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Is the age pension enough? New report reveals widespread poverty in older demographics

Warren Moore

A report funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Social Services has found inequality and poverty is rife among the older demographic in Australia.

According to the report, the outliers when it comes to entrenched inequality are Australians aged 55 to 64 and 65 plus. These two age categories experience financial woes at much higher rates than any other age group.

Kirsty Nowlan from the Benevolent Society says this is a sign that the age pension is not keeping up with the cost of living, despite it being indexed to reflect inflation.

“We looked at the adequacy of the age pension and what we discovered is that if you’re in a couple, you own your own home and you’re well, the age pension is just enough to live on,” says Nolan.

“But if any of those factors become untrue, then you’re really going to start to struggle.”

It appears home ownership is the linchpin when it comes to determining whether someone can live sufficiently on the age pension.

“If we look at the cost of rental properties across our major cities, everyone would understand that you end up spending over 50% of the pension on just renting a one bedroom house.”

“In fact, when we look at the numbers on Newstart, there are actually more people in that 55 to 64 age group on Newstart then there are in the 25-34 age group.”

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Warren Moore
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