Two million Aussies live in poverty, study finds

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by hit&run, Oct 17, 2010.

  1. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    Two million Aussies live in poverty, study finds
    Research commissioned by the Salvation Army has found the "working poor" are finding it harder to make ends meet.

    Salvos call for child poverty strategy
    Say numbers of 'working poor' rising
    'The poverty cycle isn't being broken'

    TWO million Australians are living in poverty, with the number of "working poor" growing rapidly, research has found.

    A Roy Morgan report of 669 people commissioned by the Salvation Army indicates the working poor are finding it harder to make ends meet, with the rising cost of living and a lack of affordable housing causing financial stress for low-income families.

    About half of the country's low-income households report cash-flow problems, and more than a quarter need to increase credit card debt or borrow money from friends and family to stay afloat.

    The report also found about 70 per cent of poor children are living in jobless families.

    The Salvation Army's Major Brad Halse said the report findings showed poverty issues had become entrenched.

    He said there was a need for more understanding and fewer misinformed stereotypes, with an estimated 80,000 Australians seeking financial help for the first time in 2009.

    "We are seeing families where there is intergenerational poverty," Major Halse said.

    "The cycle just isn't being broken."

    The Salvation Army is calling for a child poverty strategy to ensure children thrive and an assessment of the full extent of under-employed workers.

    http://www.news.com.au/national/two...erty-study-finds/story-e6frfkvr-1225939948353
     
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  3. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    It is of little surprise that 2 million Australians live in poverty.

    Poverty cannot be merely judged on the basis of conversion rates of international currencies. Rather, it should be based on availability and affordability of essentials goods, such as food and grains, medical facilities, ease of transportation etc..

    From the Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), India is doing decently well. The following map shows the whole word's PPP:
    [​IMG]

    One should note that most of the developed countries are in the upper range while those at the bottom have significant subsidiary effects either from government subsidies or international aid.

    Now to come back to Australia, let us look at the map of Australia. It can be seen that a vast portion of the land is not arable or suitable for agriculture although fishing does offer a lot of potential:
    [​IMG]

    Two major sources of income are minerals and natural resources, such as, but not limited to, coal, iron-ore, uranium, gold, alumina, natural gas etc..

    If 2 millions Australians are poor, that would make 9.3% of the entire population, i.e. one-in-ten Australians poor.

    One could easily conclude that, given so much land, natural resources (especially uranium) and fishing potential, Australia isn't quite doing well. They should have typically done better.

    N.B.: In hindsight, I think I will open a thread sometime in the near future detailing poverty in the so called developed nations.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2010
  4. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    The standards of poverty in Developing Countries and Developed Countries is hella different.
     
  5. Agnostic_Indian

    Agnostic_Indian Regular Member

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    It's a suprising news..
     
  6. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    Why are we so obsessed with Kangaroos...

    The fact is that even an "impoverished" Australian lives a better life than the majority of India's poor. As Singh pointed out, the criteria for "poverty" are completely different for developed and developing countries.

    Let us stop comparing ourselves with insignificant countries like Australia and focus on our own problems.
     
  7. Vinod2070

    Vinod2070 मध्यस्थ Stars and Ambassadors

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    True, even their poor may have three cars in the family!

    That would be better than almost 95% Indians if not more.
     
  8. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    There's absoloute poverty in Australia, absoloutely. Especially among the Aboriginal-Native community. But let's not forget that Australia has a very different living standard to our own. When they talk 'poverty' in Australia, they usually mean the Smith - NATSEM Family measure of taking the half of the mean of all (chequed) pay packets and using that to draw the 'poverty line'. To put that into perspective, that's about $26,000 p.a for a family of four.
     
  9. warriorextreme

    warriorextreme Senior Member Senior Member

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    common guyz even the poorest in AUS get money from government...their problems are totally different..
    what india needs is bringing back the black money from swiss banks to remove poverty from india
     
  10. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The news report is cleverly silent in not informing the percentage of those living in poverty being aborigines of Australia.

    The aborigines, who are the real natives of Australia, are the most abused and neglected lot.

