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Newstart inquiry in Tasmania

Tasmania's perspective on life on the dole is being heard by the federal parliamentary Newstart inquiry which is moving around the country. 

Liberal Premier Hodgman's expressed his support for a rise to the weekly social security allowance of around $278, which his party's federal government has ruled out.

Tasmanian Council of Social Service Chief Executive Kym Goodes shared real life stories with the panel in Launceston.

"A society in which taking your son to the local football game means saving for weeks and weeks on end and then feeling like a failure of a dad when you get there because you can't buy a pie for your son while he's at the footy and he's watching everyone else do that."

There have been harrowing personal reflections of Newstart poverty and the stress of engaging with a dysfunctional welfare system.

Former factory worker Debra, who worked for 35 years, was made redundant in 2016 and is struggling to survive on Newstart.

"I feel people like myself deserve to be treated with some respect for our contribution to our country and to be able to keep some dignity, not to be reduced to the poverty line and to be forgotten about, we paid our taxes and we deserve better."

Patrick gave an insight into his Newstart experience.

"I feel like I'm being told that it would be better if I just wasn't here, it would be easier for Australia if I just disappeared, now I might even think about doing that, if not for my son."

Labor Senator Anne Urquhart is dismayed at just how chaotic the system has become.

"We are hearing awful stories from people who are trying to deal with a system that not only doesn't have the resources to support people, but it is just so disjointed, that it's actually causing a lot more issues for people than they deserve to have at a time when they are most vulnerable."