14 Oct 2012

Report says 1 in 8 Australians living in poverty

7:05 pm on 14 October 2012

A report by a welfare organisation has found one in eight Australians are living in poverty.

The Australian Council of Social Service says that equates to more than 2.2 million people living below the poverty line, close to 600,000 of who are children.

The council says despite 20 years of economic growth, poverty has increased in Australia.

Its chief executive Cassandra Goldie says it is a national disgrace.

"This is the first time this figure has been counted in six years and it is deeply concerning to us that there is no reduction in the rate of poverty in Australia".

Dr Goldie says in a wealthy country like Australia that is inexcusable.

The ABC reports that the council is urging the federal government to commit to a national goal to reduce poverty.