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Poverty in Australia

Introduction to Poverty in Australia

The issues of poverty in Australia are as big nowadays as they were in the last few years. The poverty scenario in Australia seems to get better, but the issue doesn't go away. Poverty" itself has a definition that is the situation for extremely low income and/or money that causes a poor standard of living (Aral, Ozbal, & Gursoy, et al., 2016). Poverty, as addressed in Australia, is the state where earnings are inadequate to satisfy the reasonable needs of the family or individual. The ratios of people living in Australia had dramatically changed, but it was also discovered that those people who lived under the poverty threshold were still almost the same (Williams, & Lawrey, 2000).

In this regard, the essay focuses on the concept of poverty along with its several aspects and opportunities for community development and improvement in Australia. In order to address the focus of the essay, the essay has covered the concept of poverty, poverty aspects in Australia and community sector agencies in Australia that offer support, advocacy and interventions to people in poverty. Thus, the esaay statement can be stated as,” How did it happen? When talking about poverty, and who is accountable for it?”

Poverty Concept

Classifying poverty involves two approaches: absolute poverty and relative poverty (Hayes, & Hacker, 2017). Absolute poverty is a condition in which poverty is severe because individuals lack access to essential requirements like food, garments, and shelter (Moatsos, 2017). However, Relative poverty is defined as a circumstance wherein the level of poverty is assessed in regards to factors like average weekly incomes or earnings per head (Saunders, Wong, & Bradbury, 2016).

Population growth, uneven sharing of resources in the world economy, failure to maintain better living standards and housing expenses, insufficient educational and job prospects, environmental destruction, other economic and demographic patterns, and welfare benefits are the major aspects that can result in poverty (Saunders, Hill, & Bradbury, 2008).

The effects of poverty in Australia on individuals, families and the wider community

The adverse consequences of low salaries and poverty include considerable expenses for individuals and families, as well as for the wider community (Warren, 2017).

It is necessary to figure out the factors of poverty that impact individual, families and the wider community in Australia that includes (Davidson, et al., 2020):

  • Insufficient degrees of government support;
  • Increase in long-term unemployment;
  • An increasing fraction of single-parent households;
  • Expensive living costs and location-based inconvenience;
  • Limited salaries;
  • Poor health;
  • Lower academic achievement.

Specific poverty levels are used to measure the degree of poverty, and to figure out how many individuals can be considered poor, and are fixed at a percentage of average or median earnings (Lee, Biglan, & Cody, 2018).

To have an overview of the certain poverty rates in Australia, the poverty rates for a single person living individually over the last few years is specified below (Saunders, Hill, & Bradbury, 2008):

  • $432.73 each week for 50% of the average earnings poverty line,
  • $423.94 every week for 60% of the average earnings poverty line.

The statistics provided in this essay are projections of the number of people who live in households with earnings below the poverty level. The details have been used from the ABS Survey of Income and Housing 2015-16, as well as information from the previous related ABS studies (Davidson, 2018).

As per the data of the National Center for Social and Economic Modelling, poverty rates had increased during the 1990's, and in the early 21st century one out of eight Australians were struggling to make ends meet in 2000.

  • 24 million Families reside under the poverty line in Australia (13.6% of the total population), 774,000 young people between the ages of 15 (17.7% of all young people) survive below the poverty line in 2020 (Davidson, et al., 2020).
  • A Youth Allowance report showed 9 out of 10 avoid meals, and 1 out of 3 dropped off their studies due to a shortage of money.

It was noted that 75 % of people residing under the poverty threshold were not in the workplace, and 41% of all Australians suffering in extreme poverty were the old. It is evident that the poverty rate had increased significantly, there has not been a change in the rate of Australians residing below the poverty mark, but instead, this rate has increased.

The financial, social, economic, health and relationship issues experienced by people in poverty

The correlation between poverty and income, poverty, and financial burden are determined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). If financial/economic resources support the poor less than the rich people, then poverty rates will deteriorate. (Mood, & Jonsson, 2015)

The expenditures of social gatherings in Australia, such as community union dues, luxury things needed for recreational activity, and the price of dining out or organizing cocktail parties due to limited of earnings cannot be affordable for the poor family (Feng, et al., 2020). It, in turn, affects the relationships among the people.

