"One million people – including one in seven children – are living below the
poverty line in New South Wales, according to a new report highlighting the
deepening inequality across Sydney.
New research from the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling and
based on 2021 census data also found at least 100,000 more people had slipped
into poverty since 2016.
Preliminary findings from the research, commissioned by the NSW Council of
Social Service, also found 15% of children, aged under 15, across the state
were living in poverty.
The highest rates of child poverty were in western Sydney, including more than
a third of children in Auburn and 41% of those in South Granville.
The Ncoss chief executive, Joanna Quilty, expected the figures had worsened
since the data was collected amid rising interest rates, inflation and the
spiralling cost of living.
“We can only imagine that, while things were pretty grim for some people in
particular in 2021, they’ve got a hell of a lot worse since,” she said.
The poverty line is defined as being 50% below the median household income –
for greater Sydney and the rest of the state. Adjustments were made depending
on the number and age of people living in each household.
Quilty said the new state government needed to act quickly to reduce poverty,
including making major commitments to improve housing affordability including
boosting social housing stock.
“We absolutely need our new government to focus really strongly on closing this
widening divide and ensuring that social inequality doesn’t continue to rampage
through our state,” Quilty said.
“Social housing performs that safety net role – it provides that stable
foundation so that people are better able to get on with their lives.”
She said Ncoss and other housing groups were pushing for 10% of housing stock
across the state to be social and affordable housing by 2050, with a more
urgent target of 5,000 more social housing dwellings for people fleeing
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