     
  11. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Forget india-pak rivalry its now into-aussie rivalry which is more exciting.hence the obsession.
     
  12. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Actually that is a very good point. The social security system in many countries actually ensures that the jobless get some benefits from the government. As a result, even if there are poor people, you don't see people begging on the streets. In effect, these people get money from the government where the government gets the money from the earning citizens as a requirement of law.

    Not to mention that there are plenty of beggars in the USA as well. They dress well and try to be very smart and friendly when they approach people but in the end all they say, "Can I borrow a dollar from you?" clearly knowing it is not an act of 'borrowing' but 'begging' because the donor and the beggar are complete strangers and will probably never see each other again, leave alone receive/repay that lone. Then there are homeless shelters, housing for the economically disadvantaged (i.e. people who have no money to buy food but somehow always seem to have money to buy drugs) and food stamps.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2010
  13. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    I have posted this thread in world affairs section not to compare Indian poverty with Australian. The Article itself talks about Australia only. However the English meaning of Poverty is universal. The value of & for money changes (Please pay attention to FOR) per demography to keep every one at par. White colored living on the streets of CBD Sydney wearing a coat may look better than his Indian counterpart but his agony and struggle is same like any homeless living else where. They do get bailed out monthly but still not enough revive back to normal, its harsh. Where in India there are thousands of actually millions who have revived back to normal recently. Interestingly the list of masses on dolls is ever growing and diversifying of domestic resources is a distant dream. A nation where manufacturing units are closing down or shifting to China, the self proclaimed special Australians still hate to work hard and long. Working 5 days in week is considered as inhuman. what so special in them? may be because of proud highest carbon omission status in Oceania. Like they say more you burn coal more you become rich.

    Australians work force is highest tax payers of the world, but with composed dignity of masked capitalism titrated with socialist reforms. Giving birth to another child yield money into your account. If one could hear drawing room conversation of Australians on immigration issues. You may here that Immigrants are drinking their water and Australia is going to become dry soon (they hate global warming people; that is why).

    NSW is able to stand tall among all state due to its high population and service sector jobs; thanks to migrants. Rest of Australia is enjoying the life under sun with foreign investments coming in from mineral mining and foreign students/education (they proudly bash on streets). Its like burning candle from both ends (fortunately candle is very long) for the former and its like killing the hen who yield gold eggs for the later. Now since AUD is at parity with USD and immigration policy is hostile to students (due to pressure from right winged racists, irrespective of the skill they create), how the foreign investment will shower rains of money on these Australian outbacks will be interesting to see.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2010
  14. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    The problem is that the cost of living in Australia has gone up considerably. So making ends meet becomes more difficult. Some families are paying almost half their income in rent.

    Also even to get social security payments you need to have an address, the homeless folks cant provide that and hence get no payments. Of course these type of people would probably be in the few 1000s though.
     
  15. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    Australians still living on borrowed dimes

    [​IMG]


    What we're spending ... figures from the Reserve Bank, Bureau of Statistics and ASX show what the nation spends. Graphic: Your Money

    A NEW era of financial conservatism sweeping Australia has failed to stop our ballooning credit card balances, which have climbed 16 per cent in the past three years.

    Aussies owe $47.7 billion on their credit cards, according to latest figures from the Reserve Bank. And $35.1 billion of it is accruing interest, compared with $29.4 billion in October 2007.

    That's an extra $5.7 billion we're now paying interest on, about $855 million more a year based on an average credit card interest rate of 15 per cent.

    In October 2007 confidence was high, with the share market reaching record highs, home loan interest rates rising, and no inkling that the growing debt problems in the US housing market would suck the globe into deep recession.

    A Your Money analysis of spending, borrowing and investing trends since then has found that most areas have remained flat or contracted, except the credit card balances.
    However, CommSec chief economist Craig James says the credit card data looks worse than it is, because the total figure does not take into account a rising population, rising wages and a rising number of accounts.

    More than 370,000 new credit card accounts were opened over the past three years and the average balance has climbed from $2993 to $3253.

    "The average credit card balance is up 3.8 per cent on a year earlier the slowest annual growth in six months," James says. "People are more conservative and consumers are a lot more savvy now.