Youth poverty in Australia isn't just a political or economic issue. It also impact on their health. Issacs, et al. (2018) reported that in the prior year, 1 in 5 individuals had a psychiatric illness, and around 35 and 50 percent of people infected with bipolar disorder did not seek care for their disease due to lack of resources in Australia.

How power and disempowerment affect people and the wider community

Empowering and disempowering individuals were defined in three conceptual areas:

 (1) Awareness of admission,

(2) Accessibility to healthcare, and

(3) Contact with institutions and suppliers helps in service.

Developing-country governments often do not provide support for proper education, and youth unemployment is also high. Increment in unemployment results in high rates of poverty. They have the power but they don’t provide any support of resources to the poor ones.

Community sector agencies in Australia that offer support, advocacy and interventions to people in poverty

Australian Council of Social Service and The Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) are the agencies that offer support, advocacy and interventions to people in poverty.

The welfare system supports for people experiencing poverty, and whether it is sufficient enough

Welfare relates to happiness, satisfaction; well-being and success (of a person or a community). Australia’s welfare system has proven remarkably resilient and sufficient enough from its initial inception.

Opportunities for Community Development and Improvement

Economic or Financial growth generally only contributes to poverty reduction if the lower class can access the socio-economic opportunities that emerge with certain development. There are several opportunities like develop healthy lifestyle for poor, empower them and reduce poverty and suffering. On the one hand, we can continue to go down the American path of lower taxation and lower minimum wages in the hope that this will facilitate higher employment for less skilled workers.

Conclusion on Poverty in Australia

Australia faces actual governmental decisions to poverty. It has been concluded that almost 41% people below the poverty rate in Australia. It tends to closely investigate the behavioral aspects of the poor and the dynamics of the welfare system in withdrawal from the broader formations to formulate entrench social and economic inequities.

References for Poverty in Australia

Aral, N., Ozbal, E. O., Gursoy, F., Sultanoğlu, S. C., Aydos, S., Tosun, S., Karaaslan, T., & Kadan, G. (2016). Poverty definitions through children's eyes. Journal of current researches on health sector, 6(1).

Davidson, P., Bradbury, B., Wong, M. & Hill, T. (2020). Poverty in Australia 2020 - part 1: overview. Analysis & Policy Observatory. https://apo.org.au/organisation/55260

Feng, Z., Cramm, J. M., Jin, C., Twisk, J., & Nieboer, A. P. (2020). The longitudinal relationship between income and social participation among Chinese older people. SSM - Population Health, 11. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssmph.2020.100636

Isaacs, A. N., Enticott, J., Meadows, G., & Inder, B. (2018). Lower income levels in Australia are strongly associated with elevated psychological distress: Implications for healthcare and other policy areas. Frontiers in psychiatry9, 536. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00536

Lee J. K. L., Biglan, A., Cody C. (2018). The impact of poverty and discrimination on family interactions and problem development. Handbook of Parenting and Child Development Across The Lifespan, Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-94598-9_31

Moatsos, M. (2017). Global absolute poverty: behind the veil of dollars. Journal Of Globalization and Development, 7(2). https://doi.org/10.1515/jgd-2016-0033

Mood, C., Jonsson, J. O. (2016). The social consequences of poverty: an empirical test on longitudinal data. Social Indicators Research, 127, 633–652.

Saunders, P., Wong, M., & Bradbury, B. (2016). Poverty in Australia since the financial crisis: the role of housing costs, income growth and unemployment. Journal of Poverty And Social Justice, 24(2), 97–112.10.1332/175982716x14650295704614 

Saunders p., t. Hill and b. Bradbury (2008), poverty in Australia: sensitivity analysis and recent trends, SPRC report no. 4/08, social policy research centre, university of new South Wales.

Warren, D. (2017). Low income and poverty dynamics: implications for child outcomes. Australian institutes of family studies. https://aifs.gov.au/

Welfare n. In B Moore, ed., the Australian oxford dictionary, 2nd edition, Oxford University. http://www.oxfordreference.com/views/entry.html?subview=main&entry=t157.e62067

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