Socialist Alliance councillor Sue Bolton reported that on February 14 Moreland City Council joined 10 South Australian local councils calling for an increase in the Newstart Allowance, after passing her motion.
The motion called for Newstart to be increased to the Henderson poverty line. Newstart is currently $177 below the poverty line.
"The bipartisan Coalition and Labor policy of freezing Newstart for more than 20 years and the constant public attacks on unemployed workers has put unemployed people into penury", Bolton told Green Left Weekly.
"Many unemployed people have to choose between putting petrol in the car to look for work or food, because they can't afford both."
"The policy of keeping people on Newstart in dire poverty is designed to drive people off Centrelink benefits and into jobs that undercut wages and conditions."