Eight out of the 10 Australian districts projected to experience the biggest increases in poverty following cuts to the JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments are in Sydney’s west, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
New modelling shows every region of the city will record an increased rate of poverty in October compared with before the pandemic as the Morrison government winds back income support schemes introduced at the onset of the crisis.
Poverty rates in Fairfield are forecast to rise 10.7 per cent between June and October this year, while Merrylands-Guildford is expected to record a 10.4 per cent jump and Bringelly-Green Valley a 10.3 per cent increase. Bankstown, Auburn, Mount Druitt, Liverpool and Canterbury are also expected to record increases in their poverty rates of up to 9.6 per cent between June and October.
The analysis by the Australian National University’s centre for social research and methods shows Sydney’s north and east will experience the smallest increases in poverty as income support payments are reduced compared with 9.4 per cent in Auburn.
Associate Professor Ben Phillips, who led the study, said suburbs that traditionally had high levels of unemployment and those with a high share of jobs disrupted by COVID-19 would record the biggest increases in poverty.
“From October onwards many areas will have a higher level of poverty than what they have ever had in the past,” he said.
Initially the government’s generous income support schemes produced a big fall in Australia’s poverty rate.
But lower payment rates for income support that have applied since late September are forecast to lift the national poverty rate up to 15.7 per cent, higher than before COVID-19.
Wave of poverty to hit western Sydney as stimulus withdrawn (Sydney Morning Herald)
Frydenberg delivers historic-low poverty, but eight Sydney districts face hardest times (Sydney Morning Herald)