INCOME SUPPORT VOLATILITY IN AUSTRALIAN HOUSEHOLDS
How prevalent are late receipt of Newstart Allowance and volatile payment amounts?
This study by the Brotherhood of St Laurence, RMIT University and Australian National University examines patterns of receiving Newstart Allowance, as a step towards understanding the scope and scale of income volatility in Australian households.
Ascertaining how fortnightly Newstart payments fluctuate (due to wages notification, suspensions, etc.) provides insight into a key factor that increases the risks of financial hardship. International research finds incomes that vary by more than 25% from one pay period to the next lead to heightened risks of household financial hardship and emotional conflict.
The study will draw on a Department of Social Security database that records every Australian’s interactions with Centrelink since the year 2000. This daily, event-based data provides an important opportunity to examine individual patterns of NSA receipt over an 18-year period, and especially since 2009, the year after the global financial crisis.