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Poverty In Australia At 'Shameful' Level

An increasing number of Aussie children are living in poverty.

16/10/2016 8:05 AM AEDT | Updated 16/10/2016 1:21 PM AEDT
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More Aussies are experiencing poverty, with a big lift in the numbers of kids below the poverty line.

Almost one in five Australian children are living in poverty, according to the latest report by the Australian Council of Social Service.

It reveals that more than 700,000 Australian children live below the poverty line, despite more than 25 years of economic growth.

The report finds that children in single parent families are three times more likely to live in poverty than kids with two parents.

"If we are serious about dignity, we have to acknowledge that it will cost us in the short term to be able to make sure that we lift up (and) provide the basic income people need to live with dignity and keep a roof over their head," chief executive Cassandra Goldie told the ABC.

The report, to be released later on Sunday, found for a couple with children the poverty line was $895.22 a week, or $720.22 after housing, according to The Guardian.

The headline poverty rate in 2014 was 13.3 percent, or 2.99 million people up from 11.8 percent in 2003-04, it reports.

One particularly concerning area, it also revealed, was a lift in poverty for children in one-parent families, which rose from 36.8 percent in 2012 to 40.6 percent in 2014.

The report finds 730,000 children are living in poverty in Australia.

ACOSS wants a $50 a week boost to benefits that the group says would help alleviate poverty and improve people's chances of finding paid employment.

"The alarming increase in child poverty revealed by this report should also act as an urgent appeal to senators to reject further cuts to family payments, currently before the upper house. The cuts would strip another $60 a week from single parent families," ACOSS said in a statement.

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