The National Union of Students, YOUNG Campaigns, and the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) have launched a joint report exposing the alarming rates of deprivation among young people currently receiving Youth Allowance and Newstart.

The report, Starved of Opportunity – Young People’s Experience of Youth Allowance and Newstart, is the result of a survey 892 people aged between 16-30 who are currently receiving an allowance.

Key Findings

Rent And Housing

  • 62% had less than $100 per week left after rent, with 37% having less than $50 a week left.
  • 51% of participants have had to couch-surf or use other forms of unstable accommodation.


  • 90% of participants said they had to skip at least one meal a week.
  • 22% of participants said that they had to skip meals every day, with almost 30% of participants reporting that they skipped 6 or more meals every week.

Study Costs

  • 80% of participants have struggled with costs for essential study items and course fees.
  • 35% of participants have had to withdraw from studies due to financial stress.

Mental Health

  • 92% of participants said that the low rate of payments made them feel isolated.
  • 90% of participants said it negatively impacted their mental health.

Medical And Dental

  • 73% of participants said they struggled accessing essential services, such as filling prescriptions, or seeing much-needed specialists. 74% of participants said it had been over a year since they saw a dentist.
  • 48% said it had been more than 2 years.

Read the report

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