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Join our call to halve child poverty by 2030

Poverty affects far too many Australian children and families, diminishing their lives now and in the future.  As one of the wealthiest countries in the world, it’s just not right that 1 in 6 of our children grow up in poverty. Not having enough money to cover the necessities restricts daily life and crushes hope for the future.

This Anti-Poverty Week we are calling on all our Parliamentarians to commit to halve child poverty by 2030. This means we can meet our international commitments to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and UN Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals).

Help us urge the Federal Government to introduce bipartisan legislation to halve child poverty by 2030 with measurable targets and actions to achieve this goal.

We’ve heard shocking stories of mothers pretending they’ve eaten dinner while cooking when in fact, there was not enough food to feed the whole family; of mothers forced to forego important medications and unable to maintain or fix their car.  All of which has the compounding effect of restricting their employment options. We’ve also heard of children telling their younger siblings to drink less milk and not even telling their parents about after school activities and excursions because they know the family cannot afford them.

We know what works.  The extra income provided to low-income families doing it tough during 2020 really made a difference.  It meant they had enough to cover the basics like healthy food, warm clothes in winter and after school activities like sport and music. Importantly it relieved stress on parents and children which compounds hardship. For some it was the means to escape violence.  The full Coronavirus Supplement saw poverty drop by more than half for the poorest families – those headed by single parents.  According to ANU research commissioned by the Brotherhood of St Laurence and Social Ventures Australia, poverty rates for these families reduced from 39% to 17%.  The 550 Reasons to Smile campaign captured the impact from families:

This has helped pay the rent and feed my family. I’m a sole parent with no child support and multiple chronic illnesses. This money has given me breathing room.”  See more quotes from 550 Reasons to Smile here.

Many low-income families with children would also benefit hugely from Federal and State/Territory governments investing in social housing, ensuring they have a safe, affordable home.  To treat all of Australia’s children fairly, we need to ensure every family has enough money to cover the basics and a secure roof over their heads. Children can thrive and be healthy when they have what they need to develop well.

Some key resources

Covid, inequality and poverty in 2020 & 2021, ACOSS/UNSW Sydney Poverty and Inequality Partnership, 2/3/22.

See also APW Resources  Poverty in Australia (Child and Family reports)

See also these websites: