32% received wages as their main income.
“This indicates that having a job is no guarantee of keeping people above the breadline, especially if the job is low paying and insecure” says Dr. Goldie.
Researches have called on political leaders to reduce poverty by having it at the centre of the policy agenda.
They also hope the study will make senators reject further cuts to family payments.