New minimum income?
13 September 2017
Earlier this month, UNSW released a ‘new set of budget standards for low-paid and unemployed families that are relevant to contemporary Australian conditions’. Entitled New minimum income for healthy living budget standards for low-paid and unemployed Australians, the project was funded by the Australian Research Council ‘with additional cash and in-kind support provided by Catholic Social Services, Australia; United Voice (National Office); and the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS)’.
The project aims to determine ‘how much income a particular family living in a particular place at a particular time needs to achieve a particular standard of living. It is derived by specifying every item that is needed by the family, pricing each item and summing to produce the overall budget.
Ultimately, it is stated, ‘the key challenge is to ensure that the budgets allow people to achieve a specified living standard that guarantees not only ‘merely physical survival’ …in today’s conditions, but also permits a degree of social participation that is consistent with an inclusive lifestyle, provides people with opportunities for advancement and guarantees them the achievement and maintenance of good health’.
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