Politicians urged to cut poverty

AAP

Poverty week has begun with a challenge to the federal government - commit to halving poverty in Australia by 2030.

The Australian Council of Social Service has marked the beginning of anti-poverty week with a call for politicians to better help children in need by giving their families an adequate income.

One in six children live below the poverty line and almost half of all children living in poverty are in single parent households, according to ACOSS.

ACOSS chief executive Cassandra Goldie said the Hawke government had previously reduced child poverty by 30 per cent and it could be done again.

"The first step that government can take to achieve this goal is to raise the lowest social security payments," she said.

Social Services Minister Christian Porter told AAP the primary focus of the Turnbull government was moving people from welfare to work.

"Where ACOSS and the government differ is that the government believes the welfare system should be a safety net and that the best way to tackle poverty is make people independent and break cycles of welfare dependency," he said in a statement on Sunday.