    "A trend we are seeing is people are more inclined to make a purchase on their debit card. The other trend we are seeing is the use of cash."

    Reserve Bank data shows we have become a nation of cash hoarders in the past three years.

    In October 2007 bank deposits totalled $1.08 trillion ($1080 billion), and today it's more than $1.4 trillion.

    CommSec research released last month found consumers are cutting their spending in areas that in the past were seen as essential gambling, cigarettes and alcohol in preference for small luxuries.

    "While Australians have generally become more careful with their spending, there is still a place for the little luxuries," James says.

    "The category 'personal effects' which included items like jewellery, watches and clocks lifted by almost 8 per cent over the past year. And perhaps this penchant for little luxuries is the reason why hotel accommodation has lifted more Australians deciding to take long weekends instead of their normal, longer annual leave."

    The Your Money analysis also found:

    • New personal loans and investment property loans have dropped sharply since October 2007.

    • Risk-taking on the share market, through margin lending, has almost halved.

    • Superannuation contributions have almost halved since 2006-07.

    • Retirees are withdrawing less from their super than they were three years ago.

    AMP financial planner Mark Haynes, of Haysman Financial Services, says retirees have been taking a much more cautious approach to investing and spending.

    "There is no doubt that during the global financial crisis, retirees generally stopped major spending and travelling, and a high percentage reduced drawings on their allocated pensions to help retain more capital," he says.

    "We are, however, now seeing this starting to reverse and retirees are again feeling more at ease."

    Haynes says there are many retirees who now qualify for Centrelink benefits because of their reduced assets and new income and assets test rules.

    "It is very important for all retirees to review their situation following the GFC to see if they now qualify for any government benefits," he says.

    Consumers are benefiting from the strong Australian dollar, making big-ticket items such as whitegoods and TVs cheaper, Haynes says, but he warns people not to get carried away with using credit and interest-free finance.

    "These purchases really should be paid off before they cost 18 to 24 per cent more in interest," he says. "Living a borrowed lifestyle is the quickest way to get into debt.

    "If you can't afford it today, chances are you won't be able to afford it tomorrow."
     
  16. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    Homeless sleep rough for longer in Australia than US - survey

    THE vulnerable homeless in Australia are being forced to sleep rough longer than their US counterparts, new research shows.
    Volunteers who tried to interview every homeless person in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane found many were worse off than those living on the streets in New York, LA and Chicago.
    More than 50 per cent of those questioned were vulnerable, those most at risk of death due to age or ill health, compared with 44 per cent in America.
    The at-risk group was also spending an average of 11 years on the streets in Australia - five years longer than the US.
    The surveys took place as part of a fresh drive to find housing for rough sleepers.
    The research led by Australia's Mercy Foundation involved local welfare groups and US charity Common Ground, which helped drive the surveys and crunch the numbers.
    Common Ground organiser Kara Mergl said people were finding themselves homeless at a younger age than in America.
    "It is striking that the vulnerability rates are higher," she said.
    "Some people who are finding themselves on the streets at 15 or 16 are still sleeping rough for decades.
    "We believe the early age people are finding themselves homeless is because of the higher rates of foster care in this country.
    "Those accessing services in their youth are then most likely to end up homeless."
    This week, more than 200 of 262 known homeless people in Sydney were questioned by volunteers.
    Their surveys found 13 per cent of the homeless in Sydney were Aboriginal.
    Contrary to public perception, most respondents said they were not living homeless out of choice.
    "The majority of people living homeless are doing so because of a crisis," Ms Mergl said.
    "What the work here is doing is taking the barrier down - we are simply saying we have a unit and we want to minimise the effort it takes to get back into housing."
    More than 80 volunteers surrendered their sleep to hit the streets of Sydney at 4.30am on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to question rough sleepers on their housing and healthcare needs.
    The research in Sydney was led by the Mercy Foundation, which partnered Way2Home outreach service, the Salvation Army and Missionbeat to conduct the research.
    Similar work in Brisbane led to the housing of 30 vulnerable people, a spokeswoman for the Mercy Foundation said.
     

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