YNOT details the Federal Budget for Young People (03 April 2019)

Date: Wed, 03/04/2019

YNOT has prepared a summary of what young people can expect from the 2019-20 Federal budget. This is not a budget for young Australians. YNOT welcomes the much needed investment in youth mental health and the VET sector, however, key issues including income support, access to affordable and available housing, youth homelessness and youth underemployment were overlooked.

Nationally we have seen a 26% increase in youth homelessness over the past ten years. 42% of the homeless population in Australia is aged 12-25, and 28,000 young Australians are homeless every night. We need to do more. As a Board member of the National Youth Coalition for Housing (NYCH) YNOT supports the call for a national plan to end youth homelessness. We need to address the systemic issues that drive and exacerbate youth homelessness and we need to see greater investment in affordable housing and social housing for young people.

The Federal Government has publicly stated that youth labour market outcomes have improved recently – we’re not clear how. The national youth unemployment rate is more than double the national average, sitting at 11.2%. Youth unemployment in the Hobart region is 16.9%, with some regions sitting at 17.8% (south east). This suggests that jobs that have been created haven’t been filled by young people. Underemployment remains high in Australia, sitting at 9.8% - 35% are young people.

The $158 billion promised in tax cuts will not benefit those who need it most – those on Youth Allowance and Newstart will get nothing. No increase in Youth Allowance and Newstart means that many young people will continue to live below the poverty line, and struggle to afford the very basics including housing, food, energy and health services.

We know that including the voice of young people results in better policy for all of us, and clearly their voice is missing in federal policy debates.